We have just completed the loop of the south island of New Zealand and it finish strong. Despite a few moments of driving on the wrong side of the road and the frequent occasion of switching the windshield wipers on instead of the indicator, our road trip around new Zealand was flawless.
We spent a couple of days waiting for good weather at the Franz Joseph Glacier and it finally paid off. The helicopter ride up to the top was worth the wait alone but the trek around the top of it was jaw dropping. The pictures won't do it justice but I attached a few anyway.
We than headed all the way up to the north part of the island to the Abel Tasman national park for some hiking and more kayaking. Our original plan of running everyday in order to get in shape for this Nepal base camp trek has been completely forgotten at this point and we made a point to do a 5 hour hike in the national park. Got some amazing photos to add to our collection but both of us haven't been able to move to far for a few days now. Despite a blister covering my entire toe and a sinus infection I'm in good sprits and am looking forward to our next stop.
Franz Josef Glacier is located almost near the West Coast of New Zealand above a temperate rainforest. The plan was a heli hike for an afternoon which we finally got to do after a day of waiting and one cancelation due to weather. See the video it is amazing!
Another amazing fact is that after hiking with snow cleats (or crampons if you will) and driving a few hundred kilometers to the north we could be back kayaking in the sun in the pristine aquamarine waters of Able Tasman National Park. This was to be our test of how bad of shape we were in. After a 6 hour sea kayaking trip we spent the night on a boat or floating hostel looking out on calm waters and beautiful moonshine listening to blues, a nice end to the day. Then it was a 5-6 hour hike which we did 3 hours running with backpacks on and no water...Brilliant! We survived but no telling how this is going to be at the high elevations of the peak of Nepal.