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Archive for May, 2007

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Fiordland National Park

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

After a while even travel and seeing new places becomes routine. It just becomes what you do and obtains a sort of normalcy. It is still fun but you tend to loose the sense of excitement that comes with seeing a new place. It takes something truly stunning to bring back that feeling. Fiordland National Park is definitely one of those places. [read on]

Helicopters, Hitchhiking, and Hangovers (I needed one more H)

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

The helicopter ride and glacier walk were by the far the most expensive things outside of airfare that I have done on my trip, yet, but well worth it. (Aunt Rosemary, you said you wanted me to use your monetary gift for something special on the trip, and this was it. Thank you!) I was put in a helicopter with four other people and ferried about halfway up the Fox Glacier. The Fox Glacier is one of the few glaciers in the world that is actually advancing and not shrinking. New Zealand is getting wetter as Australia dries out due to climate change. As I was the only non-coupled entity, I got to sit in the front seat next to the pilot. I had panoramic views of the entire glacier on the way up. Upon landing on the glacier, we slipped and slided our way to the box of crampons. After putting on the latest in glacier fashion footwear, I was able to walk around with no problems. We spent about three hours on the glacier looking in crevasses and walking through ice overhangs admiring the blue ice. The mountains on the sides of glacier were full of waterfalls plunging into the ice. My batteries on my camera quit working in the cold, so I am waiting for others in the group to email pictures. I didn’t have the worst of it, though, as one lady actually lost her camera in a crevice, or crevasse, to get my terminology right. It should make an archeological find one day. The guides had to be on the constant look out for clouds as the helicopters won’t fly when the clouds move in. If this happened before we could get off the glacier, we would have to spend the night up there (an interesting concept which would have definitely lead to great stories). [read on]

The Heaphy Track

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007
I arrived in Picton after completing a cloudy and windy crossing from the North to the South Island by ferry. The ferry left Wellington at 8:30 am and cruised out of the Wellington harbor into the Cook Strait. The area ... [Continue reading this entry]

Paraparaumu and Wellington

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007
The last week or so has not been as action packed as the last few weeks have been. Upon leaving Wanganui, I made my way to Paraparaumu. This is a beachside town with the Kapiti Island wildlife reserve off the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Exploring Above and Below New Zealand

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007
The last week has been a week of extremes in exploration. I began with a look at the subterranean world below New Zealand in the Waitomo caves with a company called Rap, Raft, and Rock. Five other people and I ... [Continue reading this entry]