Baby it’s Cold Outside

Well, here we are tomorrow and you guys are still doing today. It is a kick to think about the time difference.

We just didn’t bring the right clothes for NZ. They are having an unseasonably cold spring and the rayman and I are cold. We have bought wool sweaters, thick socks but still we are cold. The funny thing is that the locals don’t seem to notice the cold. Saw a man in a bakery yesterday not only with bermuda shorts on…but also barefooted. WHAT was he thinking?

So today it’s back to the farm and on Friday we hope to finalize our plans to the south island, west coast specifically. That’s right after we complete our sun dance. More later.

Before I continue, I must pay tribute to Steve Jobs. Just got word that he died today. How sad. He has so changed my life in so many ways…including this blogging thing. I’m raising my glass to him tonight. Thanks, Steve Jobs.

So…we are still trying to figure out how to do the South Island. It is not easy. The pictures above were taken on our trip to Gisborne. The trip itself was a cross between Highway 1 toward Big Sur and the road to Hana with the additional delicacy of huge lumber trucks barreling down. See. The truck below is loaded with lumber but most of them are.
So we drove this challenging two lane road and stopped at a road side stand becuz Mr. J was sure we’d see a place to stop for coffee. Two hours later it was the roadside stand. Two women were sitting out front of the joint smoking as opposed to smoking a joint out front…and we entered the building. And we waited for a few minutes and finally the urge to see what we wanted overwhelmed one of them. We got a couple of flat whites and they were not very good. First bummer. As we were drinking them anyway, a big bus pulled up and all sorts of locals piled off and came in to order tea and crumpets. We took leave and kept heading toward Gisborne.

Gisborne is the place that Capt. Cook discovered NZ. It’s their claim to fame. Now it is the logging capital of NZ, my opinion only. We checked in and later went to dinner. Ray was so excited because he was warm. Anyway, we showed up at this restaurant before opening hour. As we peered through the window, a nice young woman from Ireland (we learned later) asked us to stop in and have a drink while they prepared for opening. So we did. And we met Richard Clarke, a retired principal that now does consulting. He actually grew up in Gisborne, however, now lives in Hamilton (middle of the north island). We had a rousing discussion about all sorts of subjects and when it was time to dine, we decided to dine together. It was our anniversary but the conversation was stimulating and how often does something like that happen in the U.S.? So, I had duck confit (oversalted) with cabbage (lovely) and potato disks cooked in butter. It was a french restaurant. Ray had carrot/cumin soup (I’m sure they used an entire bunch of carrots, it was so big) and risotto with seafood. It was good…not great. The NZ wine was delic.


If any of you are wondering what rayman is doing as I write…he’s watching a program about breast reduction. A man of many interests. Did I mention that it is very graphic. OMG. And right after dinner.

Anyway, back to my blog. Where was I? Oh, yes, dinner at the french restaurant. We did have a very good time with Richard. He was a man of many interests himself and a many good stories. And he was gracious enough to snap this picture. Not my best, but a picture of us starting our 21st year!!
Today we drove back to Napier using the same hair-raising road with the addition of rain. Wow. So here are a few pictures.
In this shot, you get a lot going on. The speed sign, the big mountain in the distance, and plowed fields. Now this.
We’re very high…up in the clouds and we came across these cows in repose. The cows here a lucky…lots of grass. They do not feed cows corn (which makes cows sick, did you know?). Here is another picture of the road from the driver’s point of view.
There was also pretty things. We came upon this river valley. So, we drove from sea level, up curvy hills/mountains/back down to ocean level…back up to clouds. This land is very dramatic in so many ways.
Then we came upon flowers.
I enhanced this a bit because there was no sun but there were miles of these flowering bushes.

When we returned to Napier we decided to explore Cape Kidnappers as there was a golf course there. First they had to buzz you onto the property. That is a first for entry to a golf course. Then when we drove about 3 miles up to the pro shop, we met John from Boston who ran the place. The least-friendly person we’ve met in NZ. From the U.S. Oh, dear. After we found out that the green fees were $455 without a cart or club rentals, we sheepishly left the premises and snapped these pictures.


The above pictures were taken on the golf property. It was way up high on a plateau. Fabulous scenery…for a price

So, we are back on the farm and planning our south trip…we’ve just about settled on it. Off to see the fjords, some wine tour (leader led), a train trip from Picton to Christchurch and the rest of it involves flying. We’ve just about ruled out all rental cars. And I’m looking forward to that…Later to all of you.

Leave Comment