I was having a bit of a hard time, being so far from home, without Burt, my longtime companion who passed away earlier this year. We did everything together and were rarely apart. You know, it’s not easy suddenly being cut in half. Sometimes I can’t find me.
In Queenstown, Paula Martin, my guide here in NZ, has a favorite coffee place called “The Grind”: it’s located in the industrial part of town. Meet Ben who owns “the Grind<‘ a cafe-bar with “the Remarkables” as a backdrop.
Today was a great day. Paula Martin and I slept at a motor camp near beautiful Lake Wanaka, which must remind Europeans of the Alps. Very early in the morning we took off for Queensberry, which once was a sheep station. Weather is always a main topic in NZ and we had heard about the expected mammoth winds and they arrived after lunch. Big bursts of air that took down everything in their path. Some of the exhibitors left early because their gazebos were collapsing. Paula and I dismantled her set-up early as well–it takes a long time to do it right and Paula has everything organized and nothing can be done out of order. It takes a couple of hours to pack up; hard work with mighty winds to contend with as well.
Across the road from Queensberry there were plenty of sheep grazing in pasture framed by a beautiful mountain scene. Paula was going to set up her gazebo at this Victorian “fete” in the most spectacular of surroundings–all the people selling put up their gazebos in between huge white rose bushes. Hundreds of white rose bushes. Seems that the flowers we have back in El Granada grow to twice the size here in New Zealand.
[Image below: Paula setting up] I’m going out to dinner and maybe will have rabbit pie at an interesting pub/hotel in Wanaka. I enjoyed my “Betty Wilson’s Seafood chowder.”
The day before we visited Chard Winery, accessible by driving over a narrow cliff-side road. At Chard, Dave is the man in charge of wine tastiing. Nearby was the bridge where bungy jumping started. On the flight from Auckland to Queenstown, I sat [way in the back of the plane] next to A. J. Hackett, the founder of bungy jumping all over the world. When I told him I most likely was not going to give it a try, he wanted to change my mind. But I was “a hard case.”
Tonight I’m spending the night at “Falling Leaves,” a lovely B&B near Wanaka.[Image: Jo, at left is the charming owner of Falling Leaves; at right, Paula Martin, silver jeweler.]
Lovely view from “Falling Leaves.”
Tomorrow, Saturday here in NZ, I’ll meet up with Paula two hours away in a remote area where she’s setting up her silver jewelry at another “fete.” Jo, the owner of “Falling Leaves” has goats [the one in the image with Paula is called “Rasberry”] and black pigs on her ten acre property.