the weather stayed clear as a bell all day yesterday. we got to franz josef glacier late morning after a slow start to the day. walked up to the sentinel lookout, a short work up at steep knob, but a long way from the glacier (unless we went on a 5 hour walk).
took about a 20 minute walk down to Peter's Pool for a stunning reflection of the glacier. highly recommended if you're ever here. the sun was streaming through the forest and ferns and I took a zillion photos of leaves! then about another 15 mins to Douglas Bridge, a suspension bridge over the river, and a similarly illuminated walk back through more forest to the road and then the car park.
then followed some tacky souvenir shopping in the village and a sandwich lunch. we got to fox glacier just after 3 o'clock. Wow! the drive in is amazing. a wide river bed, mainly stones but still plenty of water flowing. on the right a sheer black cliffs a few hundred feet tall, on the left steep, green rock faces, just as tall, with waterfalls running down them. it was all very 'lord of the rings' - you could imagine riders on horseback and orcs etc etc.
we had about a half hour walk across the riverbed and then along the bank towards the glacier, and got much closer than at franz josef. a remarkable, jagged, blue-green, white, brown-grey surface. (next time I'd pay for a walk to the face of it!). the tragedy of the receding glacier is such at odds with its majesty.
we had take-away pizza and played cards. today we're heading over the mountains to lake wanaka. cloud overnight but clearing at this end. the forecast is for showers and snow, though.