Published: June 24th 2008June 24th 2008
Here is what we woke up to.
NZ Day 3
Bad News / Good News
We woke up this morning thankfully on time to get to Fox Glacier (30minute drive away) in time for our 9:20 start on the all day glacier climb. We figured out how many layers to put on in order to stay warm for 6-7 hours hiking on a glacier. Then we went down and had PB toast for breakfast with a cup of tea and made pb sandwiches and cheese slices for us to take for lunch on the glacier. Then it hit us……
We looked outside and it was snowing. Now normally I don’t object to snow. In fact I love it an welcome it. (whoohoo Iowa) But this was not the time for snow.
It wasn’t sticking on the ground it wasn’t really cold enough to freeze so we figured we’d just hurry up and leave to give us extra time to drive over the mountain pass to the other glacier. So we got in good old Bessie and headed down the road.
We were probably not even 4k down the road when we saw cars coming at us
Bessie was a little icy when we saw her this morning but she warmed right up to us.
flagging us down. The first driver was a lady who said she had been headed to work in Fox and she had to turn around because it was too dangerous. Then two more vehicles including a campervan hailed us saying it was bad they were slipping and sliding all over the road. So we fatefully turned around. We knew we were too late for the 1hour period before the climb to call the place and get our money back. But we headed back to our hostel to make the call and see what we could do.
Good News/Bad News
The lady at the counter of our hostel was very helpful and called the glacier guiding company to cancel for us and they said we could do it tomorrow. Yay! No loss of money! Unfortunately this threw a wrench in our plans because it is gonna make us stay another day in the area before going to Queenstown. So we decided to enjoy our day in Franz Josef and enjoy Fox glacier tomorrow.
So we drove to the carpark at the Franz Josef glacier and hiked to the terminal face of the glacier (where it melts i.e the
bottom of it). It was gorgeous and blue and an amazing sight. Then we hiked around another trail and saw the glacier reflection in a pool of water. It was pretty picture perfect. Unfortunately the trees had spent all morning peeing on us (i.e. dripping snow/water) and they were doing that a little to the pond as well so there were ripples and it wasn’t still as glass. But the pictures were calendar worthy anyways.
Even more bad news
Then we headed back to town and filled up our first tank of petrol. A whopping NZ$67.62 for about 29 litres. We decided when we got back to the hostel to look at the weather and figure if our travel plans for the next couple of days would work because there is more severe weather headed this way.
All in all we made the smart choice to cancel our night at the hostel in Franz Josef and head over to Fox to find a hostel to spend the night at in preparation for the glacier hike early tomorrow morning. This means we would be driving across the road in the afternoon when the slush on the road had
Sarah and I
in front of Franz J
plenty of time to melt in the hot sun. Instead of trying to make the treacherous drive in the morning.
This will push back our arrival in Queenstown by a day but it will help us drive on roads that have had time to melt and not driving after dark when more snowy weather is indicated. We decided this was one of the best and most relaxing decisions we have made on he trip. We are doing good at dealing with situations and flying by the seat of our pants.
We arrived in Fox and found room at a nice hostel near where the business is where we need to turn up for our hike. Once we got a room we headed down the road to see Lake Matheson that has a beautiful reflection of Mt Cook in it. We did the walk around the entire lake and got some good photos. We also saw some gorgeous fuzzy cows, up close and personal. Mooooo!
Now we are enjoying relaxing time at the hostel. We will be making Mac and Cheese with a side of green beans tonight for dinner. I’m exited because it’s the first
time I’ve had veg in a while. I’ll do a little internet maybe study for my exam next week curled up by the fire. Then I hope to get to bed early.
P dot S
-As my Jew house friend Matty Wynn says
A thought about hostel life and backpacking around a country…..
I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It’s a fun experience and everyone seems so friendly. I was a little nervous staying at hostels at first but it’s definitely feeling more like a family to me. ( I stayed at hostels in Oz but it was different cause I was always with a group and knew a bunch of people.) It feels very family like because we’ve been seeing a lot of the same people everywhere we go. (i.e. there are these three guys we saw hiking at Franz Josef today and they look like three Jesus look-a-likes. We say them on the road to Fox with a broken down car getting help from a tow truck on our way over here. And they just walked into our hostel and are making dinner in the kitchen. Although we haven’t said more than a few words
to each other I feel kinda close to them and comfortable because I recognize them.)
A preview of somewhere we will go in the end of our trip because there is no way to get here from there we will have to go around to get at it fromt he other side of the Island.