Franz Josef and hot pools

Another day, another glacier. The big deal about these two is that they are the only glaciers that reach into temperate rainforest (the technical term for fairytale forest). Also over an hour's return walk from the car park, this time with no uphill. On the way there Lucas was amazed by, and got talking to, a German carpenter. If you ever see a guy, or a couple, dressed like a 70s rocker in black flared corduroys and a top hat he isn't a Led Zeppelin fan, he is the member of a German carpenter's guild travelling the world as a journeyman. The tradition goes back to medieval times. We knew what he was because we had seen them in South America, but they definitely turn everybody's head. Especially if they are followed by a five-year-old in a onesy looking like Max the king of the Wild Things.

Views from here are worse. It is 500 metres to the glacier, and you are right at the bottom, with all sorts of rocks in the way. So we followed our carpenter friend back towards the car park.

As a special prize for all that effort we treated ourselves to some hot pools. There were 3 different ones: 36 degrees, 38 and 40. Turned a bit pink after an hour and piled into the camper to continue on our travels. Reached a pretty bad DOC campsite - the whole camping area was on a slope.(good thing tonight's dinner involved only boiling and no frying) - but with darkness around us and no camping sites nearby we parked as well as we could and settled in for a pretty rainy night.

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