Friday, November 14, 2014

Greymouth Sea Foam and Monteith's Sampler

After Okarito, we chugged along down the West Coast to Greymouth, where we got a beachside campsite with pretty sunset views:

We wandered over to the Monteith's brewery to test out some of their tasty beverages and food pairings:

The next morning the beach scene was a bit weird... the tide was much higher and the whole beach was coated in this seafoam:

At first I was a bit grossed out... what could this be but pollutants of some variety or another? But some googling calmed me down. Sea foam is indeed a thing and isn't necessarily due to pollutants.

But a bit disconcerting nonetheless:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Okarito Trig Walk

Since we couldn't do the longer Alex Knob trek at Franz Joseph, we pieced together an afternoon of hiking, between the glacier walk and this next nearby trek: the Okarito Trig Walk.

Okarito is home to a tidal estuary, a former gold mining town. The Trig Walk starts by a brief jaunt through Okarito's wetland (see above):

Then into some hilly rainforest bits... gorgeous plants:


And when we reached the top, lovely, albeit a bit grey, views of the ocean, the lagoon and the mountains:

The clouds even parted for a second:

My close-up skillz are improving, no?

On our way back down from the view point, we ran into a couple of super cool looking birds that were flitting around like they were hopped up on Mountain Dew. And thus difficult to capture on camera. I don't know if you can see, but smack in the middle of the image is the white and black fan of the fantail bird... these mofos are crazy and factor into one of our misadventures later in the trip. Remember them.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Franz Joseph Glacier

Ok, so these are a real throw-back, all the way back to April. Remember when we went to New Zealand? Yeah, I'm not finished blogging about it. Still to come: a couple more glaciers, definitely more scenery, some sea life...

This here is Franz Josef Glacier, neighbor to Fox Glacier. We had big plans to do the Alex Knob trek up to the lookout, as recommended by Colleen and Steve, but when we arrived, the trail was closed because of downed trees from the storm. So we opted for the short and sweet Franz Joseph Glacier Walk, right up to the edge of the glacier:

Not too close, though...:

Don't worry... this guy is here to protect you and prevent you from getting too close:

I love the texture of the glacier:

The Franz Joseph valley is quite pretty:

So spikey: