Hello from Fox Glacier! We arrived here from the Amesome Queenstown, around yesterday lunch time. Found our hostel within seconds as there is only about 3 streets in the whole town, which is ok, nice room, rubbish kitchen, normal kind of story really! So we wondered around for a whole 2minutes to kind the shop to buy dinner, just a small convienience store, so pasta for dinner for the next eternity!
Ok, so after watching Deep Blue Sea last night, (good idea just before we go to Fiji!), had a good rest, and then up early this morning for our GLACIER WALKING!
So we have been looking forward to this for quite a while now, and it certainly didnt disapoint! We arrived for our check in at 8:35, got kitted up with some chunky leather boots and jackets, crampons etc, before we jumped on the 5mionute bus to the carpark at the face of the glacier. From the photos (and whilst we were there) it was so hard to put the scale into a perspective, a 'small' boulder which had fallen a few weeks ago into the centre of the vally, was actually the size of a house, and yet tiny in comparison to the face of the glacier. We had about 15 minute walk through the vally where the glacier had carved its way through the mountains, surrounded by towering cliffs and waterfalls, and the percariously (sorry about the spelling) placed boulders either side of the track. Once we got to the real start of the track, 750 steep steps through the ajoining rain forest, we wondered whether it was going to be worth it. We had to do alot of climbing and walking before we finally (after about 1 and a half hours of walking) got to the bottom of the glacier and onto the ice. A truley awesome view, which was well worth the hard walk.
So at the bottom of the glacier, we were being watched very closely by some Alpine Parrots, which were very curious, and certainly not scared of us. Apparently they are the 'monkies' of NZ, as they will nick anything that they can get there beaks on. They followed us for most of the trip to be honest, which was pretty cool as even tho they arn't as brightly coloured as normal parots, they are still pretty impressive to look at (and still colourful, dont get me wrong!).
Okay, so we stopped at the base, put on our clampons, and replaced all the clothing that we had taken off for the long walk at the start! Even tho it was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, it was still very nippy on the ice... obviously. The guide took us round various peaks and dips, and we followed the track that the guys in front were caving for us out of the ice with their pick axes. Its wierd to think that we were wondering around for an hour on the ice, and we covered an area the size of a match stick in comparison to the actual glacier, so hard to explain unless you have done it! We saw a load of ice wells, which were just like a crevis going into the ice sheaths below, carved out by water. And were also lucky enough to find a small tunnel which we obviously had some fun posing in. Apparently its not often that you find one on a half day tour, and they close up or melt within a day or 2, so very pleased! So after an hour on the ice, we again started the huge walk back to the carpark, climbing through some rappidly swelling rivers as the sun carried on melting the ice away. At one point we heard a huge smashing sound as part of the face broke away from the rest of the glacier and shattered on the vally floor. This again (i feel like i have said this every time since we have been in NZ) has certainly been one of the higlights of the trip, really amazing! We have another day here tomorrow, before we head up to Nelson for a few days, but as this is our final 'official' activity of NZ, i'm not sure how many blogs il post, but i will do my best to find something to qrite about! TTFN xx