Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Day 2 in New Zealand: Fox Glacier Township

This is the second installment to Steven and my adventures in New Zealand! If you missed the first, you can find it here. Cheers!

When Steven and I had planned our road trip to New Zealand, we were prepared for hours of driving a day. It would be worth the effort to have all the adventure we were planning on having.

Our first adventure would be hiking around Fox Glacier, the most accessible of New Zealand's 3000-some glaciers. This was supposed to be an easy drive: 5 hours from Christchurch to Fox Glacier Township through Arthur's Pass.

The drive was actually more like an agonizing 6 hrs plus. I was considering murdering Steven and dumping his corpse in the mountains.

Just kidding... Maybe.

We took a rest-and-stretch stop at a random lake about an hour or so out of Christchurch. Up in the mountains it was significantly chillier than the sunshine led you to believe.

We also stopped at Arthur's Pass for some gas and grub. I got 2 oranges for $3 NZD! Outrageous but I thought the vitamins would do well to heal my cold.

Some unique warnings...

Then, there was that magic moment when, after driving for hours through mountains and farms, you hit the coast and endless horizon:

By the time we got to Fox Glacier Township, the sun had just set. We were both really afraid of driving in the dark, so we were racing the sun to get there.

We had a quick dinner (btw, most delicious soup I've ever had; it was roasted tomato!), and went to bed.

The guy at our motel had told us to check out Lake Matheson, just 5 min down the road, before we went on our glacier hike at 8:30 AM. The sun was set to rise around 7:30, so we had a quick breakfast and made our way there.

So. Worth. It.

Steven and I signed up for a "Fox-Trot" half day hike around the glacier. You walk up the terminal face of the glacier and explore whatever area of it you can.

The company we went with, Fox Glacier Guiding, got us fully outfitted.

Boots, socks, wind/water proof jacket, waterproof backpacks, and crampons.

Crampons are sharp little pointy things that allow you to kick your enemies off glaciers and frolic with triumph. RAWR.

There was about a 20-30 minute walk from the car park to the glacier itself.

Those bits of white are the glacier there, covered in rock and silt.

Once you got on the glacier, it was incredible to think that it extended back another 30 miles up into the mountains.

It was really dirty up there.

"Glaciers are like conveyor belts for mountain rocks," our guides explained. "They carry them from the mountain tops to the bottom as they melt."

I just thought Foxie needed a good ol' shower and scrub. That dirty ol' glacier girl.

That's right.

"Sandy DOMINATED the mighty Fox Glacier."

One of our Heart Challenges is to dominate everything I do. What can I say. It comes naturally.

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