Glacier Mania

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January 26th 2010
Published: January 28th 2010
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We left Wanaka headed for the glaciers via Haast pass - one of the most incredible scenic routes in NZ. We were expecting proper hairy driving but actually it was fine, as always - nice wide roads and a 25/35/55/65km/h warning before each bend - a fantastic idea so that you can gauge the turn. Apart from our customary mid-morning 'trim latte' stop (there is no semi skimmed here just full fat and 'trim') we didn't really stop until Lake Paringa. Loz has picked up a very useful 'taste New Zealand' guide and is seeking out some of the foodie hotspots. This one was a winner - a salmon farm in a random hamlet. We picked up a chunky piece of smoked salmon and a piece of fresh salmon for $6 (£3) each and had the most amazing 'back of the van' picnic with the smoked salmon, avocado, rocket, tomato and soy, barley and linseed bread - at a fraction of the salmon farm's restaurant price!! Only one small problem - where were our plates, cutlery, and glasses (plus BBQ tongs and sharp knife)? We both looked at each other and realised at the same time...Ah!! We had only gone and left them on the draining rack in Wanaka! Daz thought this was hilarious (which it was), Loz was not impressed (it was Daz's fault - so Loz says anyway...) - maybe there will be a cupboard full of spares at the next campsite - nope. Eating with a spoon from the chopping board for the rest of the holiday then...

We passed over Fox River (no Michael Schofield though sadly!) and on arrival in Fox Glacier booked onto the 2.30pm glacier hike. With an hour to kill we sat down and suddenly realised we were totally exhausted and aching from the previous day's hike/run/cycle. So we downed a bottle of Powerade and with bright pink tongues embarked on the 4 1/2 hour mission that was the glacier hike. We thought it would surely be fairly tourist friendly and tame but half-way up the 800 knee high steps through woodland we realised that this was no stroll in the park (as the big sweating Malaysian found to his cost). Daz subsequently scoffed 3 cereal bars in a row!. But it was absolutely amazing when we got our crampons on (and when the Malaysian guy asked if they went on the hands or the feet and the guide struggled to hold back hysterics). As others flagged behind we were quite happily marching on ahead with the guide and chatting to a Canadian nurse who was nearing the end of her year out in NZ. We were too exhausted to cook in another great campsite so the fresh salmon went on hold and we had another nibbly tea (off a chopping board. With a spoon. But we did have wine in mugs!) and basked in the sun until nine pm.

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28th January 2010

totally and utterly jealous slight distraction from doing my stats!

Tot: 0.397s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 13; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0127s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb