Franz Josef

W/ Our next major stop over was to be at Franz Josef. It would allow us to view 2 glaciers and some fairly dramatic scenery. However, probably foolishly, we had not anticipated how busy the town below the glaciers would be.

P/ Fwanz Josef was a small touwist town, filled with stores offewing helicopter flights over and onto the glacier, and backpackers in dwoves. It is all vewy modern with many forms of accommodation.

C/ We’d booked in advance and I had chosen that we stay in a tree house. Something a little different for the boys I thought.

W/ Although it wasn’t a true tree house, but a cabin on stilts in the tree canopy. It was very comfortable, Chris, and we’d both say you chose well.

P/ And there was a bar on site which may have gone some way to sway your decision.

W/ So, early in the morning we set off for the Franz Josef Glacier. It was probably 4 or 5 kms from the town so we drove. On the way we noticed many young people hitchhiking so, at Polie’s suggestion, we pulled over in a convenient spot and gave a lift to a young lady heading up. She explain that, like the others, she would make her way to the glacier, and then hike through the forest back to the town.

C/ Then Polie asked where she’d come from. China! The Coronavirus had not long appeared in New Zealand. We all went quiet.

P/ Sorwy, lads, but it was all wight as I asked how long she’d been in New Zealand and she said 3 months.

C/ Everyone relaxed.

W/ I guess we all realised you just have to do what you do and if that’s kindness, then so be it.

C/ Hmmmm.

P/ So we parked up and followed the trail up. It was busy early in the morning.

W/ But we couldn’t get as far as the glacier as the trail was closed as we neared due to previous rains swelling the river.

C/ But everyone got plenty of photos. What to do with the rest of the morning?

P/ We decided to dwive out to see Fox Glacier but on the way to stop for coffee at Lake Matheson also called Wefection Lake.

W/ Reflection, Polie. It turned out to be a great idea. Reflection Lake is reputedly the most photographed lake in the country due to it’s amazing reflective qualities. After coffee we decided to walk around it which would be a couple of hours with stops.

C/ Fooled again. I had only stopped for coffee, and cake of course, and next thing I know I’m on a walk!

P/ But it was lovely, Chwis. The lake weflecting the mountains.

W/ And how many different types of fern would we see. It was staggering. A wonderful couple of hours.

C/ And how many photos did the bear take! Stop here, stop there. If we have to walk lets get it over with as quick as we can.

W/ Well, because of your long suffering we bought you more cake when you got back to the restaurant at the head of the trail.

C/ The very least you could do. Little did I realise you were softening me up for an hours climb up the track to view Fox Glacier.

P/ But another weally well worth while walk to see the glacier. You know there will come a time when it won’t be there, Chwis, if the world carwies on warming?

W/ Yes, Chris, these are sights the next generations may never see. That’s really sad as they are so magnificent. You should remember them.

C/ So I had again walked much further than I anticipated and the day had passed. I felt compensated for my immense efforts and not complaining, too much, as Wic had got a table at the Blue Ice Restaurant in Franz Josef. If ever you are there they do a good plate of food. The salmon was magnificent.

W/ Glad your day was rounded off so well, Chris. Tell me, are you on a food tour of New Zealand?

P/ Don’t forget the dwink, Wic.

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