Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Sunday, February 27, 2011

NZ South - Riversdale to Rob Roy

Milford Sound, Mitre Peak
This past week has been one of great despair (deadly earthquakes and pirates) and great beauty.  What a world of contrasts in which we live.  It is never easy to accept tragedy.  Natural disasters,  however, are in some ways easier to understand than man's inhumanity to fellow humans.  Natural disasters seem to bring out the best of humanity as people gather to help and support those in need. As we seek to understand, we embraced the beauty of the land and the people here in New Zealand.

We started our week out in Riversdale, a small farming community between Te Anau and Queenstown with the Leahy family on their dairy farm.
Alan, Melinda, and Daughter Emily were our gracious hosts.
Within just a few short hours we learned an incredible amount about the dairy business. Our respect and admiration for farmers in general and Alan and Melinda in particular has increased exponentially.  We love our milk, cheese, whipped cream, ice cream, creamed cheese, yogurt and don't give it much thought other than buying it.  What goes behind each bottle of milk is uncountable hours of hard work.

After our wonderful visit with the Leahy family we continued to Queenstown.  This is the Adrenalin Captial of the World.  We could have chosen sky diving, jet boating, bungee jumping, river rafting or several other high thrill activities while we were in Queenstown, but we chose a two and half hour helicopter excursion and a steamship ride across the lake.
Our helicopter excursion was fabulous.  Go to our Web Album to see all of the photos and video of our heli-flight.  Here are just a few:

After a morning of flying we ended the day with a steam ship ride on the TSS Earnslaw.

Built in 1911, this graceful lady took us across the lake to a beautiful homestead where we ate roasted lamb with mint sauce and Pavlova in the private dining room.  After dinner we enjoyed a sheep shearing demonstration, then headed back on the Earnslaw in the starlight to Queenstown.

While we sailed across the lake, we joined a sing-along in the piano bar.

It was a great way to end the day.

We said goodbye to Queenstown the following morning and headed for Lake Wanaka.  We went over through the quaint gold town of Arrowstown.

It reminded us of Columbia, but far more commercial.  The Kiwis really know how to milk the tourist dollar.

From here we climbed over a tall pass to Lake Wanaka.  The scenery from the top was breathtaking.  On our way down the other side, we passed by a venison farm where we saw some of the most beautiful deer/elk hybrids.  Take a look at these racks!

We arrived in Wanaka late in the afternoon..  The weather for the following day was rainy in the morning, clearing in the afternoon.  The following afternoon, we took a bicycle ride around part of the lake.
This is a beautiful location.  Russ and I agree that if we were going to live anywhere in New Zealand, it would be here.  The lake, mountains, ski areas, hiking, and quaint town are in Kiwi terms "brilliant."

The following day, we drove up into a magnificient valley where we found the trail head for the Rob Roy Track to the glacier.

The scenery on this 2 hour uphill trek just kept getting better and better. At the end of the trail, the blue green of the glacier hangs over the granite and glistening waterfalls cascade down moraine terraces to the valley floor.

While we were there, we heard a rumble and turned our heads to see an avalanche of ice as part of the glacier broke off and tumbled down.  See the video.  Change is inevitable.  It is everywhere.

Today, Sunday, February 27, 2011 we spent the day resting and catching up on chores. Late in the afternoon, we visited a Puzzling World and spent a good hour just trying to get out of the huge outdoor maze.  After our success with this, we finished the day at a Mexican restaurant.  Tomorrow we head further north to the Franz Joseph glacier.

All is well with the 2 Sail R's

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fellow Puddle Jumper Killed by Pirates

Bob Riggle, Brian Calvert on MV Furthur, Roz and Russ on SV Worrall Wind sporting our PJ10 Shirts
Sadly, we learned today that Bob Riggle, fellow Pacific Puddle Jumper 2010, was one of the Americans killed by the Somali Pirates.  Such an awful tragedy.  Makes us sad and mad.  Sailors need to travel through this area safely. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

We are okay!

We are in Queenstown, 150 miles or so from Christchurch.  We felt the quakes today while eating lunch.  The table and water on the table started rocking.  It felt like we were on the boat.  We are fine,but hearts are heavy for people in Christrchurch and surrounding areas. Huge devastation, 6.3 magnitude (smaller than the last quake in September), but only 5 km under ground with epicenter only 10 km southeast of Christchurch.  R & R

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Invercargill to Milford Sound


We were Invercargill for one night before heading north to Lake Manapouri.  While in Invercargill, we did some shopping.  I got my haircut.  We found a geocache to log the travel bugs visits, took some photos and headed out of town. 

Lake Manapouri

The weather was clearing and we made arrangements to take an 8 hour tour out to Doubtful Sound the following day.  We stayed in a cute campground with a lake view that had a German Alpine feel to it.  The owners were American Ex-pats that loved Germany.  They were also collectors of all sorts of things. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon and sunset on the lake.

Manapouri Power Station
We awoke to a glorious blue sky day. The weather forecast was correct.  We boarded a ferry for our ride across Lake Manpouri which was about a 1 hour trip.

Diagram spiraling underground tunnel road

The fresh water lake is huge and worthy of a boat trip all by itself.  There are over 30 islands In Manapouri Lake.   Once on the west side of the lake where the Manapouri Power House operates, we got onto a bus that took us deep down under the mountain to the power station.

Manapouri is a natural Alpine lake that flows to the sea 171 meters below.  The power station was built to supply the power requirements of and aluminum smelter company back in Bluff, 171 km away.  Because there is no dam, the generators are dug down into the granite nearly 2 kilometers deep.  The water drops 700 cubic meters a minute, down from the lake to the turbines, generating power, and then is shot out into Doubtful Sound.

Building of the Power Station took 8 years to build.  It is one of New Zealand's engineering feats.   Access to the generators is down this long steep tunnel with only a small turn around at the bottom.  The bus driver received an ovation from the passengers after he did a 3 point turn that was inches from all of the front, back and side walls of the tunnel.

Doubtful Sound

The bus driver negotiated many miles of steep turns and 22% grade down to the sound.  The views going down were breathtaking.  At the bottom of the road, we boarded another vessel which would be the one to take us out to sea and back through the sound. Everywhere was a beautiful view worth photographing.

Because we had such calm seas, we were able to poke into the Tasman Sea to see some seal colonies on the outside of the sound. 

On our return trip, our skipper took us up into Crooked and Hall's Arms of the fjord. The steep cliffs are scarred from avalanches not only of snow, but of rocks jolted free be the over 2,000 earthquakes this area experiences every year due to the tectonic plate movement under NZ.  Water cascades off of the rocks anywhere it can.  Taking pictures of waterfalls becomes almost a mundane task.

Late in the afternoon, we headed back to the dock, boarded the bus that took us back up the twisty road to the power station, and returned on the ferry once again over Lake Manapouri.  We didn't return to our camper until 8:15 in the evening. We had had a wonderful day!

Onward to Te Anau and Milford Sound 

The day after our trip, the clouds started to pile up and rain was predicted for the next couple of days.  We left Manapouri and headed toward Ta Anau.  We had met some Americans from Colorado who had taken the helicopter ride through Milford Sound out of Queenstown and said it was a fabulous experience.  Since we had taken the boat through Doubtful in the sunshine and thought we might take the helicopter up through Milford, we weren't too disappointed with the weather forecast as it would give us an opportunity to see the mountains and the sound in misty conditions, yet another beautiful experience.

We checked into the campground at Te Anau and found a cute little area in the campground that looked like a little garden.  Shortly after we arrived, another camper pulled in next to us.  They did not sound like Kiwis, but North American.  We started to chat with them and recognized them as the Sailing Vessel Paikea Mist!  Gloria and Michael were one of the boats on the Puddle Jump with us. We had heard them on the radio, but had not met them.  They were traveling with another cruising couple who would be arriving shortly....Allan and Alison from Fly Aweigh (whom we had met in Papette).
Allan and Alison in Front (Fly Aweigh), Michael and Gloria, rightside back (Paikea Mist)
This was such a nice surprise.  These were the first cruising couples we have accidentally run across while traveling by land.  We enjoyed a nice evening together catching up and relating sea stories.  Alan and Alison had sailed their boat to Australia and sold it.  They flew back to NZ and rented a camper van and are traveling around NZ when they will return to the states in mid-March to resume their working lives as pilots for United and UPS.  We enjoyed picking their brains about their route to Oz as we will be headed that way next season.

Milford Sound

As predicted, the weather was drizzly and wet on Saturday.  By 9:30, the three cruising couples were headed up the road to Milford Sound.  We were going for a day trip, the other two were staying at the lodge and kayaking for a few days.

On the way to Milford, we enjoyed the scenery, took a few short hikes, ate lunch in the camper van as the biting sandflies were swarming in the carpark by the Chasm trailhead.  Once we had lunch, we doused ourselves in chemicals and set out for a fast hike to the Chasm.  This was not an all by yourself type of a walk.  Seven tour buses had disgorged in the parking lot.  We thought by eating lunch, the lot would clear out, but no...For every bus that left, a new one took its place.  We walked fast dodging past those poking along being eaten by flies.  Sandflies are very slow fliers so it pays to move faster than they do.  We didn't get one bite.....it also helped to have so much other "food" on the trail for them to nibble on. I guess tourist crush was a good thing in this location.

Looking down into the chasm, fascinating water sculpture

We took some photos from shore of Milford Sound and Mitre Peak before heading back to Te Anau.

On the way back, Russ wanted to take a 3 hour return  hike up Key Summit despite the rain.  He couldn't wait to try on his new rain gear.  Me, I was happy not trying on my new rain gear.  I enjoyed a quiet and cozy afternoon in the camper reading while Russ trudged to the summit and back.  He took some lovely pictures to try and make me feel like I missed a great hike.  Not.  But I did enjoy the photos.  I am sure you will too.

Today is Sunday, and we are catching up on laundry, blogs, emails, etc.  We leave tomorrow to visit friends of Shona Williams who we met in Samoa.  Her friends own and operate a dairy farm not far from the main road leading to Queenstown. It looks like Wednesday will be the only clear day for the next week, so we have made reservations for our helicopter adventure out of Queenstown.

More later.

All is well with the 2 Sail R's