Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fox Glacier: DOs and DON'Ts

Here is a brief and handy tourist safety guide to Fox Glacier:

DON'T assume that after spending the best part of a week driving round corners that require full steering lock, left, then right, then left, then right, you deserve a break. The road to Fox contains around 389,792,483 more 1st gear corners, some of them so sharp you could shave with them.

DO make sure you wear the correct footware for the terminal walk. If your girlfriend accidentally goes ankle-deep into a glacial stream whilst traversing some particularly unstable stepping stones, make every effort not to laugh.

If, upon arriving at your hostel, you find that a Cessna, mistaking Fox airfield for Franz Josef, has crashed into a pylon, and taken out the power for the whole town, DO stockpile duvets and blankets from unused beds and DO use gas rings to heat saucepans of water for hot water bottles. You may also like to have a conversation with fellow backpackers in absolute darkness or, for the more enterprising, by the light of a laptop or mobile phone.

The next day, once power is restored, if you are going on a heli-hike, DON'T be alarmed if the pilot appears to be about 14 (youngsters catch on very quick). Also DON'T ask the pilot if you can have a go at flying it because you once saw an episode of Airwolf and wondered how hard it could be. Or, once you reach the glacier, DON'T ask if you can lower yourself off the skis and drop the last 10m, because you also saw an episode of the A-Team and wondered how dangerous it could be.

DO put your crampons on the right way. DON'T make reference to the fact they resembles a cross between a muzzle and an implement of sexual torture. DON'T refer to them as tampons. Even though this is funny.

DO find out where everyone in your group is from. DO express surprise when you meet a couple on honeymoon from Coalville (yes! honest!). And then DO express surprise when another woman overhearing that conversation says she has a penfriend in Hugglescoat (yes! I couldn't believe it either!)

DO be prepared to be adventurous. If the guide takes you down into an ice ravine by a rope/ice-pins she's just hammered in, take the opportunity to follow her. If, once at the bottom, and in an ice cave the size of a large built-in wardrobe, she advises to lie on your back and slide through an impossiby tight aperture, DO follow her, because you don't want to get left behind.

After 2 and half hours on the ice, when you get back home to DO have some Supernoodles and an afternoon nap, because you will be knackered

DO post your photos on your blog:

1 comment:

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