New Zealand – Franz Josef Glacier

Day 2 in New Zealand (April 16) saw us taking a scenic drive from Arthur’s Pass to Franz Josef Glacier, for our morning Ice Explorer helihike.

Some things I learned that day:

  1. The French Shuffle is a technique for sidling up icy step/walls with crampons on.
  2. The Franz Josef Glacier oozes along at 3-5m/day.
  3. Full of Beans cafe has delicious Butter Chicken Pie. (Fusion food is not just a California thing).
  4. If you are fat, it may make squeezing through glacial crevasses a bit more challenging. (A honeymooning husband demonstrated this, to much laughter).

New Zealand – Arthur’s Pass

This trip started with a long flight to Auckland, followed by a transfer to Christchurch, where we met Sarah (yay!) cruised by some lingering earthquake-crushed city blocks, had an inexplicably slow brunch, and finally made our way to Arthur’s Pass. Arthur’s Pass sits conveniently between Christchurch and Franz Josef Glacier. Since we pulled in just at sunset, we had about half an hour to walk around and explore before dinner.

As we parked our car, we saw a weird green parrot on the ground. Someone’s escaped pet, clearly. Just as clearly, we were New Zealand newbies. As we’d discover in about five minutes due to ubiquitous signage, we had just met the nation’s second most famous bird, the wily Kea. Snapper of shoelaces, thief of anything shiny, and destroyer of anything left unattended. The folks at the hostel weren’t as friendly as the bird was, but I suppose you’re paying for a bed, not smiles.

Food time yet?

So, in the last gray bits of daylight, we wandered down to the train station. There was a train coming through! Exciting. The township is tiny, by the way: .6 square kilometers/ .2 square miles.


Goodness, the last time I touched this thing was in July!

Who knows where I was flying to then. New York, maybe.

A lot’s happened since then. Lots to catch up on. Trips to Chicago, New York, LA, London, Vancouver. And I think I never did get around to posting about Belize. Oops.  That’s what happens when you acquire real estate before a series of pleasure and business trips.  The dust doesn’t quite settle to let you see straight. Still working on that whole “routine” thing.

Expect some back-blogging for a bit. Sorry for the delay.