We managed to fit a couple of detours for caches into our weekend, as you do.
One highlight as far as views go was this one: GC1PPX9 View of Franz Josef Glacier. And because it was an earthcache it was all about what we could see around us! A little bit of counting, a bit of geology and GPS skills, and off course the photo. We were actually very fortunate as some tourists offered to take a photo of us. So, a rare piccy of us together.
This is the one we used for our cache log though:
It was also really fortunate that we had a stunning clear sunny day on Sunday. If we’d tried to do this cache on Saturday (not that we had time!!) our photo would have looked more like some of the other ones in the cache gallery.
Of course, if you are not into geology, there are always alternative explanations as to how the glacier got there!!
We did a little detour to another cache GC160J5 Lookout Back There, which is near the Okarito Lagoon, and the forest where the Rowi live. There was more beautiful scenery, and it proved the ‘Mountains to the Sea’ aspect of the National Park really well. From the lookout, I could look west and see the lagoon & the ocean, and look east to the mountains!
Another very cool experience that we had was an encounter with a South Island Robin (Petroica australis australis.) The bird we saw was most likely a male due to the distinct colours. He was a very confident little fellow – coming within a foot of me, and not leaving the area even when we were quietly moving about. We have seen these little birds before – about the size of a chubby sparrow, with longer legs – but this was the closest encounter. I think we may have been disturbing a few bugs, as we hunted the cache, which was no doubt what he was interested in.
There are four species of ‘robin’ in New Zealand (although they are not in fact in the same family as European Robins at all.) The little fellow we saw is relatively common and his species is not considered to be significantly at risk, although population numbers are monitored. This is in comparison to his close relative the Black Robin (Petroica traverse) which once had a population of only 5 individuals – including one female!!!
PB was actually on to the cache almost immediately, though the logs had warned us that it could require a bit of a search, being as it was under tree cover, with the GPS reluctant to zero. But with his usual skill, PB picked where it would be straight away. The cache was a good one too – an ammo can, with a few good swaps in it. We dropped off a travel bug that we had with us since the Valentine’s Day event in Nelson. It’s a brand new TB which we’d been asked to place somewhere outside of the Nelson area by its owners. So we left Little Red in the care of one of the other cache occupants.