Day 51/72: Glaciers!December 17, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C
We woke up to a fantastic view from our campervan, had breakfast and got ready for a day of walks. We knew that the area had a plentiful supply of different ones so we got our boots on and headed off.
Our first walk was to a small lake called Peter's Pool. Here, on a relatively still day, the mountains and glacier reflects in the water creating postcard perfect images. We walked through the forest paths, lush and green, until we came out into the open on the edge of the lake. It was incredible and we stood there open mouthed at the view. It was another beautiful day and the setting couldn't have been better. It was just like you see in photos of New Zealand (believe it or not), awe inspiring.
We then carried on in the wrong direction, turned around and headed the right way to the Glacier. The walk took us along the valley that the Glacier had previously been. It was barren with slate and boulders stretching far out in all directions until it met the valley sides which turned skywards and turned to mountains. We could see the glacier in the distance and as we walked, there were signs that showed where the glacier had been x number of years ago. It was sad to see the vast rate of depreciation that the glacier has due to climate change. We walked further and further up the valley, and then came to the end about 700m from the terminal end of the glacier. It was impressive, after years of studying them in Geography and finally getting to see one in real life. There was a substantial river flowing from beneath the glacier and it seemed strange that there was any ice on it at all! It appeared smaller than we thought it would be, but years ago you could imagine it carving its way down the mountain side to form the valley we were in, just a shame it has receded so much. We walked back down, baking in the heat but very pleased with the mornings walking efforts.
We went for some lunch in the town and read a humorous range of reviews from heli hikes in the area. They looked cool, but vastly expensive for what you get! We then moved down the road to the next glacier town, and to a lake called Lake Matheson. This is another postcard perfect image from New Zealand, as the still water on Lake Matheson perfectly reflects Mt Cook and the surrounding hills and trees. It was a lovely walk around the river but sadly the clouds had descended and the wind picked up, but none the less a beautiful lake. The walk was great though with an astonishing array of greens and browns so we had fun taking photos all the way round.
We then headed for the campsite, and after being allocated a poor spot went back to the lake for a run. It was a lovely run, twisting and turning with obstacles such as trees, tourists, rocks and language barriers as we warned people of our approach for them to turn blankly to us and stand stock still. Ah well, there weren't that many. Great run! We then went back to the campsite, with the promise of rain the next day but luckily we've planned it was a driving day so it shouldn't get in the way too much!Read more