June 11

We awoke to find sunny, blue skies. The path up to the Franz Josef Glacier was open! I was ecstatic! Zhoel and I speed walked our way along the path. The landscape was amazing. There were rocks covered in orange moss, huge slabs of stone with clear layers in different colors, rainforest type trees, waterfalls and cliffs.

The glacier itself was not exactly what I expected. I suppose I thought it would appear to be bigger, although we were quite far away. It looked like a giant snowbank. I did learn that the snowfield at the top is about 29 km square.

We left Franz Josef and drove toward Hokitika. The weather was starting to decline so we picked a campsite not far away. We stayed on the shores of Lake Mahinapua. There were lots of walking trails and we spent the afternoon exploring them in the drizzling rain.

Luckily, during our stay in Wanaka we had been motivated by Tom and Dani to start playing cards. We ended up beginning a game of Aces to Kings that will likely continue indefinitely. It is a nice way to spend the evening as it gets dark early.

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