Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Last Day in Nelson area

Yesterday was for taking it easy. We did laundry and hung it on the line in the sunshine and breeze, visied Mapua galleries, did a little grocery shopping, and cooked in "our own kitchen." We had wonderful fresh lamb chops and fresh brocolli. We are surrounded by apple orchards growing Gala apples which are being harvested now. They are beautiful to look at, sweet, crunchy and juicy. Up the road toward Abel Tasman are fields of lettuce, melons, and orchards of kiwis. It's a real truck farming area and very fertile. There are a lot of properties for sale here as the older generation is selling off their acreage and scaling down. There is a huge new modern house (4 bedrooms, two living areas) with a garden that looks like a park, three rock ponds, and small waterfalls, just above us here, with a view of the Tasman Bay - $1,600,000.00 NZ, if anyone is interested.

Today, we drove up to two wineries in Upper Moutere, Kahurangi (which produces 29,000 cases a year) and exports to the US (I have tasting notes, Neil), and Neudorf Winery which is smaller, "Charlie Trotter" in Chicago has their wines. Both wineries have been here for a long time and have older vines than those near us at Ruby Bay. We also visited Neudorf Dairy which makes incredible fresh sheeps' milk cheese. Lunch at our cottage on leftovers, a little nap, and a long walk through the country roads. The pickers left two bright red apples on one of the trees, and they just fell into my hands! We met the wine-maker who works on this vineyard, Atilla. He and Sam, the owner, are anxiously watching the grapes. A hard rain now would be devastating for the harvest.

More Kiwi slang: "Sitting on my choff" - well, you probably have figured it out; Pokies = gambling machines; jangles = flip flops; chilly bin = cooler; crib = small vacation home on the north island; bach (comes from bachelor pad) = small vacation home on the south island. Sign on the side of a milk tank truck = "Milk Moooover."

We have an early flight to Napier tomorrow morning.

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