Although the weather was awful in Harihari when we arrived yesterday, we had a bit of time to walk around and visited some public art in the small village. There was a park with self-made mosaics with pictures and written wishes on them. When we went back to our tent we saw the sign for Highway 6 saying that the direction will be closed overnight. We had heard, that this was due to a landslide and subsequent construction work and were a bit worried about our way to Fox Glacier for todays stage 4.
Nice weather and beautiful lakes
The sun stayed with us for the first hours and so we had a nice break for a second breakfast in Whataroa at the White Heron Store and Tearooms sitting outside. A cheeky cat was lying next to us waiting for some petting. After the delecious meal we passed some beautiful lakes at the Highway 6 on our way to Franz Josef glacier. The construction works were still on-going but we could pass the damaged street without any problems.
Bad weather at Franz Josef Glacier
As we came closer to the glaciers, the sun was gone and suddenly the clouds full of rain showed up again. It was getting quite cold and unpleasant. Franz Josef glacier was a really touristic spot with big restaurants, tourist busses crossing and the sound of the helicopters around us. Even so we didn´t like the spot, we were hungry again and took a seat outside one of the restaurants. Luckily, they had patio heater so we did not freeze too much. After some fries we were ready for the last three mountains….we thought.
Three mountains of death
Directly after Franz Josef glacier the first mountain started. It was all the way again on the highway with cars and campervans passing by. We were sweating during our way up, and freezing going down again. After two mountains we thought to be in a nightmare. Our energy levels were quite low, even so we ate so much before. We just wanted to finish in Fox Glacier.
When we finally did the last down-hill part it was almost getting dark. We cycled across the small town searching desperately for an accomodation but nearly everything was fully booked. In the end we got two beds in a 4-person room of a hostel (Fox Glacier Inn & Pod Hostel). Of course not first class – but better than cycling any further!
Max elevation: 434 m
Min elevation: 43 m
Total climbing: 2067 m
Total descent: -1954 m
Average speed: 17.89 km/h
Total time: 09:36:13