Comfortable and quiet night’s kip, and it was actually nice to have the time to eat a breakfast from our own resources. Need to finish all this stuff before we get back to Blighty…..
We drove for about half an hour eastward to Hokitika Gorge – a (reasonably) local beauty spot. Well worth the trip, and the threatened sandflies elected to leave us alone, thank God.
|The (famous?) swing bridge. And yes, it does swing. And wobble. Quite disconcerting at times.|
Onward, then, to Franz Josef Glacier village, about 2 hours’ drive southward. Checked into the hotel (nice large room), then went to the place where we are required to check in tomorrow for the heli hike up the Franz Josef glacier. As its name suggests, this is a helicopter trip up onto the glacier and a hike around part of it, under guidance, of course. This was just so that we knew where we had to check in, what was required, how long, etc., etc. Much of the important gear is supplied by the organisers – beanie hat, overtrousers, boots, crampons, jacket and carrybag, for example.
To keep a long story short, and after consultation with one of the guides, as Jean had been having problems with her right hip and climbing up/down steep steps, she decided not to participate. A rotten shame.
After much discussion, we agreed that I could go ahead (I’ve been really looking forward to this) and she could have a nice quiet pressure-free morning to do what she liked – again a result all round. This might involve a visit to the local wildlife centre, which has a conservation program for some of New Zealand’s rarest kiwis and much else besides. There is also the opportunity to bathe in glacier hot pools (an oxymoron?). Oh, and possibly do the washing. These things are important, you know…..
Good meal in the hotel restaurant. Fish for Jean, chicken for me, accompanied by a nice bottle of Chardonnay. We actually do know how to have a good time!
Earlyish night, for me at least, as I have to get up for my trip up the glacier. Can’t wait.