So, we continued driving from Fantail Falls, with the next planned stop at Thunder Creek Falls. However, within about 3 minutes (literally – I checked the photo times on my computer) of pulling away, Paco slowed down in front of us and drove onto the shoulder. Instead of stopping though, Paco slowly but surely gently slid all the way into the ditch where he came to a rest. We pulled off a few metres further on where there was a safe place to park and ran back to see what mischief they were trying to get into.
In photo 1, you can see me asking them where they learned to drive. Jos took the first two photos with my camera.
After everyone climbed out the passenger side, we began discussing how to get the car out of the mud it was now stuck in.
Within seconds of us stopping, a campervan driving by stopped and the gentleman driving, a tourist named Michael (not sure where he was from, but I would guess either Scandinavia or Holland) came with a first aid kit, as he thought someone might be injured. Luckily, Paco was going about 2km/h when he hit the ditch so no one was hurt at all.
We attempted to get the car out in reverse while everyone pushed, but to no avail. However, Michael, Elliott, and Esperanza got a fair amount of mud on them from the front wheel spinning in reverse.
Lucky for us, about one minute later a 4×4 came by and pulled over. He immediately got out a tow rope and told us to hook it to the back of Paco. We found a spot that seemed like it wouldn’t pull the bumper off, and Blake hooked up the rope.
The 4×4 guy then slowly drove forward, pulling Paco out of the ditch with Elliott at the wheel to keep the wheels turned properly.
Amazingly, what could easily have been a 4 hour wait for a tow truck to pull Paco out turned into under 10 minutes!
We were on the road immediately and soon arrived at Thunder Creek Falls where Blake, Elliott, and I attempted to cross the river. However, it was bloody cold and we couldn’t make it all the way. Jos took this photo of our attempt:
I took a few pics of Blake and Elliott in their valiant but ultimately unsuccessful effort to get across. They made it farther than me, as my wussy feet were in too much pain from the cold water to continue without falling over and dunking my camera.
Ooh – scaled version showing the littleness of us mere humans in comparison to the waterfall.
At our next stop, Roaring Billy, Esperanza decided to get in touch with the flora and spent some time in a tree.
We continued driving the rest of the day to arrive in Franz Josef Glacier (the town is called Franz Josef Glacier, the glacier is called Franz Josef glacier with a small G) by night.
On our way, we drove along the West Coast for a while, and I thought these trees were really nifty.
There was a lookout point with public toilets at one point too. This pic is not the toilets.
And, as the sun went down, we happened to be right by a beach so I forced Elliott to pull over for a photo. We could actually see the sun moving at a quick rate, and within 5 minutes it was gone.
The next day we went to see the glaciers!
To be continued…