December 02, 2003


I left Franz Josef early in the afternoon and did not do anything there except watching 'Flowing West', a short glacier movie. The weather was not very inspiring (raining and low altitude clouds) and despite the fact that companies kindly give you rain gear (albeit if you pay NZ$100 for a guided trek) I was not very tempted to go. Two swedish girls I was talking to at the hostel have been in Franz Josef for 2 weeks waiting for a clear day to do the treks around. Oooops...

I was thinking for a moment to get into an helicopter trip around the glacier but it would have been a bet about the weather, maybe the cloud layer was up to 6000ft. And I'm not sure they were flying that day since an helicopter crashed yesterday in the nearby Fox Glacier.

Anyway, I drove until Greymouth, about 180km north..just to continue further. It was still raining and the town was depressing. So I took the next junction via Hanmer Springs to join the East Coast...and about 200km later here I'm at Kaikoura.

There are supposed to be dusky dolphins, fur seals and whales around Kaikoura. More info on this probably tomorrow.

That's a kiwi. Could not get a better picture. It's in the dark, no flash authorized and it keeps moving. Gas station in Ikamatua. Locals got a sense of humor ;-)

Posted by stephane at December 2, 2003 08:40 AM