There was one thing I knew I wanted to do in New Zealand: climb a glacier. At heart I’m a beach worshiper – the sun, sea and sand makes anyone feel vibrant and puts me in the best mood. And I hate the cold. Hate it. Make all the Canadian jokes you want, it won’t make me deal with sub zero temps any better.
Ben and I arrive at the township of the Franz Josef glacier with a plan. We booked a helicopter up the glacier paired with a guided climb. Ben was a little worried because I’m also a chicken at heart and thought the helicopter ride would spook me. But I have my bouts of bravery – like the momentary insanity I had in Australia, where I went sky diving – and it was fine.
The glacier itself was fantastic – I’ve never been surrounded by so much ice! So much blue ice to be specific – ice turns blue as its exposed to oxygen and blue ice apparently means its very dense and very frozen. Ben said he’d never seen my face so delighted as I trudged around with my boot cramps on. I don’t know if I was just having fun, in awe of the natural beauty or the clean air laced with glacier water was going to my head (factoid: apparently the water take 100 years to travel from the top of the glacier to where I stood midway up. Its some of the purest, cleanest in the world, I almost sneaked a sip but thought it may be a faux pas).
Let me tell you, all fashion goes out the window when you’re this cold – and I had two coats on, two pairs of pants and my trusty old boot spikes to keep me from slipping (what a work out to get around in all that gear!).
Here are some pics.
Fashion goes out the window and beauty hardly crosses your mind. I wore no make up and was reluctant to wash my hair, thus keeping it wet in the cold. I know, ew right? But its true. I did slather on my Martina Gebhardt Aloe Vera Cream though. You need to do damage control in such cool and inflaming conditions. The heavier the moisturizer the better – and while many of you might think a pure oil is the richest of the rich, you’re mistaken. Heavy natural creams are the Queens of emollient protection. They are a combination of oil and water emulsified by wax and possibly a plant or nut butter.
You know how some natural moisturizers go on thick but then leave your skin feeling dry? Its because they have high wax and therefore sit on the surface, not soaking in. These are good for if you need protection but no nourishment as they lock in moisture but don’t add much to them. You can tell these types of creams because they “soap” as you apply them – meaning create a white sudsiness as you run them in. Chemical-based petroleum creams also sit on the surface of our skin as their molecules are too large to fully permeate into the skin. But to me, they have no use as they’re full of crap (pardon my French).
Anyhoo, the Martina Gebhardt Aloe Cream is a lovely product that swaths the skin in nourishment – no soaping, no feeling of sitting on the surface, just a great combination of pure plant oils, shea butter and wax. And because of the fact it protects from the wax and rejuvenates from the oil, makes it perfect for harsh weather conditions.
So while I have hardly touched my cosmetic bag, I have been happily using my rich cream. Its keeping my skin a-glow even while glacier climbing in the New Zealand winter weather.