Happy Sunday Funday everyone!! I wish I could say that I’m celebrating, but unfortunately my immune system has other plans and I’m sick again 😦 I started my morning off with a spin class (which kicked my butt) and now I am parking myself in the library where I will remain for the rest of my existence.
Okay, so where did I leave off? We had just finished hiking Abel Tasman and were finally rejoined civilization in Nelson. One day and a 10 hour bus ride later, we arrived in Fox Glacier, a small town on the Southwest coast of the South Island. Our bus driver stopped pretty frequently to let us use the bathroom and stretch our legs, which was much needed. We stopped at pancake rocks along the way, which were super interesting and reminded me of the scene at the beginning of Shutter Island where Leo washes up on the shore of somewhere. Anyone else? Just me? Probably.
Our campsite here was really nice and they even had washing machines (!!!) so we were able to wash all our smelly, rain soaked clothes. This was a very big moment for us.
Funny story about Fox Glacier. My girlfriend Shennel was sick and it was cold outside, so we were not exactly looking forward to sleeping in our tent. Somehow, we came up with the brilliant idea to sleep on the floor of the kitchen/TV area inside. It was a good thing we did too, because it stormed like crazy that night. This was the beginning of the “sleeping in strange places” theme we had for the rest of the trip.
The next morning, we woke up bright and early (seriously, I had never woken up so early on so many consecutive days before this ever) to go see the infamous glacier of Fox Glacier. Shennel was still sick, so Eve and I had to conquer it on our own. When we arrived at the tour center, we were dressed in super stylish glacier climbing outfits. It’s really hard being so attractive all the time, but by now I’m used to it.
Our tour guides were great, super entertaining and knowledgable. And they protected us when we walked through the “avalanche warning” area. We hiked up a mountain for about 20 minutes before we came to the beginning of the actual glacier. Before we could step on the ice, we had to put these little spikes on the bottoms of our shoes so we wouldn’t fall and we each got handed a walking stick. Like I said before, really really cute.
We started by climbing up “stairs” that were carved into the side of the glacier. It is someone’s job to climb up the glacier everyday and carve out these steps, and that’s it. It might be time for me to switch my major. Our guides told us that the steps had to be carved every single day because the glacier was melting so quickly that the steps totally disappear within 24 hours.
Isn’t it crazy how blue the ice is?? Our guides gave us a long explanation about why that is, but it involved something about color spectrums and as soon as my brain hears the word “science” I stop listening and start day dreaming about things like what color I should paint my nails next or what I want to eat for lunch.
There are heaps of little streams of melting glacier ice running down the glacier which are all purified and safe to drink. Of course I had to take my mittens off and drink from one of the streams which was awesome. It tasted like really fresh, clean water. But my poor little fingers were frozen the rest of the way down.
After our tour, we met back up with Shennel, ate a quick lunch, and got on yet another bus. But don’t worry, this ride was only 6 hours, not 10. We arrived in Queenstown around 8:30 pm where we proceeded to play on giant statues, eat soup, and have the worst camping experience anyone has ever had in the history of the universe, which I will tell you all about in my next post!