Today we left Greymouth to Franz Joseph. The tour left at 8:00 AM today and this is the first day that I have been traveling in New Zealand that we experienced some grey skies and rain. The first stop was to Kohitika to look at some greenstone. We also got to see a glass blowing demonstration. I bought myself a fancy shot glass from the factory (I think this will be the most expensive shot glass I have in my collection).
We then stopped at Ross an old mining town. I got suckered in to pain for gold for $6.00. I did get some gold, and then also a green stone. I think I am going to get a necklace made using the stone. The gold not sure yet what I am going to do with that.
Here I am trying to hit the jackpot:
They had this cutout right outside the panning place:
In the afternoon we stopped at Bushman’s Wilderness Center. Dad you would have loved this because they showed a video on deer in New Zealand. Part of the video though was a bit disturbing on how they trap the deer for all the deer farms in New Zealand. Some companies jump from Helicopters and tackle the deer. Other companies trap deer in nets from the helicopters. Many years ago in New Zealand you could hunt and shoot the deer from a helicopter. They no longer permit this in New Zealand because of the deer population decreased drastically. So now they have tons of deer farms around New Zealand. At one point getting a deer you could get up to $2,000 for the meet and skin of the deer. Currently, New Zealand has 8 different types of deer. Also, they had a pig his name is Tuku.
Since the weather was a bit rainy and cloudy all Glacier activities were cancelled. So we went to Hukawai Glacier Center. Three of us in the group decided to do some ice climbing in the ice climbing chamber. This is the only one in the Southern Hemisphere! Yes someone really trusted me with two ice picks and nice spiked boots. I am not sure what it is with this trip but I have had only many hard helmets and booties. The temperature in the ice climbing room was -2 degrees. Yes, ridiculously cold. Our instructor showed us how to throw the ice pick into the wall and then how to get the boots into the wall. Let me tell you it is not as easy as it looks. I am proud of myself though I made it completely up the second climb. It was tough but I did it. I fell a few times but I survived with only a few bruises.
If I lived near a glacier I could totally get into this climbing thing. After the climb we headed to a local pizza place for some beer and pizza. I was starving and thirsty after ice climbing for 90 minutes. I am sure I will be sore tomorrow.
After dinner we went back to the lounge to play some games and take it easy for the evening. I have to get up tomorrow morning because my day is going to well be breathtaking.