the road to franz josef & franz josef

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Franz Josef
January 17th 2009
Published: February 22nd 2009
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sorry about that title, but i just couldn't do a travelblog without at least one "the road to post". ha!

dude! so the reason people do the south island from christchurch to the west coast and then down, is cause it is STUPID to drive yourself from queenstown to franz josef. it's just long winding roads, no gas stations and when you near the end there are signs that basically say oops! we built this road so close to the ocean that you should be wary of high tide 'cause it's literally like two feet away. there were highlights: we saw double rainbows and beautiful lakes and once i woke up to catch susan taking a picture WHILE driving (the car was LITERALLY moving and she was TAKING a photo) and had to confiscate the camera. I would like to defend myself and say that the drive was so beautiful but Toisha was sleeping so there was no one to take any pictures but we couldn't really stop because we were trying to stay ahead of the rain and get there during the light; and we passed these gorgeous yellow hills with sheep and we passed these beautiful lakes with sharp mountains and then finally we passed by BLUE rock and I had to take a picture. But i did slow down :-)

but overall it was stressful and then all of a sudden you would be in a freaking downpour. AND there are no radio stations. none. like when you got to a town it would last while you were in the town and then like five feet outside of the town it was gone and the songs were all from like fifteen years ago. why do we know this? well our stupid car only had a tape deck since it too was from fifteen years ago + all of the warnings were in chinese or japanese! there were no english instructions at all! that was kinda cool. by the time we got to our hostel the yha (def. recommend it was clean and the common areas were nice - the decor was loony though) we hopped into bed and it was lights out.

next morning susan did the wash and reprimanded me for being lazy. then she remembered she hadn't put any of the FREE soap in the machine so i reprimanded her for being funny. it was cloudy by the time we headed out for lunch and then the sun came out and it was horribly hot. we decided that would be a good time to go to the glacier. so we made our way over the one lane bridge (it is apparently popular to have a one lane bridge be the only way in and out of towns in NZ 'cause that's what it was like in queenstown too) and to the glacier. we did a short walk that promised us a stunning view of the glacier and a nice little lake. it was more of kinda a puddle and the glacier was far away, but whateves.

then we decided that even though it wasn't recommended because of flooding we were going to walk to the terminal face (now mind you just days before two young indians with my same name - Misra - were killed at the fox glacier so i was a little panicky about the whole glacier thing, but i wasn't going to miss it. sides tons of OTHER people were doing it). you have to ford a couple of creeks of cold water that's about a foot deep and walk over fields of small boulders (can you call them that when they are small? - I (susan) think they were large rocks) to walk to the cut off safe point. which was like a long ways from the glacier and it really didn't say you couldn't keep going, just that it was at your own risk. which is lame warning! signage. i was again intrigued by touching waterfalls so i did that and egged susan to do it even though she was scared :p it started to deluge as we headed back to the car. luckily we had all that rain gear we had purchased for australia :]

after the glacier we drove down to some lagoon that was supposed to be full of herons that had migrated from florida, but there was only one bird. it was gorgeous bird though and we were happy to see him 'cause otherwise it'd have been a wasted trip. Very true and it was kind of funny to be in NZ to see a heron that there are hundreds of in Florida.

after the lagoon we had planned to go to these hot pools that were filled with heated glacier water. even though it was a brand new complex it looked sketchy - like you were totally gonna get an std in that water so we just decided to play the lotto and head back to the hostel. we spent the night in watching movies and chatting with some of the other people and played a game before heading to bed. the next morning it was still cloudy and rainy so susan didn't go on her helicopter tour of the glaciers (it was very sad - i (susan) only wanted to splurge on this one helicopter ride since I remembered the glaciers in Alaska, and it was the easiest way to walk on the glacier). i (toisha) was totally relieved 'cause it was stressing me out the thought of her over mountains in a helicopter. too many movies for this one.

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