Tuesday through to Thursday we spent in Franz Josef confined to barracks as the weather decided to turn disastrously wet! And when we mean wet, we mean really, really wet.  We have not seen so much rain fall in in such a short period of time.  We put out the large 20l buckets to catch some rain water that was pouring off the edge of the van, with the buckets filling in 15 minutes!!  At least we had plenty of fresh, clean drinking water.  But actually, that created another problem, how to get the water into the tank as it requires mains pressure on the inlet?  We will sort that one out another day.

Franz Joseph 1One half of the Franz Parking spot viewed from the gate (before the rain)

Franz Joseph 2The other half.

franz joseph 3and from the rear of the parking spot, our van at the front with the glacier hidden behind clouds in the background.

Meanwhile, what to do when you are confined to the van?  Firstly you deal with  all those blackberries and apples you picked the previous days.  Jam, relish and pies made, but we decided to make some Blackberry & Apple Jelly, and to do this a bit of improvising needed to take place.

applesbag of apples

pieputting the finishing touches to a pie

Blackberry apple pie 2pie completed…note the “rolling pin” in the background  – a bottle of Walnut Wine we brought back from the Dordogne region of France!

And you also make some sourdough bread.  Our starter is fantastically good now and we are making a loaf of bread every three days or so.

sourdoughDough on the rise.

sourdough breadready to go in the oven.

Blackberry apple piePie sampling underway with loaf cooling ready for sampling!

Then onto Jelly making, first we needed a jelly bag, well, an old tea towel was sacrificed for this purpose.  Then we needed to suspend it from something, so the laundry plunger was put to use.  Hmmm, but what can we balance it over? oh yes, the multi purpose bucket that was used to collect rain water and also doubles as a laundry bucket.  So all set up with a bowl placed into the bucket to catch the jelly. with everything carefully balanced and in place.

blackberry jellyHere is the jelly left to drip overnight.

Next day all cooked up, bottled and sampled.  I think we are set up now for pickles, jams and jellies.  However one cannot turn down the opportunity of free produce so we will see what we next find.

rainand the view from the van over the park, no not quite a lake but getting there!

There was also a spectacular thunder and lightening storm one night, the storm must have been just about directly over us as the thunder and lightening were occurring simultaneously, with the sound echoing round the hills.

We also found ourselves meeting more nice people, and one couple in particular, Pat & Sue,  who we seemed to have a bit in common.  We discovered that that also play Sequence – the board/card game what a lovely way to waste an afternoon in the rain.

On Friday we decided that enough was enough and we left Franz in the pouring rain to drive toward Hokitika.  The rain did not desist, as we passed Lake Mahinapoua and the iconic jetty we photographed the other day, today, the said jetty was only just visible above the water level.  Unfortunately the photographer was a little slow in getting the camera ready so you will have to use your imagination. But she did take a photo of the obligatory road sign

wet and slow25k/hr for the next ???

We arrived in Hokitika to bright sunshine and quickly got ourselves parked and settled in yet another one of the fantastic NZ Motorhome Assn parking sites.

hokitika 2parked up with the sun setting – that means Happy Hour?

hokitika 1And a view across from the river bank.

upstream Hokitika bridge Looking toward the Alps from the bridge into Hokitika.

The Park Over Point (POP) is on land that was once the local airport.  The area was one of the earliest to have a scheduled air service in New Zealand with South Westland Air Services serving the West Coast.  To commemorate the early pioneer Company and its major personalities there are these three information boards and a propeller statue mounted just outside the POP entrance.



airport memorial 2


Errata:  Several posts ago I mentioned the size of the New Zealand Orchid flowers.  The size should have been 6 – 8 mm about twice that which I originally posted.  Sorry about that!


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