light and shadow
I don't have many pictures of Milford Sound or the Fiordlands but it was my favourite of all the places we visited so I wanted to share more.
The Maori name for the Fiordland region is Ata Whenua, which translates to "shadowland". I can't think of a more appropriate name for the moody beauty of the place.
I enjoy most water sports, especially ones where I feel like I am part of the elements, going where they take me (like wind surfing and sailing, and hopefully someday, surfing). I like the ritual of checking wind speeds, directions, the currents, the tide levels, and figuring out if I can make all of it work for me, and take me where I want to go.
Which is why kayaking at Milford Sound was such joy. When the wind, current and tide are in your favour, you skim over the water smoothly, swiftly, moving with such ease that it feels like a divine blessing. When the skies open and the wind starts buffeting your face, you feel emboldened, challenged, and carve your paddle into the water with more deliberation, pulling yourself forward with purposeful rhythm. It is an invigorating, almost visceral way of experiencing nature.
When we reached the Tasman Sea, the burn in my arms seemed to vanish. Or maybe I just couldn't feel my arms any more. Either way, I say go for this.
Of course, away from the water, Milford isn't bad either.