Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Day 21

Today was a pretty epic day even if it did involve a little too much driving.  The Stray bus went from Queenstown to Mt Cook today and the cool thing was the number of places we could stop and hike today.  This first sphere isn't of a real hike but it was a beautifully blue glacially fed reservoir.  The one shame is that the picture doesn't do the actual color any justice.  Like a sunset the saturation in real life appears to be more aggressive than in the picture.

Yes I did wade out to a rock in the lake
Yes I did fall in on my way off said rock and yes my gear is awesomely quick drying (PS that is Mt Cook in the background)

Since the sun was out in such force our bus driver added another short hike to the plan, we hiked to the lake underneath the Tasman glacier.  If you can see what looks like a dirt valley that ends in the lake you might be surprised to learn that that is the glacier, just completely covered in rock torn from the sides of the surrounding mountains.
Tasman Glacier

After that we checked in and got to go on another hike and this one was finally one of some actual distance.  We hiked up Hooker Valley and to the Hooker Glacier Terminal Lake.  The wind was abrasive and the sun beat down but it couldn't take away from this spectacular hike.

Looking up the valley just a mile or two in
Making it to the lake, yes those are icebergs
I love this spot
Found some floating ice near the edge of the lake and yes I did taste some (it tasted a little like rocks)
I found another rock in the middle of another lake to take another sphere from (this time I didn't fall in)

I did try and make it onto one of the icebergs but that water was to gray to see into so it was really tough to get my feet in the right places and before I had made it 2 steps my feet felt like they were going to fall off.  We actually had to walk all the way back to the hostel because our driver dropped us off at the start of the hike but it didn't make sense to wait when the hostel was only another mile away.  Instead of following the trail along the road though two of us decided to just cut cross country through the grass and were met with some stunning views and found fields of these really cool flowers
Said views
Said flowers

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