A view from a very small plane!
This is what we saw from our flight over the highest mountains in New Zealand. Mount Cook ( on the right) and Mount Tasman (on the left) with a few lenticular clouds thrown in for good measure.
In the foreground to the left is the top of Fox Glacier. Beyond the mountain peaks is the Tasman Glacier and the Main Divide of the Southern Alps. It was a spectacular 50 minutes and one of the main reasons for coming to this West coast region.
It nearly didn't happen as the West Coast lived up to its name this morning with some early rain followed by low cloud. We were scheduled to go at 10.00am but were told to come back at 2.45 pm. So we walked up to the foot of the Franz Josef Glacier, initially in damp drizzle, but later in sun.
After lunch there was lots of blue sky but there was still a doubt about our flight as, despite the blue skies, there was still a lot of cloud over the glaciers and some moderate wind around Mt Cook. More waiting for,a decision to,be made. We were told we could go,if we wanted and not pay till we got back in case the trip,had to be curtailed. We agreed to go and slightly with hearts in mouths we set off. It was spectacular, even over the sea and the lower glacier basin. At first the peaks just peeped through the clouds but later we could see them and the ranges beyond the divide down to Lake Pukaki. On return we saw the Franz Josef glacier from above and made an excellent landing!!
Chris is thrilled as this was his trip really and he got to sit next to the pilot!
Blip bear had to stay behind as you're only allowed to take your sunglasses and a camera but we brought him a bit of Schist from the bottom of the glacier (very small) to put in the back of his backpack as all travellers do - according to Chris, it was his idea!