The best day ever!!!
Franz Josef Travel Blog› entry 24 of 25 › view all entries
Franz Josef is the home to a huge glacier, one of the most accessible in the world and today we hiked up it! We did a half day hike, was about 4 and a half hours long. They give you some rather attractive waterproof clothing as you can see on the pics and the red bum bag thing is where you keep you ice shoes (probably there is a technical name for them but I can't remember!)
The walk starts through the valley, much like the northland of New Zealand it is like a rainforest, very wet and lush. It rains alot here, about 200 days of the year, they can get London's annual rainfall in one day, just to give you an idea. Somehow Jen and I got lucky and it was a beautiful sunny day for us! :)
People have been going on glacier hikes here since 1904 but the glacier has receded a long way since then. Interestingly none of the ice we see today on the glacier is more than 5 years old, it renews itself, heavy snow compacts to make the ice.
Walking on the glacier is just incredible, takes a little getting used to but jen and I both managed to stay on our feet. The glacier is melting all around you creating holes and cut out sections. We got to go through one of the holes, You had to step down into it and then get on your hands and knees and crawl through. wasn't a very long tunnel and then at the other end you just climb back out. Very cool!
We're staying at a really nice hostel...the best thing is that it has a fire to sit round, really nice place to chill out after the hike.