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Definitely Out There

Forward to Franz Josef

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 4 March 2013 | Views [233]

Leaving Hokitika Gabe and I decided to hike and hitch as rides had been few and far between. There was a hairy moment when we had to run across a bridge, but you could see the car coming for miles (sorry, kilometers) down the road.

The remains of a bridge just north of Franz Joseph

We'd only been hiking for an hour and a half when two Poles pulled up and gave us a lift to Franz Josef Glacier. When we got there they invited us to hike up with them, which was great. We'd gotten so caught up in travel we'd forgotten to stop and see what was around us - the destination's only a small part of the trip. The hike up to the glacier was short, only a two hour walk across a rock bed, but the scenery was amazing. In traditional Chinese art the landscape is always exaggerated, an order of magnitude greater than the rest of the painting, indicative of the awe they had for the nature around them. The scenery on the hike up was just like that, laid out in real life - huge sweeping mountains, hills scattered like pebbles down the path of the retreating glacier.

On our way out of town we caught a ride with a census worker to Fox Glacier. In New Zealand the census happens every five years, though the previous one was cancelled due to the Christchurch earthquake. Everyone takes part, even backpackers, as census forms are distributed in all hostels on the same day. Gabe and I bed down at Fox Glacier that night, which I have mixed impressions of. I managed to lose headphones and some tupperwear there, as well as scrape the top of my big toe off on a bad jump on to some sidewalk, but we met some really cool people at a bonfire including an Ohioan named Jordan and some Israelis, all of whom offered to give us a lift.

Tags: hitchhike, on the road, serendipity

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