Glaciers, hot pools and muddy shoes
Trip Start Jan 19, 2011
20Trip End Ongoing
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Well, we'll do a brief recap since the last blog....
On our way south from Punakaiki,... we stopped by and saw the Pancake Rocks and blowholes in which the area is named after. Stylobedding is the natural weathering/layering process that gives the rocks a stacked pancake look... totally beautiful and different than anything we've seen thus far.
Then we headed south a few hours to the Franz Josef Glacier..
It ended up raining for a couple of days straight, so we decided it was time to take a breather from being on the go the whole time and chilled for a couple of days. It's much colder here in the south island... and getting colder the farther south we go. We ended up stopping at a second hand store and stocking up on fleece jackets, scarves, gloves and hats and finding a hostel in Fox glacier with a free hot tub and sauna.... ahhhh... heaven. We spent two full days doing laundry, reading, journaling and watching Lord of the Rings movies. It was perfect. It also worked out that we were near a cool pub to celebrate St. Patrick's day with the locals... they sure know how to party... we couldn't really hang. :)
The Copland Track was next on the docket. This track was recommended to us from 3 different people, so we took it as a sign to add it in
Then we headed farther south to Haast... an itty bitty town... with one restaurant, one cafe, one gastation, one hostel/ motel, no cell phone reception, 150 locals, and about 6 billion sand flies. Holy shit! The sand flies have definitely sucked here in the south island... we joke that the sand flies balance out the yin yang ratio of all the beauty in this region... because they really are little bastards. (excuse my french) It doesn't really matter what you put on... I sprayed a puddle of insect repellant directly on a sandfly and it seemed to bath in it and then bite me! And the wetness of Haast was the perfect breeding ground for the sand flies... they were everywhere. At night they aren't around,... just during the day,..
Colin and I competed in a pool competition there... we lost, but held our own and won the respect from the locals. I was the only woman in the tournament. IT was fun for sure. We also got fresh mussels off the rocks and steamed them up for dinner one night.... mmmmmm. Delishious!
We are now in Wanaka in a backpaker's hostel right by the lake. Wanaka's great... a layed back town with an Asheville feel. Massage/ healing arts flyers everywhere, vegetarian/ organic cafes and grocery stores,... fine arts theatre. Who knows... we may just stay here for a few days... there are dozens of day hikes with incredible views nearby. All in all, life is wonderful and we are constantly in a state of awe and gratitude.
p.s. Happy 3rd Birthday Adelyn and Happy 85th Birthday Grandmug... I love you both dearly.