Being that it was so cold I awoke early at 0715, helped by the hiking group getting organised. There was ice on the windscreen, and a magic dawn fog carpeting the valley which made a pretty atmospheric drive over to Haast on the coast.
(Picture : Bruce Bay beach) I pushed on stopping at a Bruce Bay beach for a few pics, then popped up to Fox Glacier via a few sidetrips. I scooted down to Gillespies Beach for a peek which gave superb views from the beach to the mountains of Mount Tasman and Mount Cook (shown in the picture). I then went for a brief walk around Lake Matheson (although by now the clouds had started to ruin the typical NZ sunny day I’ve been treated with, spoiling the picture postcard mountain reflection views you usually get from here), then headed up to Fox Glacier. I was going to stay the night here but took a short walk to the glacier’s face rather than the longer cloud covered Chalet Lookout walk I intended to do.
(Pictures: Fox Glacier)
Doing this made my mind up to hot foot it up to Franz Josef Glacier for the night (oh the joys of having your own transport!!).
(Picture : Indoor ice climbing wall at Franz Josef) I managed to get a dorm space, opting for a comfortable warm night, although my Rab sleeping bag has not been failing me! I opted for the Rainforest Retreat, as recommended by a mate. I had a quick look into the indoor ice wall in Franz Josef and it made me wonder why Glencoe’s Ice Factor back home couldn’t manage to keep their wall in such amazing condition with loads of features to play with. A few beers were had in the local, then I popped up to another bar to watch a live singer for a bit of culture. Back to the local for a couple of beers, then back for a bit of a read.
Then my quiet night was ruined….. my mum reads this so I won’t go into the details, but the beds in the room were rocking (not mine!!), I only got a short kip, then the bloody fire alarm went off minutes before the frickin’ Contiki bus left at 0600. Bloody tour buses!!!!!!!
At least it got me up early I guess……