Story of some Brits living in New Zealand for the Southern Hemisphere Winter in 2004
(Recent Entries Here)

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Hokitika - Franz Josef Glacier - Fox Glacier - Cafe Neve

Went shopping in Hokitika first thing, nice place to look at Jade and suchlike.

Then headed off to the Franz Josef Glacier for a trip out there. Had a great time messing around in the glacier where claustrophobia seemed somewhat more of a problem than fear of heights, which worked well for me but less well for Ann-Marie!

Our guides split us into 2 groups, with Shane taking the more adventurous group. We nearly hestitated too long on that one because adventurous for a Kiwi is usually pretty exceptional, but this was all done by tourist standards so we were ok.

I'm just realising the differences between me and Doug are not limited to me being tall and dark and him being short and fair. There are differences in COOL too.

Doug in crevace

AM in crevace (less happy about it)

Carl in crevace, oddly ecstatic about it

Doug and AM on the glacier

Carl, once again happily getting soaked in an ice hole photo

Doug and AM making good their escape

We have to admitt that Shame was an EXCELLENT GUIDE. The guides talk to each other about which routes are accessible and which are filled with water as they wend through the glacier. Listening to the radio it was quite funny to hear Shane's colleagues recommend him avoid certain crevaces which were "filled with water" with his, "should be 'right" attitude. Several times he had to explain that the next few steps were a bit under the water line. One time the pond was so deep he braced himself across it and pushed us past him so we couldnt fall in. Very entertaining!!!

As we got off the ice we jumped in the car and headed a bit further south and ended up in the town associated with Fox Glacier. The place was pretty deserted so we were a bit miffed about the high rates being charged by motels which were clearly totally deserted with tumble weed blowing through the forecourt. So I suggest AM and Doug work hard to get a deal at the next one, which they duely did (though i never heard the last of it). Of course I couldnt drive a deal myself looking like I had been in a brawl (chin split open from skiing).

We managed to get a table at what we'd be told was the best cafe on the west coast, Cafe Neve. Really nice food and great service. The entertainment improved somewhat as we heard one chillean waitress say to the other in Spanish that she quite liked the German guy who just left. We timed well our comment "De donde eres?" (where are you from) and she screamed, and later explained that not many people speak spanish around there!


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