Friday, January 27, 2012

Gertrude Saddle in the Sun!

We are still in Milford Sound, New Zealand and having a blast.  Yesterday, we experienced true pounding rain and fierce winds. This morning the sun finally came out.  Today was filled with amazing sunshine, a spectacular hike, and some minor van troubles.

We all awoke to an amazing sight.  Rays of sun were blasting in through our windows.  I looked up to see a clear sky.  The rain had gone and sun now prevailed.  We were not sure if the good weather would last.  The weather report at the lodge projected showers and maybe snow in the afternoon.  We planed to hike up to a saddle said to be a two hour hike, hoping to avoid bad weather.   We decided that we should leave immediately  and take advantage of the good morning weather.

Gertrude Saddle hike offered us sunshine, amazing views, and challenging terrain.  We started off on the flats following a vague trail pushing through brush and hedges.  Soon, we started to ascend a cliffy and rocky mountain.  We followed a steep stream bed with blasting water creating fast rushing falls.  Once we were considerably high upon the ridge, the footing became steeper and slipperier.  Nailed into the rocks were cables to help a hiker get to the top.  Soon we passed a large glacial tarn with icy clear water.  We emerged through large masses of ice and snow and arrived at an amazing view. 

We were looking down upon mountains, forests and rivers.  In the distance, we could make out a large fjord that we assumed to be Milford Sound.  We were so glad that the sun still beat down upon our faces.  We took a moment and ate some cheese and crackers that super Dad had brought and enjoyed the energy flowing into our bones.  Still concerned about the capricious weather, we headed down to the awaiting van far below.
The View From Gertrude Saddle

Hungry, and tired we arrived at the camper.  The van did not start.  Anxiously, we walked to the Department of Conservation lodge (Homer Hut) where we parked our van a couple nights before.  The hut was deserted and we could find no jumper cables which we desperately needed.  Mom decided to walk up to the road and try to get somebody to lend us some jumper cables or help us with our dilemma.  Soon we had a Dutch couple helping us, but they too had no jumper cables.  We tried to push start the van but no success.  They offered to take Mom up the road and help her find someone with jumper cables.  She returned with Matheus, a nice German man with jumper cables.  He saved the day and soon we were driving to dinner.

Today was amazing.  I had a nice hike and was extremely grateful for the sun.  The van problem was a little annoying but all in all it was not too bad.  Tomorrow, we will go on a boat tour and SCUBA dive trip in the Sound and I will have my underwater case to document the underwater world!  I am so excited!

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic! 


  1. Wonderful pictures! The accompanying dialogue is bit over the top. Such description!
    I'm writing in the magnificent, glorious, busy Phoenix airport waiting for an amazingly wonderful and fantastic flight to the equally amazing Fullerton, CA (by way of the very,very modern and beautiful Ontario airport). I haven't been to that airport, but I'm sure it is as I described.

  2. Hi Rohan - Loved your photos! You are really getting good! The next Ansel Adams!! Love you, Grandmalish

  3. Chopper here, visiting Andrew the barbershop contest prize winner: Stunning scenery! What a great hike!