|We had to be at the hiking centre at 9:15 this morning to get kitted out in our gear. The weather had not improved remotely so it was going to be a soggy day up on the glacier. The views weren't going to be too hot either as it is really cloudy.
Like every other activity I've done in New Zealand, I looked like a fool in my gear! Mind you everyone looked pretty identical, especially with their hoods up.
We got dropped off at the same point we'd taken photos yesterday, and had to do a 15 minute walk through the valley to get to the actual glacier. We split up into different groups depending on how fast we thought we'd walk. Our group was the medium group and our guide was called Juanita (yes very New Zealandish). I thought it was funny that she was a Glacier Guide with that name, as when we were in Peru we heard about this museum which had the body of a little girl who'd been sacrificed up in the mountains. Her body had been frozen solid and was found in almost perfect condition hundreds of years later, and she was called Juanita. I was hoping the same fate wouldn't meet this Juanita, or we'd be a bit screwed!
By the time we reached the glacier, my boots had already rubbed my feet! Ouch. We put our spikes on our boots and began the walk.
For the first hour or so we were climbing up steps made out of the ice. There were lots of men hacking away at the ice all day to make sure the steps were safe. Sometimes there were ropes to hold on to and at other times you just had to hope you didn't slip!! There were quite a lot of bridges over the crevasses, which were just ladders with rope to hold on to.
The actual ice was amazing. You kept forgetting that you were walking on ice let alone 10,000 year old ice! In some places it was really blue which looked fantastic.
Unfortunately the weather did not improve all day. It was absolutely pissing it down and the clouds were obscuring a lot of the views, which was very frustrating.
After a very quick and soggy lunch break we wandered around a bit more. At one point we got a bit lost and had to all stand around waiting for our guide to get her bearings. We all got really cold at this point and a middle aged woman in our group would not stop whinging. This kind of spoilt things for us a bit, because when someones moaning about how wet and cold they are, it makes you realise how bloddy wet and cold you are too! She was saying she was going to ask our guie to take us down early as the weather was so bad.
We bumped into the 'slow' group and we explored together for a while. There were some parts where we were climbing the edges of little crevasses where the foot holes were really far apart, and you really had to heave yourself up. we also went through a relly thin crack in the ice. This was very cool although you kept getting yor feet stuck!
Our guide made the decision to go down a bit early as it was still raining really heavily, and the rivers at the bottom of the glacier were getting quite big. On the way down we saw Sian and Kevin who were in the 3/4 day group.
We got off the glacier at about 3:30 and had to walk back to the bus. We were a wee bit miserable by now as it was just SO wet and my feet were rubbed raw.
Back at the hiking centre we gave back all our waterproof gear and boots, only to find that we were soaked to the skin! No bloody wonder we got so cold! Rubbish waterproofs. Although they did then give us hot chocolate which was very nice and warming!
Went to the bar for happy hour with Kevin, Jessie and Morven with the intention to just have a few drinks. As is always the way, especially when wine only cost a pound per glass, we had a few more than intended!