Apr. 22nd, 2015

same_difference: (Me.)
So today we had a helicopter ride up on top of a glacier, then had a three hour hike around it. It was fantastic, the ice really looked like an alien landscape, the hike wasn't too hard going and the guide clearly enjoyed life. We got lucky in two ways: 1) they cancelled the tours just after we got up there, 2) we only had six in our group (Rachael and I, two german lads, one brazilian woman who couldn't believe she wasn't experiencing sub zero temperatures, and a woman from Oxford who knows Oxford Nat) instead of the usual 12. It was raining, but that was probably a good thing. Meant the ice was cleaner, there were pretty pools, streams and waterfalls and no glare. All in all really enjoyed the experience and took what photos I could.

Also helicopters much less uncomfortable than I'd assumed. Different to planes too they just sort of float off the ground.

From there we had lunch, then relaxed in the spa pools at the glacier centre whose entry was included on our ticket. Three pools the coolest at 36C the hottest at 40C. Rachael stuck to the coolest, I gravitated to the warmer ones. They were basically all at perfect bath temperature, but unlike baths actually stayed that tenperature.

My neck and shoulders were stiff from doing 4.5 hours of driving yesterday so I booked a massage. It was very relaxing, but made me realise how bad I've let my back get so hopefully it's helped. Weirdest part was wearing the unisex, disposable fishnet briefs for it. Thankfully what modesty it didn't provide me was provided by a robe and strategic towel use by the masseuse.
same_difference: (Me.)
Today was another day of largely travelling; unlike the North Island where we tended to have a day of activity followed by a couple of hours drive to the next place on the South Island it's more like either a day off activity or a day off driving for 4-5 hours.

So we're now in Queenstown having had a drive down broken up by stopping to marvel at stunning scenes of mountains and lakes. So many beautiful vistas, certainly made for a pleasant journey. Yeah really struggling to find the words to describe that.

Other than admiring the scenery we stopped at Puzzling World which is a sort of illusion based attraction. One half is a set of illusion rooms: holograms, following faces, a sloping room, a set of optical illusion statues and a room that distorts size. It was really good. The other half is a large maze with four towers to find. The normal route should take 30-60mins, we did it in about 20 as Rachael is really good at mazes it seems. Though I did redeem my poor maze skills by at least getting out again at the end.

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