Lets take this gig global!!
Aright there guys, Well, for the past few days I have been travelling through the heart of the south island, west coast stylee and that means only one thing.......Glacier country!! After Wanaka, Unda, pete and I piled into the Stationwagon and headed to Fox Glacier. The township is a tiny little village engulfed by the surrounding mountains and glacier itself. It really is 'the land of the giants round here'. I stayed in a really nice cosy hostel called Ivory Towers which was perfect as I was still feeling a little under the weather. For this reason, i chose not to do my glacier walk just yet. Instead, whilst Unda and Pete headed off to tackle Fox i decided to do what the doctors always recommend for a mild cold...........hire a bike and cycle all day until you cant cycle anymore!!! haha. Not one to mope around I decided to get some fresh air and take in some of the scenery so hired a bike for the day. Now it was meant to be a leisurely cruise but me being....well..........me...it turned into a massive day involving cycling 34km in total and walking for 3 hrs!! Not exactly the best idea when you are trying to shrug off a cold!! It was good fun though and included some walks up through the forest to the glacier terminal and various look out points and then out of town to Peak view point to check out the views of Mt Cook and Tasmen (V. impressive!) finally wrapped up with a cruise around the beautiful Lake Matheson. Kodak moments all day long I'll tell ya! That night I was shattered so sat round the roasting fire sipping untold cups of boiled lemons (a Knight family secret recipe!!) before passing out by 10pm! The following day we said our goodbyes to Unda as she headed off to Greymouth then our own goodbyes to Fox Glacier as pete and I bombed the short distance upto the slightly larger Franz Josef Township. We checked into another nice hostel (chateau Franz) and I booked my glacier trek for the following day. I went for the full day option and even got a good discount which was sweet. So, early doors yesterday 20 brave soles headed upto tackle the 'Franz' as its known to the locals. The glacier is so famous and unique due to its low latitude and close proximity to the rainforest. There are only 3 places in the world where you see this: here, Fox and one somewhere in Patagonia so seeing two out of the three aint bad!! Ive gotta say that uptil now I have been extremely lucky with the weather on all my activites and trips but unfortunately on this day I think it had all accumulated and came back to bite me on the ass big time as it was terrential rain and cold all day long!! The glacier itself was immense- climbing up carved staircases and sliding through the most narrow crevasses possible, over bridges and under holes/caves whilst marvelling at the blue mass of ice. For most of the time it doesnt really look real, more like its been made out of foam or something and its so smooth that you feel like you are sliding about on a giant Fox Glacier mint!! It was defo one of the highlights of my trip and i think on a good clear day it would have been the best thing I have done but I have to admit that the weather did tarnish the experience a little!! After 5 hrs soaked to the bone, the wet and cold started to take its toll and even the most hardened outdoor types were feeling it!! But it was still great fun though. After defrosting in some much needed hot showers and spa treatments when we got back, we all had a good feed and then headed out for a few much needed beers last night!! Was a quality laugh as we had a real good group but unfortunately I had to leave them all today as I have headed further north to Greymouth by bus. I am going to stay here for just the one night then off back to C'church tomo on the tranzalpine train which should be sweet! I'll keep you all posted. Dan