To Franz Josef

To Franz Josef Township
 
 
 
 
 
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We jumped up, abluted and set off to cover the eighteen miles to Franz Josef. The road and bridges have become the norm for us as we pootle along in Mabel.
 
 
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This tiny stream had a great name, no it didn’t smell at all but Bear did the ‘tourist’ pose.
 
 
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Our ‘haze spotting’ continued with a good one this morning – a tiny patch rising from the road, joining the cloud that looked like it was waiting for it.
 
 
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The road took us further toward the coast away from the peaks, at one point the Wicked Witch said “turn left”, just as well, given that there was no right for the next ten miles. Bear started You........... and stopped himself, cheeks billowed, their relationship is far too fragile for any more outbursts from either one of them.
 
 
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Closer to the peaks but less snow as height lowering as we neared Franz Josef.
 
 
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A little further on the scenery opened up with us beside a humungous riverbed. Looking downriver and upriver.
 
 
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A flood sign just before our turnoff to go over the bridge.
 
 
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We crossed the Waiho River Bailey Bridge. This is how the scene has looked with the river at flood.
 
 
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Once over the bridge we were on the High Street of this tiny township of three hundred and thirty residents.
 
 
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The town was named after the Franz Josef Glacier - itself named by Julius von Haast in honour of the Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria, him with the wonderful facial hair who ruled for sixty eight years. The glacier's terminal face is close to the town and its accessibility makes it a major tourist attraction and the reason many people visit Franz Josef.

 
 
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On our right was the chocolate-box and tiny Our Lady of the Alps Catholic Church, sadly locked. We always get so saddened to find any House of God locked. The alps just in sight.
 
 
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We stopped by these handsome chaps half way down the high street.
 
 
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People rave on Tripadvisor about this shop – The Te Koha Gallery. We went in for a mooch and found some lovely jade carvings. We were invited to make our own jewellery but stood and chatted for a while. The local repellent for sandflies was retold to us. Half Dettol, half Baby Oil – anything to stick the little ladies feet together...........now to camp, windows and doors firmly closed as we can see the little monsters clinging to all the glass, wiggling in the wind - persistent or what. But we have been warned we are in their capital city.........
 
 
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The view over the right shoulder of Mabel and over the left. Wonderful. Now to play backgammon over a libation. WELL. We got to four all. Bear had one man on the three and one on the five. After my last-but-one throw I had one on the three. As Bear tossed his die I wished hard for him to throw a one. He did. I won, well the language I heard I had thought was only for the ears of the Wicked Witch.............He got his revenge in Sequence when I was four two up and lost four five. Heavy money compensation at Rummikub methinks. Huh. Don’t you Huh me or you’ll be cooking supper. Oh the pained discipline on his face as not to remark to that one...............
 
 
 
 
 
ALL IN ALL A PRETTY JOURNEY
                     RUGGED VIEWS AND FLAT RIVER PLAIN