Day 29 – By boat, by bus but not by bike

I cycled a whopping 3km today. Normally I enjoy that a little on days off but today it sucked. On the plus side, the weather at Milford Sound had cleared up and it was a beautiful day.

This morning I went for a cruise through the fjord out to the Tasman sea. The first purely touristy thing I spent money on but it was a pretty worth it experience. Saw the fjord up close and from the other side. It's no wonder it was missed twice before being discovered, can see the entrance appear to vanish before you're even in the sea. Also saw a lot of fur seals and a couple more penguins.

Apparently there was expected rockfall on the road to Milford Sound today so officials were all around trying to keep traffic on the road down. Tour busses weren't allowed to make any stops at all. Looks like I wouldn't have been able to pull off riding in today had I tried. Wound up leaving by a bus back to Te Anau which cut off at least two days of riding.

Taking a bus was a, well, interesting experience. Here we are, driving out of a fjord. through some of the most beautiful terrain I've seen here, and half of the people around me are trying to take a nap. It's not the same by bus, though. The ride in had so much meaning for me a couple days ago but it wasn't there as our big box of air conditioning and soft music blew past everything I saw so slowly. I watched the bench I ate lunch on, the sign I laughed at, the place I stole water from just blow past. I was regretting not trying harder to find simply a way out of the avalanche area, instead the typical ride all the way to town. If riding in on a bike did not manage to completely sell me on bicycle touring being the right way to do this, seeing it on a bus sure did.

Today's chunk of life advice (beyond the one about how seeing the world on a bike is better than on a bus) is that Ohio purchased bug repellent does not cut it in a rain forest. I feel like my legs were literally devoured by sand flies while there, they are covered in giant itchy red blotches. Also leave your water bottles in your tent. A kea parrot ate the mouth piece for my big insulated bottle.


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