Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tourists in our own country

In late February we headed early to NZ for Hayley and Sophie’s civil union on 9th March.  Andrew had a board meeting on 24th Feb and it was a good opportunity to attend in person as opposed to the 3:30am Skype video attendance at the meetings.

Board meeting out of the way we headed off to Hawkes Bay to do some things we don't do here in Laos – primarily camping, mountain biking and lunches out at wineries were an added bonus.  There were also a number of things to be ticked off the must do while back in NZ list – ice-cream, lamb, hot cross buns, lamb, fresh fish, lamb (yes, Andrew we ate lamb)

We overnighted with Murray & Sue and apart from having a really nice time we we very impressed with their pony-poo supercharged vegetable garden.  And boys being boys, Andrew and Murray had a target shooting competition with Murray's new air-rifle.  No domestic animals were hurt during this undertaking, but one cat moved away very quickly when one of the pellets ricocheted off the metal garden shed.  Leaving the luxury of houses and beds we headed to Castlepoint camping ground.

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The camping ground owner was surprised when we turned up on his doorstep.  Apparently all the people who had booked for the weekend had also rung up and cancelled due to the gale-force wind warning.  But not us the hardy campers in our 2 man tent.  It was so windy even the seagulls weren’t bothering to try flying
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After picking the most sheltered site (in a camping ground we virtually had to ourselves) we blew with the wind down along the beach and up to the lighthouse.
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On the way back we were lucky to see the shepherds practicing driving 500 sheep along the beach in preparation for an open day on the coming Sunday commemorating the agricultural history of the area and tying into the Golden Shears competition.  Our own private showing with next to no one else around.
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Overnight there was a heavy downpour.  We lay in the dark on our lilo, in our sleeping bags looking at the roof of the tent, both hoping the rain would stop before soaking through the tent.  In the end we had a dry night and were very comfortable.  Andrew felt we needed a little luxury on our camping trip and had also brought along a feather duvet and a feather pillow each.  Nothing like roughing it!

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Although luxury does not extend to having a pot-holder – note the red item in the hand of the chef.  Nooooo, why have a pot holder to lift the lid off the Billy being boiled for a morning cup of tea when something used from your pocket will do!!!

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