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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: -43.3891, 170.182
After checking out of the hostel and I waited outside for the bus at 9.20. The Newman's coach was supposed to pick me up from YHA at 9.39 am but at 9.55, I saw one Newmans bus going straight towards the main stop near the lake so I panicked and I called the Intercity bus as I thought they had forgotten me as I was the only one person being picked up from YHa. The idea of being stranded was very daunting but I was very relieved when they told me that the driver was late. After 15 mins, I was finally on the bus and I got a window seat but than many people got on at Ardmore st at the lake and the bus was full, I was lucky to get the last window seat. We passed lake Hawea, Haast, Copeland Track (Karangarua) and Fox glacier passing lovely valleys mountains lakes. West Coast was lovely and I could see MT Cook more clearly approaching Franz Josef then on the MT cook tour.
We got to Franz Josef, later then schedule and my hostel check in at Chateau Franz was quick, though there were few
people from the coach staying in this hostel. I had TV, fridge, kettle, coffee tea and milk in the room which was a bonus for a hostel. I quickly put my laundry to wash and then everybody lined up for the free veggie soup which was really good, there were doughnuts and meat pies as well. The shower was great in my room, the laundry with drying cost me $9 with the washing powder which was very cheap, there was free wifi in the room and I was v happy here in Chateau Franz.
Next morning I had free breakfast at the hostel which was cereals, toast and hot drinks. This hostel did their best to make people happy, there was also a hot tub and free popcorn in the evening and I went for a walk in the rainforest which was nice as I do like rainforest.
On the way back, I shopped at the local supermarket and I had pizza for lunch. I sorted and packed my laundry as I was leaving tomorrow to go back to CCH by bus and train.
Then I took the shuttle to Franz Josef glazier which can be arranged with the
Franz Josef Glacier
The German geologist and explorer Julius von Haast named the glacier after the emperor of Austria-Hungary in 1865. Franz Josef Glacier is currently about 10 km long with a tongue stretching about 4km into the valley and with a snowfield (at the head of the glacier) covering about 29km. Glaciers are made up of fallen snow which over many years have compressed together to form large thickened ice masses. This ice then flows downhill due to the pressure of the new snow and ice at the top. The glaciers move like slow rivers, Franz Josef glacier for example flows about 1.5 to 7 meters per day. At low altitude (at the glacier's tongue) the ice then melts to close the cycle. Due to global warming the glacier's melting is quicker though then it's accumulation of new ice, so the glaciers are retreating (shrinking)
I walked up a curved path to the observation platform; it was a nice clear day and the site of the glacier and mountains were brilliant even though Franz Josef glacier has retreated back. You can see it more closer if you take guided walk or helicopter
ride but I took a walk around the rainforest area and I caught the next shuttle back. I had lovely relaxing time in Franz Josef, the view from my room was magnificent, It was lovely place to recoup and I felt at home at this hostel. I would recommend this hostel as they go out of their way to make people happy.
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