Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Glaciers Galore!

Saturday's itinerary included driving, glacier, driving, glacier, driving, play by river, more driving, flat tire, more driving, and destination Queenstown.

The first glacier we hiked (and when I say 'hiked', I mean 'walked for 15 minutes') to was Franz Josef. It was very pretty.

We can strike extremely cool poses at any time in any place...

And with our super 18 times zoom, we caught a glimpse of the little people climbing through the glacier.

At any other locale, this majestic waterfall scene would be a tourist hot spot... but not here. I doubt most of the visitors even took a gander over at the magnificent falls. The glacier got all the attention at THIS site. To make the waterfalls feel better, we snapped a photo...

After Franz Josef glacier, we hopped back in Gus to chug along to the next glacier: Fox Glacier.

It was a little surreal seeing Fox Glacier in real life as it was the location of a recent national tragedy. Two Australian brothers crossed the safety barrier/signs and were killed by an ice fall. One of the bodies was discovered immediately, and the other body was discovered 10kms downstream from the glacier about a week later.

Another interesting (and fairly ridiculous) little factoid around this news item was that because the brothers didn't return their rental car promptly (for obvious reasons) and the keys were lost in the glacier, the rental company was going to slap their parents with a whopping huge fine. Thank heavens Prime Minister John Key has some brains (and a heart) and stepped in. Silly rental company.

Anyhoo, on the bright side, Fox Glacier was really beautiful...

We made ourselves comfy on some rocks and indulged in a little PB & J, Manuka honey (YUMMM), and bananas...

Mmmm... the G family looooves their PB & bananas! (Those family members who enjoy pickles also love their PB & pickles, but personally I think pickles are disgusting and I'd rather eat dirt).

After satisfying our bellies, we hopped into Gussy-Goo for some more driving...

When we needed a stretching/fresh air break, we stopped at a roadside creek to play with the rocks and sandflies...

Our next plan was to gun it straight to Queenstown. However, sweet little Gus had different plans. he decided to blow a tire, so we rather conveniently parked him between Subway and the beach in Wanaka. Marc & Lowell skillfully replaced the tire while Kylie and I were quite content to have no clue what was going on.

Kylie and I took care of ordering the Subway and saving a picnic table.

(Kylie was demonstrating how heavy Marc's sub was. It felt like someone threw a 5 kilo weight in the bag with the sub.)

When Kylie and Lowell get together, they can be quite entertaining. Lowell teases her and clips distorted bobby pins onto her nose, and she giggles and becomes even goofier than usual.

Marc and Lowell had the tire fixed impressively quickly, so after downing our subs, we topped the new tire up with air, and cruised safely the rest of the way to Queenstown.

We hit the hay in a parking lot, and hoped to high heaven that regular feeling would return to our legs in time to participate in the many activities we had planned in the big Q. (Kylie and I were the ones with the sore legs who stumbled around like one-legged drunks. Marc and Lowell were fiiiiiiiiine.)

Stay tuned...


Bloggy Mama said...

Your last photo and all your driving makes me wonder... gas prices? What's the comparison?

Lowell & Julie said...

When we got here, gas was at $2.00/L but it consistently dropped until about 3 weeks ago when it started rising again. It's now at $1.65. BOOOOO!

On average, the dollar conversion has been about 70 cents CAD for every NZ dollar, but we can't think like that any more b/c I'm actually earning New Zealand dollars.

The good news is that Gus runs on DIESEL and good ol' diesel has only gotten up to $1.06. Phewf (but still kind of booooo).

(Oh, and the petrol stations in the remote/touristy areas on the south island get away with ROBBERY!)

marcandorkylie said...

wow, great photojournalling julie!! we may never write our own posts in new zealand.

i love the glacier shots, they turned out really well.

but hey, why did you lightstudio my wife into a zombie with a clip on her nose? were you attempting to simulate asphyxiation?

fantastic post, and to think you havent even touched queenstown yet!

Lowell & Julie said...

Thanks Marc, I guess that's one advantage to working during the week- we have down time from all the adventuring to actually DOCUMENT it!

Tee hee, I thought the 'edited' Kylie accentuated her total and complete goofiness. :)