Wednesday, Dec. 22
While Matt and I were driving through Franz Joseph Glacier yesterday, we spotted a young lad who looked an awful lot like Matt’s little cousin, Devan.
So naturally, we honked and rolled down our windows to holler at him.
Thankfully, it was Devan.
He’s been in New Zealand for a few months on a work exchange.
Matt and I came to Franz Joseph Glacier so we could all spend Christmas together.
While Franz Joseph is a beautiful place (cough, cough), the highlight was definitely the journey here.
The eight-hour drive was a mix of awe, concentration and fear. We drove along cliff edges, on washed out roads and through heavy blankets of fog.
But it was the bridges that left us gripped.
For some reason, the south island of New Zealand has more one-lane bridges than two. (I’m assuming the north island is a bit more advanced because of its larger population.)
When approaching a bridge, you have to yield to oncoming traffic.
And to make it even more complicated, most of those one-lane bridges are on blind corners or hills.
Whenever we were confident enough to look around, we took in the numerous creeks and streams. Their names were almost as entertaining: The Roaring Swine, Kaka Creek, The Windbag and Doughboy Creek.
And because it was raining so hard, there were hundreds of waterfalls forming in the mountains.
Between the falls and creeks, we spotted tons of deer, seagulls, bunnies, and hawks.
Our road trip was set to the music of CCR, The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Eric Clapton.
So as you can imagine, we were feeling pretty cool. Until we pulled into Franz Joseph Glacier and saw our reflection in a shop window: two unwashed travellers in a pink van, hooting and hollering at a young boy on a bicycle.