Mountains and Glaciers

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , Westland,
Thursday, November 25, 2010


Day : 195
Temperature : 24 degrees
Weather : Cloudy early morning clearing to brilliant sunshine and blue skies

We had a long drive south when we arrived at the town of Franz Joseph. Unfortunately the weather was absolutely pants. Grey and drab with low cloud…not great for viewing mountains and glaciers. Nonetheless, we donned our walking boots and headed out on the 50 minute walk to the terminal face of the glacier. Ten minutes into the walk and the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. We continued on. We'd come this far. We reached the glacier…we were the only people mad enough to be out in this weather.  By this time the weather was so foul it was impossible to get any pics of the glacier as the rain lashed down onto the camera lens. It was obvious the weather was not going to clear and so we retreated back to the shelter of Harold who we’d left talking to some of his mates in the car park. We decided to head further south…maybe the weather would be better?  When we reached the little town by the Fox Glacier we drove up and down dirt track roads for an age, one hand out of the window with the mobile phone…we needed internet access, and a good signal is hard to come by here.  Eventually, after an hour, we found a remote little spot by the side of a small dirt track road.  Unfortunately, the weather was still rubbish and there were no amazing views for us.

We woke up early the following morning….but the weather was still pants with thick, grey cloud hanging low in the skies. We made some phone calls…we’d successfully managed to get some internet connection….and got ourselves organised.  Next thing we know, the cloud is lifting. Brilliant sunshine and bright blue skies gradually replace the cloud and we are allowed the most magnificent views of snow capped Mount Cook and the Southern Alps and the Fox Glacier. Fantastic.

We walk up to the terminal face of the glacier as helicopters whirred past overhead taking guests high up into the mountains. We’d have loved to do this, but it was frighteningly expensive….that would have to be another thing we would do when we come back!!

We drove on, further south, past more beautiful coastlines and into Mount Aspiring National Park. It was getting late so we decided to park up somewhere…it just so happened that there was a lovely lake with a backdrop of stunning mountains. We pulled Harold over, got the chairs out and sat down with a glass of wine.  Just in time to see the sun dip behind the mountains.  What a life!

Finally managed to upload some more photos....enjoy.
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