Saturday, February 11, 2012

Day 4: Franz Josef to Fox. Short ride, not easy, walk on a glacier, and a kink in the plan.

I have scheduled this post to publish the day after I wrote it, since I just published yesterdaay's post.
Day 4
 First thing: great coffee at the hip coffee shop.  Then we made our eggs that we bought last night poached,since we had no oil. put enough cheese on eggs and they taste good even without salt or pepper! A big helping of Birchers yogurt and we would have been good to ride 60K, but  Today we only had to ride 23 km over three decent sized hills.  

The weather was great. Warm and very humid, and no rain. Yay.  We passed by this recent landslide, which I thought was pretty cool.

The only problem with the ride today was my Achilles tendons.  On day 0, when we first got the bikes, I had the feeling  that my seat was up a bit too high, but I was too lazy to adjust it.  Sure enough, by the middle of the ride on day 1, my left Achilles was feeling a little sore.  I lowered my seat for day 2, but by the end of day 2, both heels were hurting.  I lowered my seat agin on day 3, but it still got worse.  during today's ride, I felt serious pain, despite being on a regimen of ibuprofen and riding less these last couple of days.  I figured an afternoon off the bike would help, but today was our half day glacier tour, where we got to go on the ice! No way was I missing that.  Despite being a seriously cool experience, it was overshadowed by a dull pain in both tendons and occasional sharp pain in my right tendon. To the point of limping and then hobbling and then even a few tears.  I am very worried about the next few days.

But that's my ache and pain.  What I really want to post about is the amazing glacier stuff we saw today.
But first, we checked into our backpacker for the night, the Ivory Towers for $73.

And then a real meal. It took a long time to get the food, but we had a nice lunch of steak sandwich and chicken burger, plus beer, since I was feeling low and we were on vacation.

Then we were off to the glacier. I am not going to write too many facts, because 1. I can't remember them and 2 you can wikipedia that, but I did find it remarkable that the top of the Fox glacier receives 11m of precipitation, which translates to 40 to 50 m of snow each year.  This huge amount is why there is a glacier in a lush forest only 20 km from the ocean.  

Our guide, Bia, told us that This glacier moves about 1 m a day, which we witnessed as numerous rockfalls around us as we walked on the glacier.

So here are a few more cool pictures from the glacier.  Despite my painful tendons and worry about tomorrow, I still had a great time.

After the excursion, we needed some beers and to put some ice on the tendon to lift my spirits.

It was a pretty evening and we could see more of the mountains than before because the clouds were lifting.

After that, it was cup-o-noodles and peanut butter on toast for dinner at the backpacker.

Tendons permitting, we will be traveling south tomorrow, which involves some camping and most likely fewer Internet hotspots.

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