5th Mar 2012 - 6th Mar 2012 Had a nice sleep in very uncomfy bunks, woke up fresh as daisies while everyone else was rough. Headed down the road to a place called Pukekura (Pook-e-kura) where we went to 'the bushmans centre', a little museum run by an eccentric/strange old man called bushman Pete. We watched a video about deer hunting and deer farms. Then we walked round the museum looking at stuffed deers, rifles, photos of deers and seen a live possum and I even fed it. There are too many possums in NZ (70 million of them, that's 20 per person) and they try to kill the possums because after they were introduced in the 1800s they have become pests, killing flora and fauna and breeding like mad, with no competitors they became top of the food chain.
Back on the road and we stopped at a beautiful clear blue river with more lovely scenery.
Arrived in Franz Josef for lunch time. Booked up for a full day Glacier hike tomorrow. At night we went to our hostel 'rainforest retreat' bar which was an amazing chalet styled, cozy place, it was our driver- Kane's birthday so sang happy birthday. Sharing a dorm with two English sisters who are nice and our new friends Bex and Rupert. Next morning woke up to heavy rain- went to the glacier office to find out all tours had been cancelled, the rain was set to get worse and the bridge to the glacier had been flooded. We were really disappointed as it was something we had really wanted to do. (You climb through the glacier and go inside ice crevices and it looks awesome). But we got a full refund and decided to battle the rain and walk to the base of the glacier ourselves to get some photos. So we embarked on a 10km- 3 hour, round trip. It was a nice walk, looking at low hanging clouds hugging the mountains, the fast flowing river a lemonade colour due to the melting glacier ice. We reached near the base of the Franz Josef glacier got some photos, it was foggy and raining but still cool to see, and then I heard someone calling my name, very randomly it was a guy Matt I used to hang about with years and years ago. He lives in NZ, I was a bit shocked to meet someone I knew so I came across as a bit rude but my brain couldn't comprehend that I met someone I knew from home.
It was a looong walk but slightly worth battling the cold rain for a little taste of the glacier. Walking back we grabbed a hot chocolate to warm us, then got even warmer by going to the Glacier Hot Pools (free with the glacier trip and they forgot to take off our wrist bands so free for us!) the pools are outdoor, shielded by a cover and there's 3 big pools up to 40 degrees. It was lovely just relaxing, looking at the forest around us and hearing the rain hitting the cover.
At night we had dinner in the hostel bar, backpackers got a discount which was good. Then they announced there was going to be a 'rock, paper,scissors' competition, a few people from bus were there so we both signed up. I lost in first round but Shan was on fire and got to the final, he came second- winning a free jet boat ride in Queenstown!!
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