We saw a glacier yesterday! To answer the question of a commenter on the previous entry, New Zealanders say "glah-see-er" in the same way the British do. Kinda weird-sounding, aye?
... and speaking of kiwis. On the drive over to Franz Joseph, we got really excited because we thought we spotted New Zealand's elusive kiwi bird, the flightless animal that stands as one of the countries' great symbols.
Our hopes were dashed when we stopped at a roadside information center, at which point we saw pictures of what kiwi birds actually look like.
(Here's a photo of a kiwi bird. As a matter of science, it's worthy of note that above bird is saying 'meep!')
(Here's a photo of a weka bird— the flightless bird that we actually saw. The above bird is not saying 'meep.' He stares at us menacingly, thoroughly annoyed at the daft tourists who are always confusing him with a kiwi.)
Anyway. Back to the glacier. (PS: did you all follow my joke about encountering endangered species??)
We were, how shall I put it, a bit underwelmed by the Franz Joseph glacier. To be fair, the weather was kind of icky (there was a general misting and wind throughout the entire hike that put a bit of a damper on things), but overall, a glacier is what you might expect: a very large piece of ice.
That being said, to see something that has been around for such a long time simply nestled into a landscape was captivating. Even in the rain.
There were also amazing waterfalls everywhere. So that was probably the high point for us.
Today, on the other hand, we have found paradise.
Paradise! I'll write a full entry on the town of Wanaka tomorrow, but until then, here's a preview of some of the scenery we passed on our drive down the West Coast this afternoon.
Will! (and Lake Hawea).
And lastly, I'll leave you with one final cliffhanger. Which of the following isn't accurate about our roadtrip on the South Island?
a) We seriously considered buying Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream," in a gas station in Greymouth.
b) The second-to-last hostel we stayed in was painted a bright shade of pink.
c) Today we watched the series premiere of Sarah Palin's Alaska and were all positively mesmerized.
d) We have all taken to speaking to each other in faux-kiwi accents.
e) We have also taken to quoting this video, which is absolutely hilarious. "I will hack at your neck with the thin bit!"
Take your best guess, and I'll see you back tomorrow!