Just a quick update before I hit the road to Queenstown.
I just had this photo taken about 30 min ago up on Fox Glacier, NZ. I had never been in a helicopter before. It was amazing. I got about 15 min of video footage too.
Not having packed much in the way of cold weather clothing, I am wearing like 5 layers of clothes and a new wool sweater I got here. I also have my video camera, and a bunch of other stuff in my pants pockets, adding to the illusion of being much fatter than I really am.
…and to think I was scuba diving in the tropics last week.
I got a tattoo last week in Rarotonga.
It is a Cook Island Maori tattoo. The symbols are designed to tell a story, that story being my trip. In the center row, there is one character unlike the others. That represents me. Its a solo man. The other characters are birds which represent travel. On the top are mountains with birds that represent far away lands and on the bottom are shark teeth which represent protection and a safe journey.
No, I don’t plan on getting any more.
I’m currently in Franz Joseph Glacier, NZ. I’m sitting under the Franz Joseph Glacier which is really an odd glacier, because its not really cold here and the vegitation is very green and lush. Nonetheless, the glacier comes down pretty far.
Tomorrow I’m scheduled to take a helicopter flight over the Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers and near Cook Peak (highest in New Zealand) and then land on one of the glaciers. I’ve never been in a helicopter before, so it should be fun.
Today I did nothing but drive. The drive was really nice through the Buller Gorge and along the upper west coast (a drive which rivals the Pacific Coast Highway in California). The forests here are odd in that they are heavily forested with ferns. Huge ferns. Some ferns which look like trees.
Once again, I have internet access, but no way to upload my photos. I expect to take a ton more tomorrow on the glacier and on the way to Queenstown. I’ll also be stopping at the Haast Blue Pools tomorrow. From Queenstown, I’ll be going to Milford Sound then Invercargill, before heading north again to Christchurch and back to the North Island. I have to be in Auckland on June 6 and my flight to Fiji leaves early on June 7.