...That's the only words I can use to describe the scenery we have seen in the last couple of days. I am getting frustrated though, that I can't post photos as I go to show you - but I will definitely add them later, either when I get USB access on a computer, or worse case scenario, when I get home. So, if you like the sound of the posts, check back in 2 weeks for the accompanying photos.
Yesterday we caught the Tranz Alpine train across from Christchurch to Greymouth. The scenery was fantastic - I can only imagine what it looks like in winter, covered in snow. Without the snow, the landscape is actually quite bleak and forbidding in parts, but still amazingly beautiful. And, it definitely felt like I was taking a train across Middle Earth (I don't understand why Frodo and Sam went to all the effort of walking when there was a perfectly good rail line available! :) ). Once we arrived, we collected out hire car and drove 100km North to see the Pancake Rocks, and a seal colony at Westport. The drive took a lot longer than the distance would suggest, as we had to stop around every bend to take photographs. It really is an amazing stretch of coastline. It was a great day, but quite exhausting. I hit the hay early, assuring DH the TV wouldn't bother me. Apparently within 30 sec of that statement, he had to turn up the TV due to my snoring. Oops. But anyone who knows me is aware how tired I must have been to fall asleep so fast. I drove back from the Seal Colony, and it was a difficult drive - windy coastal roads and the setting sun in my eyes.
This morning we headed South from Greymouth to Fox Glacier. On the way we stopped to see a Hot Glass workshop in Hokatika and we walked up to the face of the Glacier at Franz Joseph. Most of the walk is undertaken over the rocks and pebbles of the river bank, with several small river crossings. I was glad I had my smurf feet, oops, my crocs, on, as getting across with dry feet proved impossible. Wow, who'd have thunk glacial melt would be that cold... A minor miracle occurred and I managed the return trip without any major ankle damage, despite rolling it a couple of times, but the view was worth the walk. Tomorrow we are going on a Heli-hike up Fox Glacier, so we will get an even closer view.
What an amazing trip this is proving to be and we are only on day 5....