|After two days in Franz Josef it was time to leave. I thought about hopping off the bus for a couple of days and continuing to explore the glacier region but decided not to. The Kiwi Ex buses are running less frequently and usually full so I could have been in an expensive middle of nowhere for a long time. Add to that, the only things I would have wanted to do was go on walks and there are only so many you can do before things get to be the same.
We got on the bus for Wanaka at 8:00 and stopped to get a look of Fox Glacier, the other major ice patch, and then went to Lake Matheson. Lake Matheson is a kettle lake, it was formed by the glaciers, and when it is calm you can take a photo of it and get perfect reflections of Mt. Cook and Mt. Tasman in it. The lake was rough so the photo wasn't great, but it was a nice stop.
We made another couple of stops along the way, at a waterfall and for another walk. We slowly left the west coast rainforest and made our way into the central mountain region known as Otago (Oh-tah-go). We passed around Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka and then stopped for the night at the Wanaka hotel. The hotel had in house movies on closed circuit tv so after an expensive two days in Franz Josef I was content with spending the night sitting in my room, as did most of the bus.
I roomed with 3 guys from Aarborg, Denmark (I am not sure of my "sbelling") who have been interesting to be around for the last few days. When they weren't spilling Jim Beam bourbon all over themselves they were pretty fun to be around.