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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

And after the rain.......

The rain....all night it continued...the drumming sound on the van roof was enough to drive one crazy.  Morning couldn’t come soon enough and still the rain came down.  Every time we opened the van door, water would pour in and the bedding at one end was soaked. Pity all those hardy folk camping in their tents! Can quite believe the 6" that was predicted and that was very evident when we finally got underway.

As we were at Fox we wanted to see the glacier. The road leading to the car park for the beginning of the walk was flooded so no vehicles allowed. The only other place was a viewing point further up the road. Unfortunately the track was unsuitable for buses, campervans and trailers so we had to abandon the whole idea.  But crossing a bridge over one of the rivers a glimpse to the side and there she was. The Fox Glacier. For a brief moment the sun had put in an appearance and the cloud cover lifted. The river was a sight to behold. You wouldn't want to fall into that!

Fox glacier upper left corner
Along highway 6 and heading for Lake Moeraki, a land slip had almost closed the road. Here we were held up for 5 minutes or so while the debris was being cleared.

 And then, further along, the river had burst it's bank and was flowing swiftly across the highway. If it hadn’t been for the lorry making it through we would probably have turned back. As we approached we noticed that the force of water had all but washed part of the road away. Needless to say, Ian kept the revs going, stayed well left and we got through unscathed.

The sun shone as we made it to Lake Moeraki and walked to Monro beach. This was home to the Tawaki (Fiordland crested penguins) normally present during the breeding season July to November but occasionally could be seen during their moult January/March. Another 3km hike to go see but apart from those horrendous sand flies having a go at us, not a penguin in sight. Enjoyed the walk through the rainforest and after the storm of yesterday, the waves were pretty impressive too.

Flooding was everywhere and along the Haast pass waterfalls could be seen right up to the road. Several looked spectacular and we stopped to have a look.

 With all the holdups and viewing of waterfalls we never made it to Wanaka. Instead we stopped at the most idyllic campsite here on the South Island at a place called Makarora country cafe. I have high hopes of seeing the stars in all their glory tonight. No cloud cover at present and light pollution is zero.

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