We left Queenstown and started the 8 hour drive up the West Coast to Franz Josef, a nice drive but a sleepy one! The next morning we were up early to start our glacier walk.As we were getting kitted up with the lovely attire, we were offered some waterproof pants that surprisingly very few people took. They soon regretted this though as up on the glacier it got cold, especially when we were sat round for lunch.. no wet bums for us, ha ha!
We had to put ourselves in groups between 1 and 5 based on our ability, not wanting to be completely defeatist we put ourselves in the middle. Groups are roughly on the glacier for 6 hours after walking the deceiving 2.5k walk to reach it, but because our group was quite good we followed group 1 and went an extra 2 hours. Our guide Ben had been doing the trips for over a year and never got as far as we did that day so he was really pleased.
The views were amazing and climbing in between, up and over cracks was brilliant! There were a few moments where we got stuck in between walls of ice, but it was all fun. At times some parts were very difficult, having to climb up/down ropes alongside a massive drop, but despite being exhausted it was definitely worthwhile. Only bad part… the walk back down! Back at the hostel we jumped in the spa to warm ourselves up and try to prevent the pain our bodies were clearly going to face the next day, before getting our pj´s on and chilling out.
The next morning we set of on our detour to Christchurch where we had to take the camper to get fixed. We left the bed out so that if we were tired we could have a rest, and as Aimee was chilling in the back we saw a hitchhiker. At first we drove past but after seeing him with a bandage on his leg we felt slightly guilty and turned round offering him a lift if he didn't mind sitting in the back. He didn't mind at all and even got into bed with Aimee! We dropped him off in a National Park then continued on route, but not before collecting three more hitchhikers. They were three lads from America that are studying in New Zealand and spent weekends exploring different places. So that makes our tally of hitchhikers 9 =)
When we eventually got to Christchurch we were a bit later than expected and the guy (who was extremely moody) told us that we were going to have to leave the camper with them over night, hmmm. Luckily, we got checked into a holiday park close by and had a shed-like cabin for the night. Only bonus of this was that we ordered pizza and spent the night watching films (oh how we´ve missed TV!)
After picking the camper up and being extremely happy that we didn't have to pay for any water pipes etc, we drove north to Picton stopping in Kaikoura and Blenheim. We sat and had a few drinks in the sun before boarding the ferry to Wellington… Until next time, bye bye South Island!