Friday: Today is grey. Not metaphorically. Literally grey. We are living in a cloud. The rain is drizzling down as predicted, and yes, the Helihike to Franz Josef is cancelled. I’m pretty disappointed because this is currently the number one thing to do on my New Zealand bucket list.
I’m faced with a difficult decision. Do I hop off the bus and wait for tomorrow, risking a) the weather b) my space on the bus or do I try to take a scenic flight this afternoon? Well, I’ve heard conflicting stories: the weather is good tomorrow, the weather is not good tomorrow, the rain is here to stay.
A fact that makes me feel a little better about my trip being cancelled is that apparently 60% are. And maybe I’ll come back and spend a week here. Luckily for me, my dad has said they’ll be a bag of foxes mints waiting for me when I get home (get it?).
I went to the I-site (information centre) and found a walk that takes you to the glacier valley, it’s an hour there and back from where I’m staying. The only downside is that the clouds are hanging pretty low so even if we walk there, we still might not see the glacier. It’s worth a try though I feel.
Today has been a turning point in my kiwi experience adventure. I’m really getting to know different people now, despite there being 72 of us across 2 buses.
I’ve been asking locals what they do when it rains here, the best answer was ‘get wet’. Franz Josef is lacking in an indoor activity option, whoever does that here will make so much money! We attempted to walk to the glacier valley, but first we stopped to do a quick 15 minute woodland circuit. The river was running super fast and the rain really started pouring.
So now I’m confined to my room, and during the intermittent wifi reception, I learn that my ‘Bottom Bus’ dates have not been booked as requested by someone (either kiwi experience or the bottom bus), despite ringing both organisations multiple times! It’s so frustrating because I booked all of my accommodation for this section and my onwards journey based on this itinerary.
Luckily, the lady I spoke to at bottom bus was super helpful, and she was apologetic even though it wasn’t her fault in the slightest. I’ve had to cut some time off my Invercargill leg because of the bus timetable departing Dunedin and getting to Milford sound. I now also have an extra day in Queenstown, or rather, a full day instead of a half day.
I’ve had time to reflect on this kafuffle and the kindness of the lady I spoke to on the phone. It would have been easy to be prickly towards me, a grumpy person calling up out of the blue, due to no fault of her own. But she wasn’t. And I really appreciated that.
This blog did not go as I had imagined it in my mind. I imagined uploading a photo of me standing on an actual glacier, brimming with pride and excitement. Instead I am uploading several bleak photos pf my surrounding area, but so it is.
The day ended on a positive note, with a Skype call with a prospective PR agency at home. I know, I know… I have to moderate my excitement and not put all of my eggs in one basket, but it’s a fantastic opportunity!
Tomorrow we have a full driving day by the sounds of things, as we head to Wanaka. As my mother pointed out, you could have a lot of fun with a permanent marker on that sign… 🙈