stream of consciousness #2

January 20th, 2009

I need to go back to the restaurant in Franz Josef. My legs itching like crazy whilst trying to enjoy a tuna nicoise – Sean noticed a large lever in the communal wash are of the toilets…set to ON it welcomed, no, encouraged someone – anyone – to turn it up into the OFF position. What’s the worst that could happen? The lights go off, a waiter stumbles, a fork pings from an entree plate and stabs the strange Americans at the next table in each of their elbows? Or we unlease hell upon the earth, like a massive, bright red HISTORY ERASE button tempting you; “Press me, you know you want to”. Well, we didn’t, none of us, we all said NO, a bitter disappointment one day in to a journey of yeses. But we did ask what it was for, but no one would tell us, the staff whispered to each other in small groups and peered furtively at our esteemed group, but no reply. Three weeks on, and I REALLY wanna know…answers on an email, please.

Next day: early morning, exit tent to behold a snow toppeed mountain range obscuring my view – how rude. A giddying sight at 7.30 in the morning, and I don’t mean Sean’s sleeping face looking back at me. Kiwi guy in next tent clampers out and calls to his mate, “Bro, you gotta check this out”, he’s not wrong. I don’t know how high those hillocks were, and still are, but higher than a kite is a fair assumption. So then, guess what? Slipping past the World’s Biggest Cockroach outside the men’s washroom – that’s where they all hang out, y’know – we proceed to park up and walk over the “terminal morraine” of mountain water streams, boulders, rocks, stones, pebbles and shyst – I said “Shyst” copyright Mike “Man”; Lewis 1986 – I find we can walk clear to within half a mile of the glacier head! No signs, 5 small posts stuck in the ground in seemingly random places, apparently a “path”, those Kiwis, eh?! and a bunch of under-dressed, over-camera’d tourists stumbling over said rocky obtrusions towards this huge wall of ice, the sign at the beginning of the valley – just before the stepping stones over the icy stream – should’ve just said “Crack on, bro” for that were the desire of the Dept of Conservation (hereafter DOC), and so we duly did…


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