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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

26th Sept. My baby just cares for me.

Today was fantastic – again. Another exciting day for a geographer. We went for a walk up Fox’s Glacier. It started by me putting on walking boots that must’ve been from the late ‘70’s – leather with hooks not eyelets, and no Goretx either. We walked for 20 minutes from the car aprk upwards to the side moraine. It is dangerous to enter a glacier by the front face, as its continually moving – this one about 10m pa. This is because it is one of the few places in the world where glaciers are part of a temperate forest (Patagonia being the other area), and thus they move much faster than say in Iceland. (no amongst the frozen chips either).

Once at the Glacier, we had to puton crampons, and follow in single file to ensure that we didn’t fall down any crevases. The ice changes colour from the side to the middle and on top, and has less rocks in it towards the middle. The ice also changes texture on top as it sees more of the sun. We also experienced walking through the glacier in a tunnel, and a lake on top.

Before we started today’s mammoth drive, we nipped across to Lake Mattheson to see the mirroring effect – partially there, the breeze just rippled the top a little too much. The Top Gear drive led us to Punukaiki and the Pancake Rocks – which do what it says on the tin. Really weird stacks and coves, which geologists don’t know how the rocks have led to look like a pile of pancakes.
Punakaiki is one street with about 10 houses, a pub, and a camper park. In the pub there was several Welsh fans and especially a loud welsh girl who covered the All Blacks flag with a Welsh one – you can take the girl out of Swansea…….

The camper park was less than 20 yards to the beach and I fell to sleep listening to the gentle roll of the waves on the shore.

Nina Simone was on as we had lunch at lake Mattheson, looking at Mount Cook for the last time this holiday. Cool.

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