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Franz Josef and Wanaka

On the pisste!

snow -1 °C

Feeling rather delicate after our night at the poo pub we hopped back on the bus and headed for Franz Josef. The driver decided to stop on the way at Possum cafe where you have the opportunity to buy a possum pie which we declined. Apparently there's a big possum over-population problem here and in a bid to stop it they've started turning the possums into pies...
When we arrived in Franz Josef we booked our trip up the glacier for the next day and spent the rest of the day chilling out. The following day we got up early for our trek. It was a pretty strenuous trek up a mountain of rubble just to get to the glacier. When we finally got to it we strapped our crampons on and carried on climbing, but this time up ice! As we were trekking we came across a manmade hole in the ice, called a 'wormhole' which our guide said we were going to climb through. I hate small spaces so decided to go in straight away with the guide. It was so cramped that when I got into the tunnel I couldn't turn my head. As we were approaching the end of the tunnel Adam had made his way down and had somehow managed to get stuck at the bottom, unable to squeeze through the hole! All I could hear from the other end was 'Tom! Tom mate, I'm stuck!'. I suggested to Tom our guide that we leave him to it (that's love) so I could get the hell out of that hole but after several minutes of trying to talk him through it, it was decided that Tom needed to go back to the beginning of the hole and help him out. This didn't put Adam off however and at the next opportunity to climb through another hole he did it again! This time he had to army crawl his way through it was so tight and got absolutely soaked. All in all we walked about 8k that day, it was pretty exhausting and our muscles ached pretty badly the next day! Lucky for us we'd prebooked a day at the spa so we soaked in a hot tub for a while to soothe our aching muscles!. We didn't do too much in Franz Josef after the glacier trek as that was pretty expensive and there isn't really anything else to do there apart from that.
Our next stop after Franz Josef was Wanaka. We were really excited about getting here because we'd saved up our claim money to go skiing here so it felt like a bit of luxury on our trip. We turned up to our hostel which was gorgeous with lovely views of the lake and met up with Lorna, Rebecca, Mike and Ian from the kiwi bus in the evening for drinks. The next day we sorted out our ski passes and rental equipment, Adam opting for snowboarding and me skiing. In the evening I was forced to make toad in the hole for the third time in 2 weeks since Adam discovered I could cook it. The next day was ski day! So we got up early and walked to a place where people hitch a ride up to the ski slopes. We managed to get a lift no problem, got to Cardrona the ski slope and had 2 lessons each. We just spent the first day on the practise slope, learning how to move, turn and most importantly stop. The first day managed to be pretty bump free but the second day was pretty dramatic. I was in a lesson with Lorna and our instructor took us on the chairlift for the first time. We didn't really have a clue what we were doing and before we knew it we were pushed on the chairlift. It happened so fast that Lorna ended up on my lap and the chairlift operators hadn't noticed so while the chairlift was climbing up the mountain she ended up falling off the chairlift. It was pretty horrendous for her but luckily she wasn't injured. After a nasty start, we moved onto the intermediate slopes and didn't really have a clue what we were doing there either but we managed to make it to the end of the slope! In the afternoon we met up with Adam again and went on the slopes. By the end of the day we'd gotten pretty good and we all loved it (other than the chairlift!).
The following day we decided to chill out and went to the cinema in Wanaka to watch Toy Story 3. The cinema here is a really nice independent cinema that sells homemade cookies and ice cream in the interval! In the evening we went out for drinks with 3 guys we'd met back in Rotorua who were working in Wanaka for the season. On our final day in Wanaka, Adam and I decided to have one more day on the piste. Unfortunately the day didn't get off to the best start as I wanted to pay $30 to get the bus and Adam wanted to hitch again. We decided on hitching but it wasn't looking too promising so after walking back to town (with all our ski gear) to catch the bus and discovering it was now sold out we decided to hire a car...$80 later we were back skiing!! The day unfortunately didn't get any better as the visibility was awful and the beginner slope was closed so we had to struggle down the intermediate slope not being able to see a thing. At one point I was going so fast and so out of control my legs actually felt like jelly!! So by 2pm we'd given up and were back in our hostel recovering by the fire! All in all we loved skiing and snowboarding though and are definately going to do it again sometime when we can afford it. After a great week in Wanaka we then headed to Queenstown for the legendary Fergburger...

Posted by palmer830 00:52 Archived in New Zealand Tagged hitchhiking

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