Let Me Describe the Scene

A glorious day today. It’s Sunday in New Zealand on the Pukerangi Station sheep farm, high in rolling hills out 30 minutes from the nearest grocery store. Heaven. It is so quiet we slept in until 8:45 a.m. And then before ever putting a foot on the floor declared it a day to not get in the car. This proclamation was made for several reasons. Mostly, it was my back. I wretched my back schlepping my bags in Sydney and haven’t been the same since. That and we just want to luxuriate in these surroundings we find ourselves in. As far as we know we are only sharing our digs with two cats, about 10 dogs that help with the 6000 ewes and who knows how many baby lambs and men lambs(?) and a group of chickens which I mentioned earlier.

Here’s some pictures.

The vistas pictured above is what you see looking out from around the house. We walked down toward to lambs and the babies ran to their mothers and they all headed away from us so the picture I took involved the zoom.

So, here I sit with the kitty next to me in front of the fire which we hardly need. And did I mention the lamb shanks I have braising? Oh, I do love lamb in oh so many different ways.
Yesterday the weather changed about 12 times. It was very cold when we got up and got ready to head into Napier. Napier is pronounced just like it is spelled. It is not pronouced Nap e yea. It is Nap e err. My own special phonics treatment. Anyway, it is a town that was destroyed around 1931 by a powerful earthquake. And what rose from the ashes was an art-deco town. There are art-deco buildings everywhere. It is quite a throw-back that makes it a great tourist mecca. That is where we found a Starbucks that had wi-fi and actually much better coffee than in the U.S. What is it here about the coffee? So much better everywhere.

But I digress. We shopped for some warmer clothes as it does get chilly here at night and we’re planning to head off for the Southern island in a few days and figure we’ll need some insulation. Ray is wearing his new duds in the picture above…a sweatshirt-like hoodie. I bought a pair of unattractive drab green warm-as-hell fleecy pants. But who cares?

I digressed again. It is an a 75 minute trip to Napier and we had to go there to rid ourselves of the rental car. So, I drove the Holden and Ray drove the Honda back to the airport in Napier. When I went to signal the windshield wipers came on. What? I used the opposite side lever. Was I going crazy? Quite possibly. I spend the entire time going to airport noodling thru the roundabouts and the windshield wiper dilemma. Was I just confused? Well, as soon as Ray drove he noticed the difference too. So…now we have a car that has switched levers. If I want to turn left, I hit the lever on the left hand side of the steering wheel which is on the right hand side of the car. It was opposite in the other cars we’ve driven in Australia and the rental we just returned in NZ. EEEKKKKKK.

The other thing that was amazing is that as we left the farm, we noticed high peaks with snow on them that we like entirely didn’t notice when we arrived. How was that? How can you miss a entire mountain range? We have no idea. But they are there. I’ll try to snap a picture so that you, the reader, can be as amazed as we were.

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