Franz Josef

Trip Start Jan 03, 2006
Trip End Jan 22, 2006

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Friday, January 6, 2006

Jim: Well after a pretty uneventful bus trip from Hokitika we arrived in Franz Josef!! Evertything started pretty well the hostel was really good and had a hot spa and did free soup everynight!! The carrot and pumpkin was thoroughly enjoyable! We had to go to the franz josef glacier office when we arrive to do our briefing for the following day... tey reommended 3-4 layers of clothing and a good lunch to be brought with you!! They also imformed us of the little ladder bridges we would have to make our way over that had a 300m drop below them... i didnt like the sounsd of that very much!! After that had a pretty quiet and casual night still of the beers!! Cooked some dinner and had a good couple of hours of red hot scrabble action!!! Rob only seemed to be able to make words containing 3 letters and ads had the monopoly on vowels, o's in particular!! t one point i think he had 4 o's!! not much use.

Well, we had a pretty early start for our glacier trip but it was well worth it. Thanfully the sun was out and we had a good day for it. We got all kitted up boots and ice tallons, waterproofs gloves and scarfs and headed for the glacier. It really was very impressive we had a 2.5km walk from the car park to the glacier. We first had to climb for about an hour up some near vertical ice steps in which we went up over 100m... it might not seem much but it was pretty hard graft. we manouvered the bridges with 300m drops without too much concern... to be honest it didnt seem to be that far down!! we continued on the ready cut paths for another hour or so until we stopped for lunch at around 250m up!! We were now on the top of the glacier and the views down the valley were stunning... one of the most incredible places ive stopped for lunch!! After lunch we carried on up the glacier with our guides (mine was called tangi and looked a lot like orlando bloom-ad had a bit of a thing for him!!!) cutting there own tracks furhter up the glacier. We encountered some pretty tight crevasses which i nearly got stuck in and made our way over some pretty steep waves of ice. We eventually reached our peak at around 600m up and the view from there was incredible. It was real;ly hard work but one of the best things ive done while ive been away! The glacier itself at the top is so big, its got a greater area than that of Auckland city and Rarotonga!! The climb down was equally impressive even thought the weather did turn slightly and we had some pretty good showers!! A pretty tiring day and the legs were a bit sore at the end but well worth it!! had a pretty quiet night after all that physical effort, we relaxed in the spa for a bit then watched a movie!!

Off to Wanaka next then Queenstown.. Hopefully the photos will follow shortly!!

Stay tuned T.pod fans..
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