Friday, February 11, 2011

NZ- Sunday, 1/2

Sunday, 1/2-Maitai Valley Motorcamp, Nelson

Today I bought a hat. It is made out of kangaroo leather. Angela asserts that it is sexy and looks good on me. My ego allows me to believe her. It does work well functionally, keeping the sun off me and whatnot, so I'm happy I bought it. Need to wear it lots now. Dirtbag Hiking Hat.

First thing this morning we drove back into Moteuka and found the Sunday market. During the night we decided Moteuka was pretty Podunk-y and the market confirmed that. It was Craft Market/Produce Market/Flea Market. Angela bought produce, I bought a hammock which needs rope, and we bought coffee based on smell and a pirate label. It was a day to celebrate capitalism. And it become even more so by day's end.

From there we drove to Nelson, which we were both excited about based on their excellent PR campaign. Well...3/4 of it was closed for Sunday. Damn. So we walked it quick and I bought three locally written and published books at a used book store called Liter-Arty. This makes me pleased. I've been looking for local lit and now I have. Smell the book!

Next we backtracked to a beach park festival we had passed on our way to Nelson. Big score here. He weather was stunning and it was a small, friendly market/fair. We beelined for a booth selling garlic salt and the guy up-sold the hell out of us but then gave us an amazing deal. I don't know if we got ripped off somehow but I walked away feeling like we stole from him. So he did his job. Some will end up on meat tonight. Mmmm.

We walked, I fondled a hat, we walked some more. We bought a hot dog and chips, which is really a corn dog and fries. It was a good snack. Good ketchup.

I fondled a hat again, thought about it, fondled, and bought. If I've tried one on every time I've seen one, I may as well buy one. Plus, this one is made out of kangaroo. That's almost New Zealandish.

Then it was time to explore. We went in search of some wineries because that was fun last time and accidentally found Yarn Mecca. The complex was called Grape Escape and the store was Cruella's Fibre Boutique,. One the lady (who had a shock of white hair just like the store's namesake and a totally unique bearing) found out Angela is a knitter it was on like Donkey Kong. She got The Treatment. Only yarn store we've ever been in that had their patterns knitted up so you could see what you could make and/or buy. Very clever and it sold a metric ton of yard to my wife. She's happy. I'm happy.

Oh yeah, at the beach by the fair the Cancer Society was handing out free sunscreen and free-to-borrow beach umbrellas. Do we have this in the States? We should if not. I continue to question our self-proclaimed Greatest Country Ever status.

We popped in to Hรถglund Art Glass and checked out some very expensive vases and bowls. Cool to see, neat to see made, way too much $$$.

Using the map and random, “Hey look, a sign! I'll turn now!” we ended up at Staford Lane Estate Vineyard. We tried many olive oils and coatings, bought dukka to coat food with. Kind of a crumb-like substance that sticks to bread with the olive oil. Tastiness. Angela sampled their Sauvignon Blanc '10, Pinot Noir '09, and Montepulciano '09 and bought the SB.

Last stop before camp was Brightwater Vineyards, chosen because it is a small, family-run vineyard rather than a huge enterprise. The owner served us herself and was very nice and talkative. Maybe a little too talkative as it turned out. Angela tasted their Riesling '10, Sauvignon Blanc '10, and Merlot '09. She bought the Riesling but the lady bagged the Pinot Gris. Whoops! Didn't notice until we were settled at camp for dinner. Well, Angela forgives easily and says it is still a good wine so we won't go back to complain. Everyone makes mistakes, not worries. Plus, this bottle was $5 more. Ha!

Now we are here and garlic fills the camper. There is a small river by the camp I waded in. To quote a German woman we met at Brightwater, “New Zealand vater is much...fresher zen we haf at home.” Colder would be a good word for it too. Also went for an easy and pleasant 27 minute run. Good to run.

Nelson gets another shot tomorrow. Today started rocky but got really good. We wanted to read outside but the many little bugs chased us inside Captain Slow. Jerks. We'll find a bug candle tomorrow. And rope for my hammock.

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