Day 24: Fox Glacier to Haast
"I don't think I will bring my fleece to the glacier. I'll get too hot wearing it,and I don't want it to get dirty on my bike rack." Conrad and I are going to ride up to Fox Glacier without our gear while Jess opts to stay back and have a rest and watch our stuff. Jess reminds me that cold is sort of what glaciers are known for. I hear the words she says, but choose to ignore them anyways...thoughtless disregard I would later regret. It was quite glacial indeed.
The ride up to the glacier was really pretty, a nice cycle track. But it was also uphill. An OPTIONAL uphill excursion. And I started to wonder if Jess had the right idea staying in the warm and out of the drizzle.
On the ride up, Conrad got a phone call.
Conrad: Who is calling me?!... Oh, it's me mum. On FaceTime. Mum?...Mum, I...yes hello...Uh, I can't really talk now....I'm on me way to the glaciers (said glay-see-ars)....The glaciers. ...yes, see I'm on the trail (shows her the forest). Yes, to the glaciers. Yes, I'm warm enough. Ok...I've got to go...yes I love you too. Ok mum,I've really got to go now. Bye Mum. (Waves).
I can't stop laughing. This is the quintessential parent-child exchange.
Doesn't that sound like me and you, Mom?
We ride to the car park and then take a 1.5km hike up to the glacier lookout.
The clouds and mist sort of blended in with the actual glacier a bit but the scenery around it was rather stunning. The water was so blue. This is no filter.
We also observed a rising trend of upcycling plastic bags as rain caps in the style of Marge Simpson. I'll have to tell the mustard shower cap guy I've found a superior product.
After meeting up with Jess and packing our bikes, we head out and meet up with John (stayed at his house in Wellington) and Stuart who were turning off the glacier road. It was fun to see them. We were all headed for Haast, about 120km from Fox Township but we all had a late start because of the glacier (leaving around 10:45am).
Conrad and Jess took off so fast. I was pedaling my little legs to exhaustion trying to catch up to them. I guess the ploy worked because we hauled arse and made 35km in an hour and a half. We took a rest so we could eat and be eaten alive by sandflies.
Then we made our way to Haast which included three big climbs. I was so proud for climbing all three. I feel like I say that a lot but looking at the book and seeing the elevation graph is still pretty intimidating to me and even though it seems like I've been riding hills for ages, it's only been 3 weeks. My legs were soooo jelly. They haven't felt that fatigued in a long time. And I was so hungry. And there is this thing towns here do where they put the welcome sign to their town about 10km outside the ACTUAL town. So you get excited and then realize, nope--still FOREVER to go. Seriously, the last few km of every day seem to take ages!
Below is a photo check-in point of significance. I was too busy scarfing down my pita bread to take note of what I was photographing. It's pretty though.