A helicopter flight over two glaciers with a snow landing on the neve, or a Monday morning at work?..... ;-)
Mum and Dad had no idea I had planned and booked this flight. I was going to take them from Tekapo on the other side of the alps, but then I fell in love with Okarito ;-) Plus the mountains are closer on the West Coast, especially as you get down this far.
It wasn't a perfect blue sky day but that didn't matter. The helicopter company helped me with the surprise and Mum and Dad didn't know the helicopter we watched come in to land at Franz Josef with for them until the super helpful woman from the company told them. (I'd woven an elaborate story of deceit and they thought we were waiting for a friend of friend to drive us to the foot of the glacier ;-)
When told the chopper was for them they were quite overcome. Mum and Dad sat up front and I had the back seat. We flew up the Franz Josef glacier and landed in the neve. Conditions were icy underfoot and I hoped (and prayed) we would all stay upright. Our pilot was lovely, I was so impressed with the way he helped Mum down and took her arm to guide her across the snow :-) Time for a few pics and then back into the chopper, across incredible snow, rocks, peaks and ice to Fox Glacier. We flew down it and then back across to Franz Josef township where we started.
The rest of the day was spent pottering around on short walks up near Franz Josef glacier, looking at the visitors centre etc and drinking coffee. Sure beats restructuring ;-)
(And in case you're wondering how Dad is, I spotted him nimbly hopping from rock to rock to cross a river today. I guess if you're 83 and able to do that then the daughter shouldn't complain :-)
There were many photos to choose from but this is my pick. It was their day so I've made them this as a memento.
They will always remember today. So will I.
- Nikon D60