Unfortunately we got ourselves mobilized a little later than planned, because we reached Lake Matheson just as the cloud cover was rolling in. I ran most of the trail to reach Refection Island to try and get the famous mirrored image of Mt. Cook against the dark still waters. By the time I reached it, Mt. Cook was cloud covered, but I still managed to get some good pictures of the nearer peaks. We also shot some great pictures of the boys in front of the lake. But, I’m still disappointed we didn’t get there about a half hour earlier, because the lake was almost perfectly flat and the lighting was great. Maybe next time.
Next we went on to Fox Glacier. Liz wanted to sit that one out and have some quality time with Big Jucy, so the boys and I started up the valley. At the trailhead we ran into Oscar and his family, which was fun for both boys. We’ve exchanged addresses, so hopefully they can keep in contact by mail. It was a steady walk up the valley until the last few hundred steep meters. I ended up with Cohen on my back for most of the hike, which is getting less comfortable the bigger he gets. While the glacier valley and upper glacier views aren’t as grand as Franz Josef, the trail end is much closer to the glacier and the ice is less dirty. We could see some guided groups up on the glacier ice. The boys were particularly excited about the Jelly Bean reward for reaching the glacier and this seemed to bolster their spirits for the return trip. We noticed the clouds getting lower as we walked back, and soon it started to rain. Elias was a fantastic hiker once again, and was able to pick up his pace to beat out the worst of the rain. Liz had sandwiches waiting for us back in the camper.
After that late lunch, we drove on down the coast and then inland over Haast Pass. Coming down the pass around Lake Hawea gave us spectacular views around each corner as the rain and clouds were beginning to lift. We rolled into Wanaka and were immediately struck by how beautiful it is. It feels like finding home. In fact, I have started looking at land for sale.
We stayed in a nice campground again, and even had wifi in the camper. Not exactly roughing it.