Friday 28th February – from pancakes to the glacier!

Woke with my alarm. Went for shower, put kettle on, time for more proper coffee, toast with peanut butter and Vegemite and plums – a pattern is emerging!

All packed up and on way by 8am. Only a v short drive until we got to the start of our walk. Sadly it was pouring with rain, but gortexed up we headed out along the Inland Pack Track in Punakaiki.

It would have been a beautiful walk if it hadn’t been so wet, instead it was more like a route march along the river, but what we did see from under our hoods was lovely! Had a lovely moment walking back into the village – saw a rainbow cloud out over the sea.

The walk ended back at the cafe, so after changing into some dry clothes it was time for another coffee to warm through. Kind of wish I’d gone for a hot chocolate, they came with marshmallows.

After a dash across to the bus we were off towards Greymouth for a quick lunch-buying stop in New World. Some egg salad to go with the bread from yesterday. We ate on the bus as it was still cold and wet out. Then continued on to Hokitika – a town famed for its wild food festival – this year being held on my birthday! Also lots of jade carving done there so we stopped to look at some going on and for a little look around the very pretty town.

Also, for Coast to Coast fans on the road between Greymouth and Hokitika is the start point for the race – hard to imagine how over run with competitors the area must be in the run up to the event. Our lovely driver/leader and all round amazingly calm/organised CEO has also done this race and turns out her dad is a dairy farmer so we’ve had some really interesting chats!

From Hokitika it was a 2 hour drive to our destination for the day – Franz Josef – famed for its glacier.

Whoop! We stayed at the Rainforest Retreat and we’d upgraded to a double room with our own bathroom and a TV and an iPod dock – it’s awesome to listen to music again.

After a bag explosion and a chillax listening to the Barenaked Ladies it was time for dinner. We ate in the bar, arrived in time for happy hour – $5 Tui! Had roast pork and chocolate cake while watching the rugby – Crusaders vs the Auckland team(!) – we’re going to watch the Crusaders next week in Christchurch (on my birthday!!!).

Headed to bed around 9:30 – big day tomorrow……

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