Round the world without odour eaters
Easter Island (7)
French Polynesia (11)
Hong Kong (8)
New Zealand/Aotearoa (50)
* The End
* Day 189: London baby!
* Day 188: Museums
* Day 187: MTR
* Day 186: Kowloon Park
* Day 185: Peak tram
* Day 184: Central and Admiralty
* Day 183: Fly away
* Day 182: last day in Kiwiland
* Day 181: Auckland
* Day 180: Bouncy pillow
* Day 179: Christchurch
* Day 178: Christchurch
* Day 177: Fairlie
* Day 176: Hooker valley
* Day 175: Mt Cook/Aoraki NP
* Day 174: Oamaru
* Day 173: Dunedin cafe culture
* Day 172: Taieri Gorge Railway
* Day 171: Otago Peninsula
March 21, 2005
Day 160: Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson
I wasn't feeling too stiff in the morning, and we set off towards Fox glacier, this time to have a look from down on terra firma...
However, my legs were screaming in agony whenever there was an uphill bit, but I walked on, and was rewarded by a close-up view of Fox, which is smaller than Franz Josef. At the front, there is a big cave where the glacial water comes out...
After about an hour's walk, we got back and had a toastie and tea in town. Some glacier knowledge: Fox and Franz are quite special, as they get very close to sea level (in fact, years ago, they reached to the sea!) They also move very fast, from 5 metres at the top to a metre at the terminal face. That's per day! This is due to the amount of snowfall at the top, which has a big surface, whereas the valley is very narrow, so the ice pushes through.
If there is more snowfall at the top then meltdown further down, the glacier advances (ie gets bigger in total volume), if vice versa, it retreats. Most glaciers worldwide are retreating, due to global warning and other climactic changes, but Franz and Fox occasionally still advance.
We then drove to Lake Matheson, a glacial lake that got left behind 14.000 years ago when Fox ground a depression, which then filled with water. As the glacier retreated further, it got cut off. Round the lake was an hour and a half's walk, which lead us through forests, with glimpses of the lake, and viewpoints.
On a clear day, you can see Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, but it was a bit too cloudy. The lake also reflects the sky perfectly, due to its brown colour, which is caused by organic matter from the forest.
After the walk, we went back to the campsite and had sausages, apple sauce and rice for dinner. It wasn't a great success, the sausages weren't that nice I thought.
After that we polished off a bottle of wine until it got dark, the clouds turning a picturesque pink, purple and orange. We sat in the car as I was being eaten by mosquitoes, and did a Wayne's World impression headbanging along to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody (sp?) Went to bed in wet tent...
Posted by Nathalie on March 21, 2005 12:41 AM
Category: New Zealand/Aotearoa
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