Edit Blog Post
Published: August 8th 2007
Well this morning we set off for the town of Franz Josef driving down the west coast of the South Island. The good thing about the Magic bus is that instead of just getting to from A to B it does stops of interest along the way that also brake up the drive. Our first stop was morning coffee in a little town with a few great coffee shops; the one we went in had the hugest tea pot collection- I even spotted the famous Count down tea pot that loosing contestants are given when they leave which made me smile. We then went on to a little town called Ross which is famous for gold panning. You pay 5 dollars to have a go your self but when Liz and Sarah had a go I was pleased I didn't bother as you can only ever cover a tiny dust like quantity from the panning- however I'm sure this little business in a goldmine on its own.
We eventually arrived in Franz Josef which certainly was not big enough to even be called a town, more like a two streets however it was situated next to the Franz Josef
Glacier and was an absolutely stunning place with huge mountain all around. The Glacier walk was the thing to do here, you could do a half day, a 3 quarter day a full day or a heli hike all involving walking to the Glacier, climbing it and exploring certain parts of it depending how long you're up there. From the sound of all of them they were unbelievably hard work and every one that came back was exhausted so I left decision making to the next day. I spent a relaxed day musing about the local gift shops with Liz trying to avoid buying anything and then we caught the shuttle to the Glacier in the rain for a walk around it. To our amusement on the way back our shuttle picked up a stranded Hitchhiking glacier guide who we thought was very fit in more ways than one J. The eveing involved Pizza and a pint, a special cheep back packer deal and here we ended up talking to the same German girls we'd met at the beer tasting yesterday: Bianca and Hiker- both very funny and lovely.
Next day I finally decided on doing the Heli
hike which costs a bit more than the walks but you get to see bits of the glacier that are more untouched. However when it came to it the flight was cancelled due to low cloud so I didn't end up doing any of them which I am quite gutted about even now! Liz finally decided on the half day and I spent a pretty relaxed day at the hostel where people were accumulating in the living room, mostly knackered and unable to move after having done their hikes- I'd have put money on no one having got up to leave even if they'd hated the movie that was on. In the evening we headed back to our fave pub Blue Ice were we chatted with the people from our bus including Robbie who'd done a full day's hike and looked like he might fall down and Russ who'd actually climbed the wall of ice! After intending to have only a couple, we ended up drinking way beyond when we should have for our early morning start
The next morning it was pouring with rain, which we all had to que in to get on the bus, here
we found out we weren't actually booked on it due to the driver we had yesterday which meant getting soaked further. Luckily we got on the bus that had only a few seats left and smelled like wet dog. The journey to Wanaka meant we passed some unbelievable scenery, the greenest green and water that was unbelievably blue as it had come from the surrounding ice burgs. We passed through Fox- famous for the Fox Glacier, another one you can climb and then stopped at a place for morning coffee famous for it mirror lake. As I'd managed to grab a seat next to Russ most of my journey consisted of random silliness that usually demanded an answer such as Homer or Apu? Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?..... No matter how depraved the choices got.- a great game to pass the time.
Eventually we arrived in Wanaka. It is an amazing place, a lake surrounded by breath taking mountains, one of my favourite places in the whole of New Zealand- I haven't found the feeling I had about it anywhere else. Unfortunately we arrived there too late to do anything. After checking into the Purple Cow a fantastic
Back packer joint situated looking over the lake and mountains, we went for a bit of an explore. They were hosting the famous Tri Athlete competition there the day we arrived so there was lots happening next to the lake. Later that day I tried to get tickets to the Cinema Paradiso- a must see for any one stopping there. A cinema that has various fancy seating options contained in the cinema from lazy boy couches to bean bags.
The Next day before leaving for Queens Town we managed to fit in Jet boating on the lake which was very funny and I did a trip to Puzzle world which was a bit of a let down, only the maze and one room that had people falling over as it disorientated them, was worth a mention. Then back on the bus to Queenstown.
Tot: 0.041s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 10; qc: 61; dbt: 0.011s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb