Walking on ice...........
19.11.2007 - 23.11.2007 12 °C
Our first look at the south island was arriving on the ferry into Picton through the Malborough sounds. What a start to the sightseeing :-)
We then drove through beautiful vineyards making a mental note to stop this way on route back to the ferry. Carried on through beautiful hills and Mountains stumbing upon Lake Rotoiti on route. Coming out of season was a good idea, there was only one other couple to share the lake with
We spent our first night in Murchison, a tiny little town on route to the West coast. We found a little motel run by a lady who has lived there all her life and rented her massive 2 bed house for the night. It was kitted out in a retro 1950's style and had amazing views all round and its own garden. Making the most of the sunshine she let me borrow her son's bike and I headed off for a ride in the countryside
We headed over towards the coast, the scenery was again very pretty, we managed to get the last room in town in the place called Greymouth, it wasn't much to write home about but I did catch a lovely sunset on the beach
Next we headed south and I went for a walk at Cape Foulwind lighthouse, as I struggle to brush my hair I think this is very well named.
Next stop a smelly sea colony where we watched all the seal pups playing in the ricky surf and here I realised how far away from home I had come!
From here on in the weather was pretty miserable, much like home, grey drizzle :-(
We arrived in Franz Josef and took the hour walk to the base of the glacier. I have to say it didn't look that impressive, kind of unreal. I really wanted a closer look so I booked myself on the Heli hike for the next day. I woke up bright and early and it was fairly clear but the cloud closed in within half and hour and my trip was cancelled :-( Instead we headed to the coast for the day and within half and hour we were out of the cloud and lying on the beach in the sun!
I rebooked my heli hike for the next day and this time it went ahead as planned. My entire group was 11 girls and the pilot certainly gave us a spin in the copter on the way up. The glacier was a much grander sight from above. After donning our crampons we set off for a bit of a wander around the ice. It was chilly up there but when the sun came out it was lovely and warm. There were a few pools of beautiful blue water and some lovely blue ice caves :-)