Monday, October 27, 2008

My Kiwi Experience!: Franz Josef

The climb up to Franz Josef Glacier made me realise that I am a VERY UNFIT young lady. The half day climb was called Fox Trot but I was definitely not trotting. I was not only petrified at how high up I was (I'm scared of heights), I was also overwhelmed by the amount of climbing we had to do. No wonder I was incredibly happy to finally feel the ice!

According to our guide, Franz Josef is one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, moving at one meter a day. It was an interesting climb as she explained the geographical aspects of the mountain, where the original spot of the glacier was and how landslides occur. She even had small pieces of ice for us to taste!

Although it was SUPER TIRING, I am glad I chose to go for this climb. I came back to the hostel with a happy feeling and with bleeding toes (my skin came off as a result of blisters). Ouch..

We went to Matherson Lake for lunch. As usual, I had something with salmon in it. Hahahaha... yum... We didn't walk the entire perimeter of the lake as we were short of time. Halfway, or less I think, we headed back to the car. On the way out of Franz Josef, we made sure we filled up the tank as the next petrol stop would be 200km away. Also, we picked two hitch-hikers!

Philipp and Pardis are German and this backpacking trip is for before they head back to Germany to pursue their tertiary education. I learnt a little something about the education system in Germany from Philipp and found out that they only finish high school at the age of 19. Throughout the whole journey to Wanaka, Pardis was singing to the songs played on the radio. It was as if she knew all the lyrics!

We stopped many times as there were many lakes with breathtaking scenery. It was dusk so the tapestry of colours in the sky was irresistable...

We very nearly didn't manage to find a place to roost. Purple Cow was fully booked and the YHA had bunks in separate rooms. Luckily, there was a place with a family suite, which we quickly grabbed. Philipp was more hyped up knowing that Wanaka is the less commercialised version of Queenstown. First stop the next morning: Information Centre to enquire about the snow activities!

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