12. April 2000 - South Island Tour with Mildre

Hello, well first of all I'd like to introduce myself. I'm George Doyle, 64 years old. I used to work on the Dunedin railway but I took early retirement a year ago, well just over a year ago really. Anyway myself and my wife, Mildred, we decided to hire ourselves a nice little Maui mobile home and tour the south island for eight weeks.

Well, just a few days ago, well actually it might have been a week or two ago... anyway Mildred and I were driving along the highway no. 60. You know that's the one up to the Abel Tasman National Park. Well we'd just passed this little post office, you know the one all by itself, anyway then this vehicle overtook us. I say vehicle but I'm not sure really if that would be the correct term. Of course I said to Mildred, "my goodness, would you look at that" but by the time Mildred had located her Spectacles in the glove compartment, it had already dissapeared. Well I thought to myself that was a strange occurance.

Anyway a few days later we drove down south along the highway no.6 (the one down the west coast), well we were pleasantly surprised with the weather as the west coast does tend to get a lot of rain but we had lovely blue skies, so we decided to take in the franz josef and fox glaciers. Well, would you believe it? We saw the vehicle again, you know the one I mentioned before. Well, this time it was parked in the carpark and the occupants weren't there so we could take a better look at it. It seemed to be a normal old vee-dub kombi but there had been some modification. Anyway Mildred and I hadn't seen anything like it before so I asked Mildred to stand before it and I took a couple of snaps.

As it was such a nice day we took a little helicopter flight around the glacier and we did actually step out onto the glacier. Well as we admired the sceenery Mildred spotted some movement in the distance. I took my binoculars and had a look and I do believe that I saw two people and possibly a baby in a carrier. Well, they were standing by the edge of the glacier, quite a climb up from the valley below. I said to Mildred, "I'll bet you that they're the people from that kombi" Mildred of course agreed.

After that we carried on down to the Milford sound. Well it must be over 30 years since I was there and I have some very nice memories of the area so I'd always promised Mildred a cruise along the fiord. We did pick a nice day for a cruise, the sun shone down on the fiord. We were just cruising past the Mitre Peak when we noticed a very small boat in front. As we drew closer we saw two adults and a child who was waving to our boat. Of course we waved back to the small child and I did remark to Mildred that I thought I'd seen them before although I wasn't sure where. As we overtook the little boat I thought to myself well that looks like hard work, all that paddling and I said to Mildred, "I know which boat I'd rather be in!" Well we really enjoyed our cruise and as we returned we looked out for the little boat again but didn't see it.

Anyway as we arrived back at our vehicle, after a nice cup of tea and a slice of apple pie in that lovely little cafe by the visitor information, we saw the Kombi again, it was actually parked next to our Maui and the family who'd been in the boat were also there. We exchanged a few words and they told us a bit about their travels. Well, what a story and all in that small little van.

As we drove away, Mildred said to me, "you know, you should ask our William if he'll help you have a look at their website"
And so I did!


Boat trip in Abel Tasman N.P.

Rainforest in Abel Tasman N.P.

father & son look over the Tasmansea

Mildred and George (on the right) on the fox glacier

Yannik by the franz josef glacier

On Mount Roy with Mount Aspiring (3027m) behind

view over Wanaka

Nitre peak (1695m) by Milford Sound

Bowen Falls by the Milford sound