Journey to Milford – A Magic Masterclass in Manifestation

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A travelogue may seem like a strange article on an affiliate marketing website. What I’m exploring here is the importance of intention setting as a prelude to manifesting anything. There may be a journey involved in order to produce a result. And there may be some obstacles to overcome on the journey whatever it is you are wanting to manifest in your affiliate marketing business. Our journey to Milford Sound taught me some lessons and became a Masterclass in Manifestation.


Thanks to Darius Sankowski for this image

We were planning a holiday in a caravan with our black Labrador, Gracie. Always a bit of a challenge. Turns out this holiday becomes more of a challenge than we imagined. We decide to visit a part of the South Island that we’ve not visited before. Milford Sound. The journey becomes a Masterclass in Manifestation.

We don’t tend to plan our journeys to the nth degree and leave plenty of room for spontaneity along the way. Create a few landmarks and allow the journey to evolve around those as we go. Paying at the holiday parks night by night is something we can do outside of the silly season.

Weather can be an issue and so it proved even before we left. It’s hosing down the day we’re meant to leave and so we put our travel off for a day.

Pets can be an issue on holiday especially when you want to book an activity that isn’t pet friendly. We decide the ultimate destination for the holiday would not only be to reach Milford Sound but to take a cruise there. Something that, unfortunately, pets can’t do.


IntentionThanks to Geralt for this Image

So, when seeking to manifest anything we first need an intention, and ours was to take a cruise on Milford Sound.

Next is to look at the possible obstacles to bringing that intention to reality. We have certain conditions that must be met before committing to the cruise. These concern how Gracie is going to be looked after.

Even before we leave home we have enquired with kennels and vets in the general area where we’ll be staying. Answers from the kennels aren’t forthcoming and eventually, the response that comes back is no. The queries to the vets hold some promise but they’re not open over the weekend. I still haven’t booked the cruise prior to leaving on holiday. It seems like there are plenty of spaces available still, so it feels all good.

We’ve drawn up a loose plan for travel that we change a couple of days out. We were going to travel State Highway 85 – aka “the Pig Route” on the way out.

Instead, we take a different path, choosing instead to take in the sights around Twizel, where we stay a couple of nights. We arrive to an overcast sky, and a forecast not holding much promise for the following day.


Opportunity - Mt Cook

We think it’s a great opportunity to see Mt Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. This is the region where Sir Edmund Hilary cut his mountain climbing teeth, before going to Nepal where he’d be the first man to summit Everest in 1953. Another master class in manifestation.

Looking up the Pukaki Valley from the campground it seems the cloud is gathering thickly around the mountain, but we decide to go anyway. The mountain toys with us while we’re there but decides in the end to show its face. Spectacular. Especially for my partner who’s not been in the presence of Mt Cook before.

The next day is given over to traveling. A long day in the car unsure if we have any accommodation at the end of it.



And it is on this day that roadblocks to the journey to Milford begin to appear. On the literal plane, roadworks halt progress as we drive toward Manapouri. On the plane of manifestation, the goal we’d set for cruising on the Sound, develops obstacles.

We’ve shot out our arrows of intention prior to the holiday. The cruise on Milford and a place to house Gracie for the day. Somewhere fenced on all sides. Somewhere she can roam untethered. And with people we feel are a good fit for her.

Doesn’t seem much to ask of the universe. And yet barriers seem to be thrown up the closer we get to the goal.

We contact the local veterinary surgeon in Southland, and they offer the name of a woman who worked for them but is now retired. She might be able to help. We leave a message on her phone but when we ring to follow up we discover she has been taken into hospital. This is our second roadblock.

We arrive at Possum Lodge in the peaceful lakeside town of Manapouri. It has a quirky air about it. And the sandflies which we hear so much about don’t seem quite as bad as their hype. We feel lucky to have found this place. With a pub and a cafe within easy distance, it is a match made in heaven.

We go to the pub when we arrive and though they’re on the verge of closing manage to rustle us up a decent meal. And we share our story of needing to find some kind person to look after Gracie while we go on a cruise in Milford Sound.

As luck would have it the woman behind the bar knows of someone who is dog savvy and would perhaps have the time to look after Gracie. We leave the pub with a phone number and a little bit of hope.

Not long into the phone call, it’s apparent this woman isn’t the answer to our prayers. We didn’t even need to state what the parameters of our intention were. The questions she asked about Gracie – “does she tie up?, Will she go in a crate on the back of a truck?” – led us to reject her offer. Her response to our answers was she thought Gracie sounded spoilt. Back to square one. Never mind.

So back to square one. Setting intentions and seeking their attainment can be like playing Snakes and Ladders. Sometimes the closer you get to your goal the more obstacles get put in your way. Following a recommendation is a bit throwing the dice. You land on a snake and go all the way back down the board. Land on a short ladder and make a bit of progress. Anyway, we still have a couple of days before we need to make the trip. Keep believing and maintaining the trust that it will be a masterclass in manifestation.

Two Wee Bookshops provides the Masterclass

two wee bookshops

The following day we decide to take a drive to Te Anau about 20 minutes up the road. As we drive through Manapouri, we see a little green Fiat Bambina on the side of the road advertising a business called “Two Wee Bookshops”. Never one to turn down an opportunity to browse for a book we turn round and search it out. We follow the Covid protocols for business there and that is us for the next hour. Browsing the books and chatting to the lovely owner Ruth.

We mention our predicament – wanting to travel to Milford Sound for a cruise and nowhere to leave Gracie for the day. Without us even purchasing a book, Ruth & her partner offer to look after Gracie for the day. We are humbled by her offer and are allowed to bring Gracie out of the car to familiarise herself with these new surroundings then and there.

We leave potentially having the last obstacle clear and with 4 books to read on our travels. And a recommendation of a place for lunch and a coffee in Te Anau. Hi fives all round.

Te Anau is another road not yet traveled and a new town not yet explored. Situated next to Lake Te Anau, the town is a mix of oldish holiday homes in the outskirts and modern motels and homes near the centre of town. There are lakeside sections available with views out to Fiordland. We can easily imagine building a house by the lake. On a beautiful day the scenery is amazing.

The effects of the pandemic are present even here. There is no shortage of parking around the town and the motels appeared mostly empty.

As Te Anau was a hub for travelers transiting through to Milford Sound, I imagine what it must’ve been like during the peak season. It was probably heaving with people, campervans, cars, and buses. Now it is a gentle lake-side town serving its permanent community with minimal input from tourism. We’re thankful for finding a well-stocked supermarket and a cafe serving good coffee and food.

And back to Manapouri. The cafe serves a good coffee and breakfast the following day. We were taking Gracie round to Two Wee Bookshops for her play date. Not only did she have the company of Ruth and her partner they also had another dog they were looking after so Gracie had a playmate. Well until she got too boisterous with the other dog Cove. Over 4 times Gracie’s age. She’s put in her place. All OK.

Their looking after Gracie ticked all our boxes. The property was fully fenced with almost an acre of grounds. She could roam around freely, play with Cove, attempt to herd the chickens and there was a shelter where she could curl up on her own bed. Somewhere she could find smells familiar to her.

Here the manifestation masterclass was nearly complete. I was yet to purchase the tickets for the cruise. Even buying the tickets online held challenges as my card was rejected on a couple of occasions during the process. But we got there.

The Arc of Manifestation

arc of manifestation

The manifestation process describes a bell curve. A bit like the arrow analogy earlier. When you shoot one into the air, it reaches the top of its trajectory and then descends.

In a masterclass in manifestation, we are creating our intention and taking action even though being discouraged by the obstacles along the way. Getting past the barriers to reach the top of our trajectory, hit our target, and then sustain that moment of achievement as we descend through to the bottom of the bell curve.

The day trip to Milford described a similar sort of arc. It was a fine day when we started out. We’d been keeping a close eye on the forecast, and it looked like it could be a reasonable sort of day in Milford Sound.

We were surprised by the lack of traffic on the road, thinking that maybe there would a few people making the journey. And there was just less than we’d imagined.

Along the way, there were reminders that we were in the grips of a pandemic. We passed an area that looked as though it had been a staging area for vehicles making the journey. Off to the side of the road, there were another two lanes with barrier arms at the end. Empty.

Driving was easy through the Eglinton Valley which, to use a culinary metaphor, was an “amuse-bouche” something to tickle the palate for what was to come. The roads were mostly flat through here. And then we started to climb. This was the entree. Through tree-covered hills until we broke out above the bush line. Here was the main course.

Nothing before had prepared us for this the raw power of nature. Like imagining you can get through a 500-gram Ribeye Steak with all the trimmings and when it is finally served you realize your eyes are bigger than your belly.

One look to right up the Gertrude Valley and then to the shear wall of rock that fills your windscreen, and you realize that words and pictures will never capture the grandeur the sheer majesty of nature that you’re witness to.

And then there’s the Homer Tunnel. I’d been hearing on news reports for years about this tunnel and imagined something like the tunnel that goes from my hometown in Christchurch through to its port of Lyttleton. Tiled sides and ceiling and reasonably well-lit, though you have to turn your lights on to traverse it.

Homer Tunnel. Nothing like it. The road is well-paved. You drive over a hump to get into the tunnel. It’s like they started at either end but most of the digging was done on the other side. And when they came to meet they were slightly out. Could be wrong. It’s dark in the tunnel with lights perhaps fifty meters apart that only illuminate the area directly underneath. There are no tiles just the raw roughly hewn rock walls and ceiling. And dripping wet. It’s one-way traffic as well. Ok for us traveling through with only a few cars in our line but I can imagine if it was busy. It would’ve been a nightmare. Once we reached the other side of the tunnel it felt like we’d been birthed into Milford Sound.

We’d reached the summit of our Bell Curve and what came after was almost B list stuff. And the weather in the Sound didn’t help as the peaks around weren’t visible so we were only getting half a picture.

Going with the food idea I think we must be expecting dessert. We got it. We’d hardly been on the cruise for 20 minutes when dolphins were spotted. For the next 20 minutes, they followed the boat surfing the bow wake and sharing their joy with us. Certainly sweet.

And we were on the downside of our Bell Curve surfing to the end of our trip. We stayed another day in Manapouri and then began the trek north.

Winding down

A night in Cromwell and lunch in Clyde. We take in the wonders of the Pig Route. And wonder why it’s named this way?

Google searches didn’t throw up any definitive clues as to why it was called “the Pig Route”. We cross a waterway called Pigroot Creek. Perhaps this was the answer. Well, it could be. Turns out there is a plant called Blue Pigroot and while it is native to South America it has arrived in New Zealand.

We wind down with a couple of nights in the Herbert Forest Campground and then homeward bound.