AND THE RAIN WILL COME
And the rain will come… That’s what Paula reads in a brochure. Nearly unbelievable that Paula catches a sunny day, despite the 200 predicted days of rain per year. Yesterday and today, she is in Doubtful Sound. Before that, however, she has to cross Lake Manapuri by ship and change into a bus to cross the Wilmont Pass – the only road that leads across the pass to the fiord and was only built in the 1990s. It is the most expensive road in New Zealand and was originally planned to transport turbines for the underground (!) Manapouri Power Station. Today it is still the only connection to bring tourist to Doubtful Sound.
After three hours of travelling, Paula changes to a ship to explore the fiord not only from the land but also from the water. An amazing experience – first one glides along the longest estuary of the region and then ends in the Tasman Sea. The Sound of Silence, that’s what New Zealanders call the Doubtful Sound. It is extraordinary because on the surface of the water lies a 10-meter-deep layer of fresh water that doesn’t really mix with the sea water. This is due to the high amount of rainfall and enables deep-water corals to live already up here.
The natural spectacle lasts for two days with one overnight stay in a four-bed cabin. On deck, warmly clothed, Paula can observe the very rare Fiordland crested penguin, seals on the cliffs, and whales in the water. In the background, dramatically steep mountains are stretching.
Here, we also have dramatically steep mountains. The picture of the whale in the sea reminds me of my garden. Small black hills that were dug by a mole and are now sparkling because of the frost. Now the mole is recovering from its exertions and hibernates.