The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Around the World (Again) Napier-Wellington

Taupo to Napier and on to Wellington. Nov 04.

We were up early to set off for Napier (Bill had said that was a nice place to visit), we travelled the  across some high passes and saw some spectacular scenery.

By chance we pulled off the main road to see what a scenic view was, it sure was a scenic view, 2 waterfalls crashing, springing and plunging down the mountainside, very spectacular and very scenic (well it would be wouldn’t it, as that what it said on the label).

The Route led us eventually through one of the beef and dairy producing area of New Zealand, isolated farms and if you did pass through a town it consisted of 1 street containing a bakery, farm supplies, general dealers and a pub (may be that is where most of the business of the area took place). Up on the hillsides, forestry is the main industry with lots of complete logging taking place, that is it is planted and then the big logging machines come in completely cutting the mountains bare, leaving only the stumps, then comes the cultivators and remove the stumps and plant new young seedlings, the crop is in the main pine and fire for the building industry. 

We dropped down into the Hawkes Bay area, the landscape changed from rolling hills full beef and dairy cattle to level plains containing vineyards, vegetable farms and fruit orchards. This was the start of the famous Hawkes Bay wine producing areas.  We stopped to fill up with petrol (our little banger was very economical and the hire firm Jucy is to be recommended) and then drove along the coast to Napier. We now had getting accommodation down to a T, we just headed straight for the Tourist Information building (always well sign posted and with plenty of parking), we stood in line (quite a few looking for accommodation ) a lady came from behind a screen and asked if we were looking for a place, she took us behind the screen (normal punters are dealt with at the counter, but we got preferential treatment, in a matter of minutes we had our motel booked, paid for and we were on our way, it was one street behind the main beach front and within easy walking of the shops, pubs and restaurants. Again it was a very nice motel (Fountain Court) and had Wi-Fi, great for keeping in touch with the world in General and posting my blogs in particular.

No Way through

We got our bags into our unit and decided that we would go to see the gannet breeding colony at cape Kidnapped, we now seem to have the knack  of getting the timings wrong, the only access to the breeding colonies is along the beach (or you pay an exorbitant price to travel through private lands on a guided tour), so we parked up at the furthest one can travel and popped into the café, we both had nice flat white coffees and Linda had a citrus slice and I had very nice ham, egg and onion quiche in a filo shell.  We retraced our tracks passing through loads of wineries (vineyards) with names that I had until now only seen on labels of Hawkes Bay wine labels.

Some of the numerous Art Décor Buildings in Napier

We then went shopping as the next day was a longish trip and we had decided that we would have an early breakfast and the head off and have a picnic lunch on the way. We brought a big tray of cooked shell on prawns, a tub of mussels in garlic, a pot of Aioli and 4 seeded rolls. That was us settled for the morn, but what about this evening?

We took the victuals back to the motel got it put into the fridge and decided to have a look around town at its nice Art Deco architecture, one of these housed what seemed to be a nice restaurant, when I popped my head in the door I just knew this was right for us, it had red deer coming through the walls, so it must be good.   
I went to the bar and asked if they had any dark beer (the sort of dark bitter that I remember so well),the barman then insisted I taste each of the beers on tap, but when none of these came up to my expectation, he said, “try this sir, I think it will be just what you’re looking for” it was. It was called Mac’s Black Mac, very nice, full bodied just the job. We got the menu and even though the waitress (a US girl working her way around NZ as she is studying wine, she worked at a winery during the days and waitressed during the night) told us there were various specials on tonight, one being venison filet wrapped in bacon, we had decided on fish and chips.

Well this was a very nice presented fish and chips, it came presented in a brown paper bag with a side salad. Upon opening the parcel out came a wonderful smell of real fish and chips, the fish was done in a light crisp batter and the chips, well real ones, crisp outside and fluffy inside a pot of tartar sauce completed the display. I asked what the fish was and the waitress informed us that it was Gurnard, it was perfectly cooked, I am still waiting for my first bad meal in New Zealand.

Next day we breakfast on the small patio in front of the motel unit, pastrami, spiced pork, salami, rolls and coffee. We then hit the trail for Wellington a 370 km  drive, the first hour took us through the crop growing area of Hawkes Bay until the rolling plains turned into up lands, the vegetation changed and so did the agriculture, this was sheep country, miles after miles of white bobbing mutton, this is of course the lambing season and the ewes all had a lamb or two attached, next time I see these they may be in the Turkish butchers in Lübeck.

The rolling hills then turned into higher rougher terrain and we started to cut through mountainous passes, the road followed the route of the railway line and soon we dropped down into Parmerston North, Linda asked if there was a Palmerston South on South island, I refused to answer that silly question.

Soon we were heading down the route 1 towards Wellington passing through places with strange sounding Maori names interspersed with names of English towns no doubt given by the early settlers to remind them of home. We reached the turn off point and found the district and the street where my mate Bill and his wife Mary live, no problems at all. Bill was at work, but Mary was waiting for us. I hadn’t seen either of them for over 20 years (the last time I was in here in NZ), but Mary is just the same as she was those many moons ago. Of course it was coffee and chatter about the kids (now all grown up and with children of their own). We then had to get the hire car back, Mary accompanied us and so without any problem we got the car back well within the allotted time.

We then got a taxi home (as Mary’s car was getting a dent removed), the taxi driver also gave us a nice commentary as we passed the sites of earthquakes etc. along the way. We got home and as Bill would be cooking for us that evening and he wouldn’t be home until the big race (it was the Melbourne cup and their office does a sweepstake and a bit of a party). We chatted, nodded and drank coffee, Bill arrived and another round of bear hugs, introductions and kisses.

I sat at the breakfast bar, chatted and drank beer, while Bill prepared the evening meal and drank beer. He cooked a very nice fried rice, we went into the garden and Mary gave us a tour of all her growing successes, she is now retired so has loads of time to take care of the garden, as well as taking part in the local walking group, card playing, singing, you name it she does it. Dinner was served, so we ate, drank and chewed the fat about days gone by, our childhood, our youth and what we had done since.  Before we knew it was after 23:00 and my eyes stated to close so it was time for bed and shut eye.

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