I feel like i'm in ice age

Trip Start Jun 29, 2009
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27
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Trip End Feb 04, 2010


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, September 17, 2009

We had a restless night of sleep with constant heavy rain pounding on the roof of the campervan. When we got up the next morning the campsite was really boggy from all the rain (which still hadn’t stopped) and we were slightly apprehensive about how good the glacier trip would be if the rain continued. We drove into the town and found a holiday park which the booked into for that night and refilled our water tank whilst wolfing down a quick and early lunch. We then parked up on the main street in town and found the office who we had booked our tour with.

We were given a quick brief and kitted out with waterproof trousers, jackets, gloves, socks, boots and spikes before going 10 minutes on the coach to the national park. We walked through the park for 45 minutes through forest and then down the riverbed (which surprisingly had dried up to a small trickle which we were able to avoid). We crossed several streams, some of which were quite deep and we had to wade through, before reaching the bottom of the glacier. We crossed the barriers which are there to keep the general public out and started our climb to the base of the glacier. This involved climbing up a ladder over the rocks where Lee was playing at being Fireman Sam!! We then put our spikes on the bottoms of our boots and took to the ice. In total we spent an hour and a half on the ice and it was a new route which had only been dug out a week ago so we got to see some really amazing sights. The guide informed us that the best days to climb the glacier were when it was raining as the rain washed away the dirt and fresh ice on top so that the glacier was blue from the dense ice underneath. It felt like we were in Ice Age (according to Lauren!) we then walked the same way back to the bus and took the 10 minute journey back to the office. By this point we were cold and wet - our waterproofs turned out to be not very waterproof, maybe due to the holes in them! We were greeted by hot chocolate and our clean, dry shoes and socks!

When we got back to the holiday park we relaxed and warmed up in the hot tub before showering and having a quick dinner/tea to make it to the pub in time for happy hour. We enjoyed a few drinks and watched some drinking games taking place which was quite amusing! The barman seemed to have a soft spot for Lauren - this is becoming quite a pattern, though she didn‘t manage to get any free drinks out of him, instead he told her a joke every time she went to the bar!

The following morning Lee went for a run whilst Lauren slept off her wine and Celia took advantage of the cheap internet. We then set off back up the coast towards Greymouth and stopped at Hokitika for lunch and food supplies on the way to Arthurs Pass. It was a pretty hairy drive with lots more winding roads and steep hills which Daisy struggled with once again. We had a brief stop at Deaths Corner which overlooked the road we had just driven up. We eventually reached our campsite which was literally just off the side of the road.

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