Ice Ice Baby...

Trip Start May 23, 2006
Trip End Sep 17, 2006

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Where I stayed

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, June 19, 2006

So I got rudely awoken this morning at stupid o'clock by two Korean girls in teh same dorm as me - they decided that it would be a great idea to set their alarm for 6 am and then press snooze about 7 times - I was fairly annoyed at them as you might imagine, I was also slightly hungover which didn't make things better!

Everyone on the bus this morning that went out last night felt rough too though so that made me feel a bit better - I  blame the hops and the fact that they can't be digested and make you think you have drunk lots of beer - that is seriously what they do - What Rich must be feeling I can't say - rough I imagine, he didn't look too great anyway, and he is meant to be learning stuff!

I'm off a bit further down the coast today - to a place called Franz Josef.

The first place we stopped today was just down the road in a place called Hokitika, which is famous for its Greenstone, or Jade. I didn't buy anything for myself as that is bad luck but I did buy Matthew a present, a twisty necklace thing, its kinda cool I like it a lot. In Maori tradition if someone else wears the Greenstone before it is given to the intended wearer then teh Greenstone is imbued with all the goodness and love from the person that is giving it... or something, so I am now wearing it.

After Hokitika we went to Ross which is the Gold capital of NZ - or used to be back in the day anyway. It wasn't that great really, some people did gold panning, but it seemed really forced and fake so I didn't do it, but I did find amusing signage in the girls toilets so that made me happy!

From Ross we went straight through to Franz Josef. We purposly got there early so that people who wanted to could do a half day glacier walk - we wanted to, I mean me and Lucie and Alma did.

D'Ya know I amaze myself sometimes, Franz Josef has to be the smallest place in the whole of NZ and I managed to get lost!!! I don't know how though - there are only like 4 streets and they are in a grid - but I just could not direct me and Lucie to the office of the Glacier Guide people, even though it had been pointed out to us!!! so we were late (as usual for me).

We got all kitted out with our boots, jackets, and crampons and were ready to set off. The first part was a bit boring, it was just a bus ride then a walk through a forest, then all of a sudden you came to the end of the forest and you could see a valley with a massive glacier flowing down into it - just awesome!

After a 30 minute walk to the front (or terminal face) of the glacier it was time to put our crampons on and head onto the ice... it was so good, I mean how many people can say that they have walked on a glacier??? at least 20 I'd say as that was how many people were in our group before we split off into two!!! We had to climb up huge flights of ice steps and walk through crevasses and at one point we even had to crawl through a small ice tunnel - I didn't like that part, but it truely was amazing.

A half day was so not long enough though, you only got like an hour or so on the actual ice but as I am pushed for time I couldn't really hang around, which I guess technically is a lie but I didn't want to hang around much longer especially not on my own!

Once we were back in the village and were dry and warm again, we set off to meet the people off the bus at the local pizza place, it was good pizza and on special, we met up with some other people a bit later on in a bar called Monsoon where they had the best slogan "It Rains, We Pour", we had some drinks and some shots and laughed a lot but the bus was leaving before 7am tomorrow so we all called it a night pretty early - and it was sooo cold walking back, I am defo gonna need some thermals!!!
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