it was still dawn when we had to wake up and have breakfast before we got picked up. we rushed during breakfast, but still.. indonesian people were always late, hahaa.. we were the last one to go inside the cab that picked us up to go to the real journey's office. we were waiting there for the bus driver came and picked us up again to go to another stop. since we were going to doubtful sound, we had to stop by in the middle of the road to be picked up again by another bus driver. the bus that departed from queenstown was going to milford sound. since it was dark, we slept again.. though actually the view was nice. but too bad, it was too dark to be enjoyed. another bad news was the other bus driver was late, so i was a little worried about this trip, since it would be another 4 hours on boat.
but he was just late a little bit. fiuh.. then we arrived at lake manapouri to start our journey. the lake was so big that i thought it was doubtful sound already. what important from that lake was due to its size, the new zealand government decided to use the water power to provide electricity. so they built generator, hidden behind the mountain to produce electricity.
after went across lake manopouri, we waited for another bus to take us to doubtful sound. the bus driver told us that the area had the most rainy days in the world. it rained when we first started the tour, but once we've come closer to doubtful sound, the rain has stopped. amazing! everywhere we go, everybody told us that the weather was nice this season, a mild winter. it's like God answered my prayer to give us a good weather. i've already suffered for leaving matthew behind, so i wanted the good weather to enjoy this vacation. and He did listen to my prayer..
okay, back to the tour. the bus driver stopped by for a moment at the viewpoint, so we could see doubtful sound in front of us, down below. and it was amazing, a little bit mystical due to the mist, but it was amazing.. it was named doubtful sound by captain cook since he was doubtful that he could exit again if he entered the doubtful sound. then, the bus stopped at the bay, and we went on by boat again. everywhere we saw was amazing. every head turn made us go "awww..." it was amazing indeed. since the weather was nice, the captain drove closer to tasman sea, where there was a small, remote island, inhabited by seals. they were cute... along the way, there were penguins, the blue penguin, but since they were small, i couldn't capture them well. all the view and the seals were okay, but the feeling of being on a boat moved against the sea wave was not okay. i felt sick. yuck. but thankfully, not until seasick.
then we turned around. and the captain drove us to some turn and then stop the motor boat and suggested us to stop taking picture and enjoy the moment. enjoy the sound of nature, which was very rare to be enjoyed since people so addicted to technology (yeah.. couldn't live without internet..) and then, everyone was exhausted so no one taking pictures anymore on our way back home. oh yeah, we stopped by the underground post, where the generator was built, inside the mountain, and heard a little explanation about it, the history and stuff. and on our bus back to queenstown, i accidentally looked up to the sky and there were stars! bright and shining stars! the one that we should see back in mount cook. i was amazed. the stars were so bright that i thought i wasn't real.
and we ended the day, almost starving.. since my hubby wanted to eat chinese, but unfortunately the place was fully booked by indonesian tour, and we had no idea where else to go. but then as we walked around, i saw a japanese restaurant, mentioned by our bus driver earlier. he recommended a lot of places to go if we wanted to do culinary tour, and it did help!
the next day was our last day in queenstown, we wanted to enjoy it as much as we could but not too much till exhausted, so we decided to change plan. first we wanted to do ski, but we changed to culinary tour. hahaha.. we asked the receptionist to booked us on gondola ride and buffet lunch at skyline restaurant then dinner in Flame, a grill and steak restaurant recommended by the other receptionist.
so after breakfast, we walked around the mall to buy souvenirs and eat ice cream (finally!). then we went to ride gondola. the view from the viewing deck was nice. then we enjoyed the lunch buffet. the salad was nice. i even went for second round. hahaha.. by the time to enjoy desert, i was too full so i just sampled everything. i wanted to try "western" desert, so no way i passed creme brule, chocolate mousse and stuff. i actually wanted the ice cream for takeaway, but my hubby doubt it. so, i had to pass it. hiks.
then we enjoyed a relaxing hot pool at onsen, before heading back to hotel. actually i wanted to play ice skating before dinner, but my hubby didn't want to do any sport, so we just walked around the mall again, and headed early at the restaurant. the food at flame was another okay. we ordered the frill platter for two, and turned out the only delicious one was the rib. oh, and the chicken wing, since they were both seasoned by the same sauce. the lamb and the steak was dry. yuck. and our last day at queenstown came to an end.