Breakfast at 8 am, a call from Franz Joseph Glacier Flights to say they were flying but the weather could close in and ground them by midday so I headed north to FJ for a two glacier flight. Sadly no-one was doing the heli-hike but at least there were others like me wanting to fly –the minimum they take is 2 so I needed those 4 other tourists.
I sat next to the pilot with a perfect view of both glaciers from above, going up and then down. Its difficult to grasp the scale of the ice mass, small red huts for climbers are like pins and my eyes played tricks with the distance to the snow as we landed at the top of Fox. I seem to be in permanent photo overload, and the whole scene called for another movie –thank you, James, for suggesting I buy the Panasonic with its great zoom.
The colours are unexpected –more blue than white and a certain grubbiness here and there. Walking on the snow was easy as long as you kept to the fresh fall, the air was sharp and the bright light made it tricky to judge walking distances. It was over in no time but I had been up there –no flights this afternoon and tonight its raining very hard.
Back again in Franz Joseph I bought a warm hat ready for a boat trip on Okarito Lagoon arranged by Karen. This time I was the only passenger with Swade, who knows all there is to know about the flora and fauna of the West Coast, at the helm … lots more to add and the connection is slow so I’ll post this entry and start another …