Glacier at Franz Joseph

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, August 4, 2007

made it to Franz Joseph by noon today.  Hiked 5km  to the glacier but did not have any room left on my memory card so hope the two young woman who I hiked with, from Germany and Austria, will email me their pics. It is very beautiful here, in the Southern 'Alps'.  Started raining quite hard so we hitched part of the way back - fortunately with a nice middle aged couple who were driving a warm car with a big backseat!
The Hostel here called 'Chateau Franz' offers free soup at 6 p.m., free videos (our 6 bed dorm room has all females!,a tv and VCR, plus our own little kitchen and bathroom and heater!), free popcorn all we can eat but pop our own, and a free drink coupon at Bar Ice across the road.  Not bad for $24 NZ (about $22 Can).
Tomorrow will be a long haul into Queenston, leaving at 7:30 a.m. sharp (every morning is an early one) and arriving there at 5:30 p.m. We do make several stops along the way for small hikes to things, photo ops etc.  Yesterday we hiked to a seal colony and then to 'pancake' rocks, very distinctive rocks made of layers of limestone and sandstone, and just standing in the water off the Coast, which is absolutely breathtaking and very isolated, much more than any other country I have seen.
The Magic Bus driver on this leg is pretty cool - we have to raise our arms and legs when going over railroad tracks, a bit of a ritual with him; he sings along to his punk rock CDs and his voice isn't all that great and he jokes a lot.  The NZ bus/transport drivers all salute each other; previous driver Ryan had a very peculiar way of kind of a zig zag simulation of shooting a gun (I would need to demonstrate).  Anyway when Colin found out i lived in Yellowknife, he got all excited and said that is next on his list to go to and he knew a lot about it - go figure!
Tonight my dorm is going to borrow a movie and eat popcorn..
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