Sunday, September 13, 2015

Once More Over The Takaka Hill

Sunday dawned achingly beautiful, with temps that felt exactly like an early summer day. Paradoxically a difficult day to leave and a perfect day to do just that. We cleaned the caravan like crazy people and headed up and across Takaka Hill, to the Not-Golden-Bay side.

At the top, you can see the blue of Tasman Bay.

Here's the route (trouble viewing click here).

Art drove more skillfully than ever and soon we were in Motueka, where I'd promised him a flat white.

Shades of Prince (raspberry beret...).
 I never eat cake at home, but this blueberry sour cream looked too good to pass up.

Beyond sad, double the percentage of five-year-olds with PTSD.

Then it was on to Kina Campers, which rented us our home on wheels for the winter. The owners live in Upper Moutere, a gorgeous region of rolling farmland outside Nelson that's dotted with small communities.

 Last stop on this trip.

Katie and Jeff were born in England, came here on a trip, and soon immigrated to NZ, where they started the rental caravan business and are raising their children. Katie's a social worker. They're genuinely lovely people and they may be the only caravan rental in all of NZ.

Last stop on a long day: Tasman Green, the spiffy rental run by Roger and Stephanie, who hugged us welcome back when we pulled into the drive (so did Jeff and Katie--this is a friendly place).  Now that I think of it, Roger and Stephanie also were born in England. We stayed at Tasman Green the night before we picked up the caravan back in early May, and we'll be here the next two nights. Full circle. (Trigger alert: Jester House Cafe with its tame eels is just down the road--will they have come out of hibernation by now? Stay tuned.)

Dinner is greens from Golden Bay organic community garden sauteed with leftover steak bits from yesterday and some killer mashed potatoes with butter and sour cream. Plus organic Sauvignon Blanc from Vidal in Hawkes Bay.

All the caravan kitchen spices in a box

We'll definitely miss camping, but so begins the last phase of our current visit (with a scant two weeks to go). In a few days we'll take the Interislander ferry north to Wellington, NZ's capitol, and have a look around.

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