The weather was kind to us today
I was afraid I would wake this morning to more rain but it appeared although very overcast, it may have rained itself out overnight so just maybe a walk to the closest viewing tower to Franz Joseph Glacier was possible.
A 7.30am breakfast at a café in Franz Joseph village. Mixed opinions on the breakfast although maybe it was the service that was the main issue. I think the waitress was having what I would term a bad hair day or maybe others would say she got out the wrong side of the bed. If you are going to work in a service industry like a café it needs be service with a smile. Just my opinion.
Our first stop was the walk to Franz Joseph Glacier. An hour 45 return walk. We were lucky with rain staying away and clouds staying just above the mountains. Another bonus was because the cloud ceiling was only just above the mountains there were no helicopters flying. So no constant noise from helicopters. Just the noise of the glacier river plus birds singing in the trees. Add to that we were one of the first on the track. By the time we returned from the walk the carpark was full.
Because of all the rain in the past day the glacier itself was very clean with a blue sheen to it. Not sure the camera captured that as I have not looked at my many photographs yet.
I promised myself after my last tour I would not do any more of these walks but I guess my fitness is picking up with being constantly on the go, walking, driving and loading and unloading suitcases. I did the walk and so happy I did. I have many photographs of Franz Joseph over the years and many tours but I suspect todays will be some of the better. Shot some video as well.
From the glacier walk we boarded the bus again and headed into the township for refreshments and the essential toilet stop. Then the rain came and it remained all day until we got into Punankaiki at which stage it stopped long enough to do the walk around Pancake Rocks. A beautiful walk and with one of our party aboard into geology he really appreciated. The rain is now back again so all are invited to my room at Punakaiki Resort to help finish the 3 bottles of wine that remain.
In Hokitika I gave the group an hour 30 to wander including finding some lunch. Visited Westland Greenstone, the original Greenstone factory shop. One carver was working so our group could watch. Some bought some greenstone jewellery to take back abroad. So everybody happy I believe.
Tomorrow its back over the Arthurs Pass to Christchurch. And for me I will leave the group who mostly fly out the next day. For me it’s a flight back to Auckland the 4 hour 30 minutes drive hoime. Hopefully get there by 2am on the 11th. Must warn Xiaoli so she is aware it will be my lights coming down the drive. The 4 beautiful nights in my own bed, own pillow with Xiaoli one side and my little dog the other. Then the next 18 day tour