08 September 2008

NZ 08/09/08

Fox Glacier.

It's funny, my handwriting from my travel diary for this day is so messy I must have been really tired when I wrote it...no joke looks like chicken scrawl (more so than usual).

On to diary:

I seem to have gotten the windest roads so far on this trip. Not that I minded. The scenery was really fantastic and we go to the tour company with 40 minutes to spare.

We got geared up (socks, boots, jackets, overjeans, gloves, beanie), then headed out.

Now first off, no where do you read in the brochure that you have to hike for 1.5 hrs up a very steep hillside (which includes 600 steps [reminder of Mt Fuji guys?]), but we did. So with all the gear you are now wearing quite a bit of stuff designed to keep heat in, so I at least started to sweat while the air temperature is struggling to hit 11ÂșC. Apparently the local weather god heard my silent prayer and decided to send a little drizzle our way. Fantastic.

The glacier was different to what I expected. I had imagined to be a fairly solid block of ice, but it's sort of like you get a big pile of crushed windscreen glass and packed it together. A benefit of the overcast sky was that it brought out the blue colour in the ice. Our guide said that if the sun was out all we would see is white. So that's cool. Not sure if it is making up for my hands which are starting to feel cold with all the moisture soaking into the gloves.

We then travelled up the glacier and had a look in a couple of the moulans (holes in the ice formed by water). Pretty cool (later in the day, one of the people out on the tour fellover in one and dislocated a shoulder - Baz said, put some ice on it. You're a bad, bad man Baz).

The weather then took a turn for the worse and then started to rain for real. Gloves got soaked, as did our boots. But feet managed to keep the water in the boots warm. So all in all it was a hard, wet, cold day out on the ice. But looking back it was a great experience. Definetly recommend to anyone who is thinking about it.

I will say I haven't appreciated hot water as much as I did later that night back at the hotel.

Although on that, it took us no joke 15 minutes to find our hotel in that town. The town literally has one street. When we found it, we discovered it was closed for renovations and we had instructions that the owners had made an arrangement with another hotel across the street. The one we passes three time looking for the first one.

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