Since I have internet and my last post was so long, I thought I would spare you with a quick one this time. We left Invercargill and the Bluff area and traveled up to Queenstown. We stayed one night there catching up on some laundry, school and just down time. We left making our way over the passes to Franz Josef. It was a gloomy day with a lot of rain, it doesn't seem to damper the majesty of the nature all around us. There are so many little things to see along the way as you are traveling the highways. We don't often stop but when we do there seems to be little surprises every time we make the effort. I wish I could put into words the beauty that surrounds us. As we were crossing over our one way bridges, sharp 15km corners, rushing rivers, waterfalls, high cliff mountains starting just inches from our side of the road and drop offs on the other to the deep valleys below... I often try to grab a photo. Many time it is too dangerous to stop the car, and when we do we are rushed or Chris has to move the car up so that I can stand on the side to grab a shot. The kids just roll their eyes and tolerate my moans and sighs and comments of, "Oh that was amazing, I would have loved to get a picture of that" as we drive along. Thank god for digital cameras. I would have had to have been sponsored by Kodak if I did this trip years ago.
|The little Blue Cottage in Bluff|
I finally couldn't take it and we stopped at a waterfall rest area called Fantail falls. We walked out to the river and there on the banks were all these rock statues on the banks of the river that people have made while they were enjoying the waterfall. It was such a cool sight to see so of course, mandatory participation of rock statue building by all of the Family Circus was in order. Nice way to stretch your legs, and take a breather from the car ride. The roads are so curvy that I get a little sick...
|Tristan found a heart rock for me...|
|Eat your heart out... :@)|
We got into our house just north of Franz Josef and it is super nice and JC the owner is great. It is nestled in the bush and backs up to the roaring river so you can hear it from the house... I love the soothing sound of rushing water.
The forecast called for heavy rain for the next week here in this area so we figured that the heli-hike wouldn't be worth the money it would cost to take all 6 of us up there if we can't see anything. We decided to take advantage of a short break in the weather on Tuesday to do our self guided hike up to the glacier. We wanted to hike the Fox Glacier since you can get closer to it without a guide than the Franz Josef Glacier. Unfortunately it was closed due to heavy flooding, washed out paths and unstable glacier...
|You can see the kids in the upper right hand corner throwing rocks into the lake..|
I can will never get enough of these glacial blue lakes..Gorgeous!
|My picture from the same lookout of the glacier today|
|Picture of Franz Josef Glacier in 2007|
|Glacial valley view on the return from the glacier|
|Alina..... that doesn't look to stable!|
|Love the science here... Tree roots showing mechanical weathering at its best|
The glacier is named after the Māori name Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere ('The tears of Hinehukatere'), arising from a local legend: Hinehukatere loved climbing in the mountains and persuaded her lover, Wawe, to climb with her. Wawe was a less experienced climber than Hinehukatere but loved to accompany her until an avalanche swept Wawe from the peaks to his death. Hinehukatere was broken hearted and her many, many tears flowed down the mountain and froze to form the glacier. I love learning about all the local legends of each of the countries we visit.
|Reflection of glacier in Peter's Pool, the glacier used to be right on the other side of this pool in 1894, now you can hardly see it from here.|
|Yes... my glacial sand sample of the crushed rocks lying everywhere|
We have a lay over day to catch up on school and get ahead before our early start tomorrow to Barrytown for the kids Knife making class. We have rain in our forecast for the next few days which is perfect for our inside activities and then the skies open up for Easter and our vineyard and Abel Tasman stay... We have been very fortunate and are very thankful for our opportunities to enjoy our surroundings in great conditions.