Friday, 22 November 2013

Day 21. Glaciers

This should really be, Glaciers, Hitchhikers and Shooting since three pretty fun things happened today!

First things first it was a gorgeous sunny day so cancellations were out the window and it was off down to the helicopter launch site!!
 A beautiful view of the mountains from the launch site 
 Our helicopter coming into land
 The ride started by taking us over 'rainforest' clad mountains it was surreal how the clouds looked being so close and how high up
 And then we started to go further into the Alps with the snow covered mountains at our feet
 We got to see three glaciers, including the big two. Fox, Frans Josef and Tasman. As well as a look out over to Mt Cook.
 Me in the helicopter!
 We also booked in to have a landing at the top of the Glacier which I'm so glad we did, it was more expensive to have a landing but it was great to actually be out in the snow

 I should probably add we took this photo so we can submit it to the Lancaster Study Abroad Society Photo Competition - we weren't doing this weird pose for no reason!

 After about 10 minutes or so we set off again over the glaciers
 The view was stunning, and I'm pretty sure I had my mouth open for most of the ride


 It was back over the rainforest down to the landing site again, the whole thing took around 45 minute (it should have only been half an hour but we made sure to keep the driver chatting when we landed so we got some extra time) but it was possibly the highlight of my trip so far. It was very, very cool.
 So after packing up the car and getting changed we were off on the road again! We decided to mix up the seating arrangements as it's not been often we've all been driving together so I sat in Axel and Cara's car while Axel drove and Cara say in ours. 
 We stopped (I made us stop) at Knights view point to see our last glimpse of the ocean for a while, and to grab a photo of the stunning view 
 It was around this point, just before we actually got into the body of Haast Pass that we passed some hitchhikers, we and Axel drove on as we weren't sure we'd have room and didn't know if the other two wanted to pick them up. Just down the road I stopped for this photo and George and Cara said they wanted to pick the two guys up, so. We turned around...
My first time picking up hitchhikers was fun, Christoff from Switzerland came with me and Axel while Neil from Plymouth went with Cara and George. They were really nice and had some funny stories to tell about a car that lasted them two days before it broke down and was then too expensive to fix!
 We stopped off at one of the mirror lakes which I'm so glad about as they were at the top of my 'to-see' list, and they didn't disappoint!

 After the mirror lakes we came to Wanaka which is where the guys wanted to be dropped off, while there me and Axel ran to find a toilet while Cara and George carried on ahead - there's only one road so we knew we'd easily catch up!
But. Me being impulsive and Axel being easily persuaded meant we did a little stop off along the way.. On the road there was a saying 'have a shot' and I've never held a gun before nevermind shot one so, we did a minor detour to a gun range!

It was really fun, we got 25 bullets to shoot at this tiny target. And I did pretty well, if I do say so myself, 20 in the middle 5 in the red just outside the middle. Natural good shot the guy said :)
 Aside from that little detour we took our time getting to Queenstown - mainly because I kept wanting to stop!

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