Thursday, 3 February 2011

That’s a long way to get Fish and Chips

South Island to Jackson Bay

Firstly some Diggers for Sam

Sam 2

Sam – when we were at the Fox Glacier (ask Dada to tell you what a Glacier is), we saw some large diggers doing some construction work near the river. Above you can see that a digger is loading rocks and sand from the riverbed into the back of a large lorry (really it is a large dumper truck).

Sam 4

The lorry then drives to another part of the construction site and dumps its load onto a new river bank which is being built.

Sam 1

Here you can see the river bank and the digger

Sam 3

levelling out the stones and sand to make the riverbank. We hope you enjoy these pictures – love Nana Pat and Papa Paul xxx

And now some art for you grown-ups

Work of Art 2

A latte and a hot chocolate

Work of Art 1

When we were out walking, we stopped at a cafe near Lake Murchison for these drinks – they made them very carefully and produced two works of art and we thought they deserved recording in the Blog.

Whitebait Salad Chips

Whitebait, salad and chips – why? more on this later.

The next glacier down the road from the Franz Josef is the Fox Glacier. You might think that if you have seen one glacier you have seen them all – not so.

Big Valley

The Fox Glacier is at the end of a very long and wide valley

Valley and Ants

(the small dots running down the centre of this photograph are people  - this valley is very very wide)

Big Rock Small Person

and on one side of the valley are some enormous large sheer rocks (note the small person in the above photograph who is about 100 metres away from the rock).

Fox Glacier 1

The glacier is flatter than the Franz Josef and has an ice cave at its end

Fox Glacier Layers

but still shows layers of ice and gravel. It provides a different experience to that of Franz Josef- perhaps FJ is more exciting but it is also much busier. Similarly the two attached townships are different. Franz Josef is a busy cramped tourist township, Fox seems to be a spread out, quieter, smaller, more personal township.

Near to the Fox Glacier is Lake Murchison. This is renowned for the fact that it acts a bit like a mirror and reflects the distant mountains (Tasman and Cook) in its surface.

Lake Matheson Reflection

Because it is such a perfect mirror (oil from nearby tea trees seeps into the water to create a mirror like surface on the lake), you are not supposed to be able to tell if the above picture is the right way up. Here is a picture of Mount Tasman (left) and Mount Cook (right)

Mount Tasman and Mount Cook

to assist you in deciding.

By Lake Matheson

A couple of travellers asked for their photograph to be taken at the lake

Lake Matheson Reflection

You may have guessed by now that this is the correct way up – it is quite a remarkable view.

The West Coast Highway goes from Karamea in the north, many hundreds of kilometres to Jackson Bay in the South. The only thing these two communities have in common is that they are at an end of the highway and they are also at the end of a cul-de-sac some 50 kms long. By this I mean that if you were going south down the highway, you would turn east at Haast to get to anywhere east in New Zealand. At that point the highway only goes down to Jackson Bay and there are no more turn offs to anywhere else. Once you get there, the road sign says it all.

End West Coast Highway

You now have to turn around and go back to Haast. Is that clear?

However – at Jackson Bay is a world famous fish and chip shop, called The Cray Pot.

Cray Pot Jackson Beach

Famous because it is there and it serves reasonable fish and chips (they do not actually serve Cray Fish) and also because for most people, their only reason for driving 100kms on a round trip is to eat their Fish and Chips.

And so, having negotiated road hazards such as

Road Hazard

and pouring rain

Jackson Beach

our travellers arrive at the less than picturesque

Cray Pot Reception    

Jackson Bay Cray Pot Cafe

Cray Pot Inside

perhaps wondering why they did it

Cray Pot View

but enjoying the view

Pat in Cray Pot

having ordered from the menu

Cray Pot Menu

and then eating their freshly caught and cooked Whitebait

Whitebait Salad Chips

and Chips with Salad and Mustard Dressing. When it arrived it was actually a Whitebait Omelette with chips and salad but it still tasted good.

Then they got back into their van and drove the 50 kms back to Haast through the rain.

Some 10 months ago and 18,000 kms away, I found details of the Cray Pot on the web, read the reviews and thought that we would go there if ever we were in the area. It always surprises and pleases me when this actually happens.

ps - It rained for the next 12 hours by the way.

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