Adventuring in New Zealand- part the 13th
Or: Hanging out with my new friend Franz Josef
Ok. So I have less than a week left in my trip and I don’t know if I’ve saved the best for last, but I’ve definitely saved the TOTALLY AWESOME for the almost last.
Today started like any other day: breakfast I the hostel followed by a search for real coffee. In case you were wondering, coffee tastes better near a glacier.
Also shown: my new New Zealand hat and polar fleece.
Specifically, coffee tastes better next to the Franz Josef Glacier, named for the Austrian duke, Franz Josef, who is most notable for being the father of Franz Ferdinand, who is most notable for being murdered to start WWI. There is also a band named after him. But I think WWI is slightly better known.
Then the fun started. After getting completely outfitted with boots, wool socks, waterproof pants, a Gortex jacket, and a set of cramp-ons, I was ready for the walk through the jungle. Why through the jungle, you ask? Because this glaciers is next to a rain forest.
Ok, boring parts over. Because who wants to hear about ANOTHER rainforest?
Oh! Sorry, I have to run. My ride is here:
And, in case you missed it on facebook, here I am in the helicopter:
By the way, this post is dedicated to my parents and all of the dollars (USD) they spent on orthodontics for me.
And here is a waterfall we flew by:
What is that little shadow in the middle? Oh! That is the helicopter I was in. No big deal.
In case you were thinking I got carried away with the helicopter ride, don’t worry. We also spent three hours hiking around on the ice. Or “tramping” as it is called in NZ. I booked the earliest flight I could get on (9:30), and we only had 7 people (usually there are 12).
Look at all that snow! And not a single bit to shovel!
We walked on paths, up and down stairs cut into the ice,
across glacier, by (and over) crevasses,
Past avalanches (not close ones) and waterfalls with rainbows,
And everywhere. In addition to ice and rocks, we saw some Kia (mountain parrots) in their native habitat. The guide, Wyatt, was AWESOME. He is a total nerd and absolutely appreciated the references to “and my axe”*.
The weather was perfect, global warming hasn’t destroyed the glacier yet, and two helicopter rides and 10 hours later I’m still running on adrenaline.
How was your day?
*Lord of the Rings reference, Mum