Sunday, July 2, 2017

Duck Confit, Kaka Point Beach, and The Point Cafe and Bar

Morning dawned bright and blue. It's winter here, and though we've enjoyed an extremely livable 50F this last week, we get up before the sun is high enough in the sky to provide a boost of warmth, 

It's a big morning for us: we're going to open the giant can of duck confit that Art picked up at a grocery near Nelson. Just duck legs, duck fat, and salt. New to duck confit? Click here to learn its history, but remember ours is already fully cooked and preserved.

The legs go into the oven for 15 minutes and then under the broiler for five. This is the first time we've tried the broiler--I barely knew we had one.

Art lights the wee broiler

Meantime, I'm cooking potatoes in duck fat with a big handful of silverbeet (chard) thrown in for the green.

The broiler worked beautifully! Look at that crispy skin. This is a deeply delicious product we'll be looking for again. We might even bring some cans home in our suitcases--it's that good.


Art does the clean-up, I finish work, and we're out for a walk. Our campground is set against a native bush reserve and it's just a few blocks to the beach.

Whale mailbox.

Walk with us.

Seaweed bundles dot the beach. The tide comes all the way up here when it's in. I don't have pictures but I swear we saw two ponies, one dark and one white, rollicking happily on the beach.

Not the swimming/surfing portion of Kaka beach.

Way out there on the headland, I spy a house that looks worthy of closer examination.
 Can you imagine living right there?

Just around that hill about six miles on is Nugget Point Lighthouse, one of NZ's oldest and much photographed by people with far greater skills than mine. Click here for original. We'll go see it tomorrow.

The house pictured above is one of a group nestled on Willsher Bay.

We walked back into a full sun, warming by the minute. There's just one commercial establishment in town, the aptly named Point Cafe and Bar. 

Inside, a trove of binders filled with Kaka Point history...and some illuminating photos.

The Point Fishing Camp

The working committee of the Willsher Bay Caledonian society (1900)
Every year on New Year's day, the Port Molyneux Caledonian Society held their annual sports day on the beach at Port Molyneux and by 1874, had moved to the Willsher Domain. People came from far and wide to enjoy the events of the day. As well as the sporting competitions, there were sideshows, ice cream, bagpipes and dancing.

Competitions and entertainment included ladies' and men's running races, hop step leap, heavyweight wrestling, putting the stone, tossing the caber, vaulting, bicycle racing, lightweight wrestling, running high leap, log sawing, log chopping, tilting the ring.
(Ed note: Caledonian is a geographical term used to refer to places, species, or items in or from Scotland, or particularly the Scottish Highlands. It derives from Caledonia, the Roman name for the area of modern Scotland.)

 From the 1950s-60s?

This is a snug, friendly place with a nice little menu. "If you'd like to have dinner here we recommend booking," said our server. For a town of just 200 plus tourists, I was surprised.

There's a fine view from our table.

I picked up a new (to me) Val McDermid at the community book shelf and I ordered a fish chowder and chicken soup to go.

Flat whites were happily sipped.

And we walked back to the campground after a relaxing afternoon. Tonight it's perfectly clear outside, a cavernous black sky with generous moon and emerging stars overhanging our humble caravan. It's also dead quiet. Sleep well, campers.

No comments:

Post a Comment