Day 6 was our first of 2 major travel days. We needed to cover roughly 500 kilometers through national forests, coastline, and mountains in a single day, easily our roughest road trip thus far. But it was a necessary evil for us to get where we wanted to go the next morning: Fox Glacier.
The plan was rough draft at best: drive a few hours, take a break when we found something cool to do/a great place for a workout. Sometimes spontaneity and embracing the unexpected is the only way to stay upbeat when you're trapped in a car for 7+ hours. Our first stop was at a historic swing bridge in the Buller River Gorge. This was a cool excursion that was more novelty that anything else- a 200 foot bridge built out of thin cables, kind of like something you'd see in Indiana Jones. So we all walked the plank and got across, then took a quick hike through the surrounding forest and beach to stretch our legs. While it was a very beautiful portion of river, the most memorable part of this particular stop were the sand flies. Everyone got eaten alive in the 30 minutes we were there, and could be seen scratching their ankles, legs, and backs for the rest of the trip because of it. Needless to say we picked up some Off! at the next supermarket.
After another few hours on the road we pulled off at the underpass of an old rail bridge and did some free climbing. We used the I beams under the bridge itself as hand holds, but also were able to string up the rings for muscle ups, skin the cats, toes to rings, you name it. This was our best opportunity thus far to do some legitimate skill practice on the rings so we took advantage.
While there we squatted logs and boulders, and even did some stone to shoulders. Different animal when the stone isn't perfectly round, let me tell you. This turned into a 2 hour workout, and it was a blast! Super creative and resourceful, just like these trips are meant to be.
On the last leg of our drive we were blessed with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. EVER. Every few minutes the colors got deeper and deeper, to the point where we simply had to pull off the shoulder and admire them. We took pictures in front of a random lake and did our best to capture the moment. Soon after we were in Franz Joseph, a stones throw from Fox Glacier, and getting ready for bed. Another big travel day lay in front of us, but with Queenstown as our destination, who could complain?
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