The tourists in us : Dunedin and Milford Sound

Mike drops me at the car rental office at 8. The woman at the desk struggles to find my name in the list of the renters. Actually, I had booked for a rent starting tomorrow. I'm not really surprised : when we're hiking, we quickly lose contact with the days. 
It isn't a problem to have a car now, I just have to pay an extra day. Let's do it!
Thanks to the car, we can go to the Remarkables, a ski station from where we can hike.
We reach a lake and decide to go a bit further up, to a saddle. From there, we discover the other side of the mountains and other lakes that lie down there.
On our way back to Frankton, we send a message to our French friend Jenny, who is not so far behind us. She reaches Arrowtown today, so we invite her to join us during the next days. Our plans are easy : going to Dunedin on the east coast to escape most of the bad weather and then go to Milford for a boat cruise that we booked.
We spend the evening with Callum, a scout that I met at the World Scout Conference in Azerbaijan last August. Always great to hang out with nice local people and have a fun time together.
First thing the next morning : going to the French bakery and buying a yummy bread! We drive then to Dunedin, where it's still sunny and warm.

That's the perfect weather for a stroll on the beach in the Otago Peninsula. We enjoy seeing the sea again. While we're hanging around on the beach, we suddenly sea a big stone that starts moving. Wow, it's a sea lion! The animal is so huge, it's impressive. We keep our distances but take some time to fully enjoy this encounter. 
On Wednesday 21st, the rain won't stop even a little. We go to Dunedin and visit it. There are old houses here, so it's worth going around.

At noon, we leave Dunedin and drive towards Milford area. It's a 4 to 5 hours drive to reach the last public campground before Milford Sound. We pitch the tents under the trees, trying to avoid some of the rain. Luckily, the campground has a shelter where we can cook our dinner. It's so cold and damp!
Thursday 22nd. We wake up at 6:30. We pack the tent in the dark and the cold. The rain has stopped but the tent is completely wet. Sweet!
We drive an hour to reach the departure of the cruises. In the early morning, through the clouds, a few mountains emerge, their tops covered with snow. Beautiful.

The cruise itself is very touristic but still nice. We enjoy the typical landscape of the Sound : cliffs that are hundreds of meters high (sometimes more than one thousand meters) and that fall straight into the sea, with waterfalls everywhere.
The rain has stopped and we fully enjoy the experience. After that, we drop Jenny at her trailhead while we drive back to Frankton. Tomorrow, we'll start hiking again. 


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