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You know what’s cool? Glaciers. Franz Josef – March 29th which is apparently a Sunday, I see now..

I apologize for the pun. Many apologies.

It’s hard not to be impressed with such a massive force of nature. The Franz Josef glacier can retreat or advance at up to one meter a day. There is some serious movement going on in what looks like a very sedentary ice formation. I took most of the day dawdling, driving a bit. Stopping a bit. I just have no desire to be in the car for more than a few hours at a time. I will get there. It might just take some last minute giving into the driving machine.

One thing I have to say (and I feel guilty about this), I have been enjoying having a car. So easy to get around! I can buy a ton of groceries and don’t have to worry about fitting it in a messenger bag and riding it miles home on my bike. I can get places so fast! No effort! That said, I feel a little like a jackass driving up to a glacier. Or almost to it, anyways. Like I didn’t quite earn the spectacular view I received. Actually I am sure I lost something in the process. When you traverse the landscape on your own power, you get a better sense of scale. So the awe in coming across something as massive as this glacier is that much more intense. I think with such rapid travel by car, we lose a true understanding of space and distance. Plus for someone like me whose mind is always going and who has a hard time sitting still, the exhaustion of hiking somewhere helps me sit still when I get there. That said, I am grateful the car makes it possible for me to see as much as I am in such a short time period.

I thought maybe I would make it farther south than this today, but I spent so much time at the glacier that the sun was setting as I left. And I definitely don’t want to be driving at night. I would miss the sights! The Glowworm Cottages has a great atmosphere. I booked a bed in a four-bed ensuite, with its own little kitchen and bathroom/shower. Walked in at 6pm to the other two tenants in bed together. Oops. But they weren’t doing anything but lying there. They chatted amiably with me as I unpacked my stuff, but they didn’t get up. I imagine that might have been awkward. Or more so, anyways. I went out to the communal area to have a cup of tea and do some more writing. I was happy to find my favorite wireless provider is at work here. I had been buying increments of a few hours at a time from them, but since they seem fairly ubiquitous I gave in and bought a 30-day pass.

Just talked for a while with a nice middle-aged couple from Australia – the Victoria Region. She talked a lot about her travels in the U.S. and how much she loved New York when she was there in the early eighties. And how other friends of hers in the U.S. tried to dissuade her from going to New York to visit. We also talked about all the other places in the world we want to travel. So much left to see! I still want to go to Maine. And the Southwest of the States. It will happen. I need to go visit Meghan and Brittany in Austin, Texas. Oh, and Mexico! Of course.

Too tired to make links with photos and comments and all that nonsense. Soon…


  1. Couchsurfing

    Just a note about couchsurfing. Definitely sign up now. I know people tend to check how long someone has been signed up (ie it’s a bit frowned upon to sign up the day before you need a place to stay). And have your friend vouch for you – that makes people feel safer to know you already stayed somewhere.
    Loved the Abel Tasman photos. I’m scanning some for you from our hike during our honeymoon. Maybe you’ll recognize some of them!

  2. “That said, I feel a little like a jackass driving up to a glacier.”

    That made me laugh. Note, you are less of a jackass by simply realizing it.

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