Checking in from Franz Josef, NZ!

Hey there!

Just thought I’d give a quick update about my whereabouts…the title says it all! I’m planning on writing a longer blog about my time in Melbourne and my first few days in New Zealand, but it turns out that the wifi in the middle of nowhere tends not to be the best. Give me a few days!

As for today, though, I did almost everything this little town has to offer! For one, I hiked to the Franz Josef Glacier, which was quite cool though not as imposing as anticipated. Way to go, global warming.

Franz Josef Glacier! See what I mean?

After that 1.5 hour walk, I walked around the village, which is made up of a grand total of two streets. I visited two gift shops, and that was the extent of my tour of the village. I managed to leave the stores without buying anything sheep, possum, or kiwi related, which is quite a feat.

After all of that excitement, I decided that I needed some rest and relaxation. What better place to relax than hot springs! The glacier hot pools seem to be one of the top tourist attractions around here, and it was quite nice. There were three pools of varying temperatures, and the light and cold rain in the air made the pools a welcome retreat.

Speaking of rain, there has been a lot of it around here! On our shuttle trip from Christchurch to Greymouth, there were a couple of times when we had to turn around because roads were flooded and could not be passed. So much for escaping flooding when we left Bangkok!

Despite the rain and gloomy skies, out trip from Christchurch to Greymouth was quite spectacular. We drove through Arthur’s Pass, which is apparently one of New Zealand’s nicest drives (according to the slightly strange Kiwi riding along with us). There were sparkling waterfalls everywhere, and huge mountains covered in trees of varying colours of green everywhere you looked. The valleys in between mountains were often covered in bright yellow flowers and had creeks striping through them, filled to the brim with icy grey waters. Basically, the whole scene looks straight out of Lord of the Rings. No hobbit sightings though, unfortunately.

Tomorrow we head to Queenstown, which is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand. Since I’m pretty sure New Zealand is known as the adventure capital of the world, we’re in for a wild ride. Some of my plans for the coming weeks include caving, horseback riding, skydiving, and swimming with wild dolphins in the middle of the icy cold ocean. Ah!

I’ll update more about the past week as soon as wifi is fast and/or free. Bye for now!

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