Finally we are in New Zealand rather than Scotland

Trip Start Nov 14, 2008
Trip End Mar 10, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Monday, December 8, 2008

Saturday 7th December
The drive down from Nelson to Franz Joseph Glacier only took 6 hours, with not many people out on the roads. I drove the first 4ish hours whilst Jackie had the occassional snooze at the side of me. We swapped over driving at Greymouth, but to be honest I was right up for taking the steering wheel back when Jackie went to start the car by putting the key in her ear???!!! Needless to say we got here safe & sound! Drive down was lovely & its nice to get into countryside which looks different from Scotland! The Franz Joseph Glacier stretches right down almost to road level & is certainly the lowest level glacier I've ever seen. Hopefully we will get a chance to do a half day Glacier hike where they crampon you up & get to walk on the ice.

Sunday 8th December
Managed to catch up on a few Skype calls - good to see you are all looking well. Boyley called just before 2am my time (was updating the blog) & I got to see my bairn for the first time in 3 weeks. Needless to say she totally ignored my voice, but then again she could be more the slightly miffed at the fact that her guardian for the next 4 months has had her dressed up in a Santa suit for cats?!
Got to bed at 3am & had a nice long lie in til after 11am. Weather today is appalling so to be honest we are right back to Scotland again as you can only see rain & no mountains let alone glaciers! We weren't going to be doing much today anyway so actually if its going to rain at all it might as well be today. Popped out for a nice bit of lunch in the local coffee shop. Bit of portion control required on the chips though as we ordered 2 small portions & ended up with 2 baskets of chips - god knows what the large size would have been like! So back at the computer just now trying to upload the photos & finally get some of them on the blog. Not sure if we are going to do the glacier walk now as apparently the weather has been bad & this has eroded away bits of the path so that time spent on the ice has been reduced & there doesn't seem to be the opportunity to get into the ice caves. Jackie wouldn't be able to do it anyway as it does involve 30 minutes of walking up & then down steep ice steps which would knacker her knee. So thinking perhaps that the $95 could go towards say a heli trip up to a Glacier down at Queenstown.

Finally ventured out for tea at around 8pm after what seems like days trying to get the photos uploade onto the internet. We went to a curry house at the other end of our street a huge 5 minutes walk away! We opted for the vegetarian banquet which consited of a vegie platter to start, a choice of 2 meals from the veggie section (we opted for aloo gobi & tarka dal) complete with rice, naan, popadums, either icecream or gulab jamun for pudding. All of this came in at $26 per person - thats less than 10 a head?! I think the meat version was only a couple of dollars more. Food was really nice & all washed down with the rather tasty Monteiths Ales. Very strange but enjoyable mix of music - 80s DJ mix! On way home venured into Monsoon at the rainforest retreat for a nightcap. The place was alive with 20somethings (i'm guessing staff from the various hotels) all enjoying a night off. Nice atmosphere set off this time by music from the 90s - I dont think NZ has actually moved into this millenium yet!!

Went for a drive today 5 minutes down the road to the Franz Jospef glacier. Recent heavy rain meant that the main path up to the glacier was closed due to supposed overflowing rivers. However looking at the many people slipping under the barrier & walking out (and I guess more importantly getting back not dead!) to towards the glacier it was obvious that the water had subsided a bit. Always one for a risk I too slipped the barrier whist Jackie played it safe & stayed by the bags. Really I've encountered worse rocks & hazzards walking down Great Western Road! Couldnt get right up to the glacier as there was a river in the way but could still get pretty close.

Drove on down to Fox glacier hoping that it might have reopened, unfortunately the subtle signs on the access path told us otherwise! Thought we might be able to at least view the glacier but no that was also closed. Actually surprised we made it to the glacier viewing point road as going through Fox Glacier town Jackie decided to drive through foot deep potholes at 70kmh; my ipod attempted a bungy from its holder, the steering wheel was all over the place & I'm surprised the actual back wheel stayed on! Other car issues today is that our big water has leaked in the boot to totally magnify the already boak smell of dead body in there. This smell has now gotten into the car & really makes you want to wrench - not good. Bicarb of soda & febreeze extra seem to be doing to trick at the moment, but the test will be when the boot is opened at Queenstown - please let the dead body smell be gone!!!
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ma-and-pa on

A fluffy George look-a-like?
We are not surprised she didn't acknowledge you, not only have you abandonded her but have left her with a 'Cruella Deville' proffering tiny morsals of tuna as some sot of small recompense for loss of dignity! Mind you,the photos on Theresa's site were definitely hilarious. How on earth did she get the suit on? - now that would have been a good video to watch.

When the weather is awful there's not much else to do but eat, drink and be merry! Your culinary adventures are keeping us entertained. Here along with the vivid blue skies we had something of a mini heatwave - all of 5C.

Typical of you slipping under the barrier and ignoring 'the sensible one'. Still the glacier looks a bit like a steeper Thimblehall Drive - except you have to try and drive the car down it!

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