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Car trouble part trois

Te Anau, New Zealand

After a night in Te Anau we woke to a landscape carpeted in snow. In order to travel to Milford Sound we were legally required to carry snow chains in our car. The drive was spectacular, taking us through a winter wonderland of Narnia-esque proportions where we felt it appropriate to crank up the Christmas tunes and merrily sing along despite it being August. The slightly risky drive led us through no stopping avalanche zones. We wanted to capture the moment by briefly stopping for a photo of the no stopping avalanche sign only to be reprimanded by two men in a passing vehicle who of course were the only car to pass us the entire journey and of course were highway patrol. Apparently if they had been police we would have been fined $150. Law breaking turned out to be a recurring theme of the journey as during a harmless muesli break we took sympathy on a hobbling giant bird who appeared to be helpless and hungry. After feeding the bird a hearty amount of dry muesli a car pulled up and the occupants informed us that the bird was in fact a kea. It is a criminal offence to feed these birds as they are extremely dangerous and have been known to eat the kidneys out of live sheep. We protested that this particular specimen was different, he was helpless and needy. Upon this, the evil trickster swiftly escaped (the broken wing apparently faked) to the tree tops above us. We'd been had. Milford Sound is one of fourteen fiords along the South-West coast. We took a boat cruise through the fiord past waterfalls and were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of seals and very rare penguins. Yet again we were dumbfounded by the uniquely beautiful scenery of New Zealand "is there no end to this country's captivating wonder?" (Erin Charlotte Gillham on Milford Sound 20/08/06)

Next it was on to Queenstown, a renowned party place full of backpackers, skiers and boarders. Being as none of us know how to ski we indulged our passion for cable cars and rode the Queenstown gondola to the mountain top. Most thrillseekers flock to Queenstown for the world's first bungee, whitewater rafting and various other extreme sports. We however donned bicycle helmets and "luged". Not once, not twice but five times. Luging is a simple concept, it involves sitting in what is essentially a plastic tray with dodgy brakes and rolling down a hill.

Cue girly screams of unadulterated joy. We took a daytrip to nearby Arrowtown, a quaint former goldmining settlement which was nice.

It was on an attempted trip to Glenorchy that Sir Cliff and his bad kharma struck again. After calling out the AA and having the battery changed in Franz Josef we had become complacent and believed our car troubles to be over. How wrong we were. Whilst cruising along leisurely a Range Rover sped by, its occupants hanging out of the windows frantically trying to attract our attention to something wrong with the car. We pulled over and a quick examination established it was a case of deja-vu - another flat Tyre. Our previous experience led us to believe that we could attempt to change to the spare ourselves.
After triumphantly jacking the car we attempted to unscrew the fake bolts on the hubcap and could have been there all day had a van with two skydive instructors not pulled over to assist us. They got the job done quickly and kindly followed us back to town in case of any more mishaps. We took the car to a Tyre shop where we were informed the offending article that had punctured the Tyre was a small shard of roadkill bone. What are the chances?

permalink written by  Murph, Tay, Colly and Erin on September 2, 2006 from Te Anau, New Zealand
from the travel blog: The Smug Adventures Down Under
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I agreed with your actions - feeding that poor little bird - it does look rather forlorn in the picture - almost as if it doesn't know where its next kidney is coming from!

permalink written by  Father O'Doode on September 3, 2006

Yes, it was unfortunate for Sir Cliff to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - but that's one back for flattened animals everywhere - I guess that it's their "response of last resort"!

permalink written by  Father O'Doode on September 5, 2006

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