I am most regretful that I am behind on the COOL blog updates (i.e., the ones with pics and food and/or pics of food) but it is going to have to wait longer still; just posting now to say I am about to head into the most staggeringly beautiful part of this staggeringly beautiful country and it is pretty much OFF the map: it is the last point of a very remote road at the very western ‘end’ of the country, and certainly out of range of phone and interwebz.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milford_Sound

Please note excerpt from linked entry:

“The beauty of this landscape draws thousands of visitors each day, with between 550,000 and 1 million visitors in total per year. This makes the sound one of New Zealand’s most-visited tourist spots, and also the most famous New Zealand tourist destination, even with its remote location and the long journey from the nearest population centres.”

Tomorrow I take an all day cruise on Doubtful Sound – a sight/site only reachable by boat – and the day after a shorter cruise on Milford Sound, followed by a couple days of hiking and camping.  I won’t be back on the grid ’til early next week, and may not be able to catch blog up til middle thereof, when I expect to be in Dunedin, but rest assured I am safe from all except blisters [and possibly, though we hope NOT, running out of gas] as I tromp happily around this amazing area.

I notice am becoming quickly and comfortably accustomed to ever sparser amounts of people – I attempted a quick grocery stop at Queenstown today, the much bally-hooed ‘adrenaline capital of the world’ where people are always flinging themselves off of bridges while attached to rubber bands, and I fled in horror after about 10 minutes…. this hive of tourist-traps was clogged with hordes of grubby, tattooed, greasy haired backpackers; young Asians sporting avant-garde hairdos, shiny jackets, and jeggings; and middle-aged, pleated short wearing, fanny-packed camera-clickers.

Now, I am fully aware I am being both hypocritical and uncharitable (says the gypsy sleeping in her van) but the entire town seemed a ticking time bomb ’til evening when dreadlocked drunken revelers would undoubtedly be stumbling into the streets to retch up excessive amount of ale.  Yech.   I felt itchy and undergroomed just looking at these people.   I don’t know that I’ll be venturing back, though that was my target ‘internet hot spot’ to get caught up on work.

Anyway: when you don’t hear from me, I ain’t dead, and I’ll be back with you as soon as possible.  🙂