Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November 15, 2017 - Hokitika

Hokitika is a cute little town on the coast, and is well known for their Jade shops.  We went into one large store and they make their jade jewelry right there on-site.  It was interesting to watch the people grinding the jade pieces into the intricate designs that become earrings and necklaces.

Cutting a slice of jade off a large stone.
Hand-grinding a piece of jade into a work of art.

An example of what they turn a slice of rock into.
Crazy "van of the day" picture #1
Crazy "van of the day" picture #2

There are a lot of one way bridges.  The sign shows which direction has to stop
and wait.  Bridges like this are everywhere.  A typical New Zealand RV.  You do
not see them any larger than this one.  

After wandering around town for a while on foot, we jumped in the car and headed out to Hokitika Gorge for a walk, and another suspension bridge.  We had seen some pictures of the river's water color and it just didn't look real.  It was intriguing enough to make us want to go check it out for ourselves.  Surprisingly, the pictures we saw were accurate.  Check out the water's color in our photos.

What a cool place.  Suspension bridge in the background.

It just doesn't look real....

A large group came in and did some "cliff" jumping into the turquoise water
Here is how a sign near the river described how to make the color:

      Ingredients: rock flour, melted glacier ice, river water
  •  Make the rock flour by grinding down schist and greywacke into a fine powder.
  •  Combine rock flour with a dash of melted ice and minerals from ancient glaciers.
  •  Continuously add to river water.
  •  The result is a gorgeous milky, turquoise-colored river.

Next we drove 90 minutes to the small town of Franz Josef Glacier.  Yes, there is a glacier here.  In fact, there are two, the other one is about 20 minutes away.  We took a hike up to an old mine shaft.  We were warned that there would be running water inside, so we switched to our water shoes.  It was a fairly easy hike to get there.  The tunnel is very long, and indeed water was flowing through it, and the occasional glow-worm on the ceiling.  The water was extremely cold, but we were expecting it because we are only a few miles from a glacier.

Entering the mine shaft

There goes Cindy into the darkness
Cindy spots a glow worm

A glow worm.  It emits a blue light from it's tail that attracts insects.  The insects
get tangled in the glow worms hanging tentacles.  The glow worm then eats the insect.

A moth has been trapped by the tentacles.  The glow worm is the skinny long
thing just above the dead moth.  The tentacles are hanging from the glow worm.

Exiting the cave.  You can see the water running across
the bottom.

We made it!

No comments:

Post a Comment