Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Stop the Car! The Chocolate Eclair Shop

What would you do if you were cruising through the ski town of Ohakune on the southern edge of Tongariro National Park and you saw this.

Of course we pulled over, caravan and all, in a convenient three-fer parking spot. Was there really such a thing in NZ (we know we're not in France)? Turns out yes, depending on your definition of chocolate eclair.

This gent's father started the bakery 80 years ago to bake bread for the war effort. I asked him how many eclairs he sold daily. "Depends on who's asking," he said. "If it's the taxman, just a few. But honestly, about 1000."

These were dreamy eclairs--cream puffs, really, made of actual pate a choux pastry, filled with real whipped cream (none of that plastic stuff, the owner said), and slathered in light chocolate icing. You can see some of all this stuck to my face. 

Big thanks to Phyllis for the Lakeview Pantry hoodie, the ideal outerwear these days and a worthy place to make a donation.

The alternate title of this post is To Mangaweka and the Rangitikei River.
Here's our route (click here if you can't view) from Tongariro to Mangaweka.

We left the DOC campsite in Whakapapa at 10:30, frost still apparent on the road shadows.

This is another beautiful part of NZ, one we haven't driven before.

We stopped for groceries. Most New World groceries have these charging stations now.

Third in a series: Dogs in Trucks

Our Mangaweka campground sits right on the Rangitikei River, which runs through an enormous clay canyon. The campground is beautifully landscaped and we're the only ones camping here. The scale makes our rig look like a toy.

On a little walk, I longed to be a fly-fisher on this river.

What, no recurring goat feature?

We roasted a chicken for our first meal, enjoyed with beet and cabbage stir fry.

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