Sunday, 17 December 2017

Spraying at Horahora Domain

We stopped overnight at Horahora Domain againthis time there were a lot more campers than last time.

Early in the morning, the Aqua-Ag people arrived with their air boat.

Apparently, as the sign says, today is the day they are scheduled to spray the lake for aquatic weeds.

After loading up the sprayer with herbicide, they were all ready to start.

The harbourmaster and another boat were waiting off shore, ready to assist and keep the area clear.

A soon as it was loaded up, the air boat headed off up the lake, around the corner and out of sight.

As I set off to follow, I noticed the weed along the shore. I imagine this is what they're spraying for. There certainly is plenty of it around.

Not so easy to spot on the water.

A bunch of Canadian geese had spent the night in a quiet spot over the other side of the road.

There was a black swan and three cygnets also enjoying the cooler morning.

Then the rowers arrived.

The harbourmaster raced off to intercept them before they entered the spraying area.

Confusion ensued for a while as the rowers decided what to do.

Their training cut short, they turned around and headed back the way they'd come.

The air boat in action.

Looking back towards where we were camping.

And the geese again. In spite of the hot dry weather over much of the country, it looks beautifully green in this area.

If you cannot see "Post a Comment" below, click here to talk to me!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Hawkes Bay Wine

While visiting Hawkes Bay, we set aside some time to visit four of the local vineyards. We've both visited a number of them in the pastthey produce great wine in this area! Dave chose four for us to visit this time.

The first we went to was Trinity Hill.

Their cellar door is located at the winery, in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels wine region near Hastings.

It was here we were introduced to a new varietyTempranilloa red wine that is produced from a Spanish grape.

We purchased a couple of Trinity Hill wines before moving on to the next vineyard.

 Ngatarawa is also near Hastings.

When you arrive at their cellar door, you can see a connection between their buildings (restored racing stables) and two of their labels: Stables and Stables Reserve.

Ngatarawa brands have recently been acquired by Mission Estate.

Dave's third choice was Sileni Estates.

We met these two guysTrevor and Shekharand had a fun time chatting with them about their wines.

Our final stop was Te Awanga Vineyardthe home of Rod McDonald Wines.

One of their brandsMisterhas interesting labels that tell a story about the wine. E.g., what type of meat to drink it with. The image below is on a board outside and similar to those on their Mister wine bottles.

Once more, we purchased a couple of bottles to take home with us.

There are a number of tours to choose from that will take you around the vineyards and provide you with information as you sample the different varieties. Many of the cellar doors also charge a tasting fee which is refunded if you purchase some of their wine.

If you cannot see "Post a Comment" below, click here to talk to me!

Friday, 15 December 2017

Napier NZMCA

Some of you will have heard of the NZ Motor Caravanner Association (NZMCA), and if you own some sort of RV, whether it be a caravan, motorhome, bus or fifth-wheeler, it's an organisation that is well worth belonging to. One of the benefits is they have a number of excellent NZMCA parks around the country where you can stay for just $3 per person, per nightthis one we stayed in at Eriksen Road, Napier was no exception.

It is situated across the road from the Maraenui Golf Course, and although there is no dump station, there is fresh water available to fill your tanks and a number of rubbish bins (including recycling). There was so much space, we were spoilt for choice of where to park.

Much of the day, there was this constant annoying screech of a bird. I eventually laid eyes on one. A spur-winged plover. It has interesting yellow markings around its face that makes it look like it's wearing a plastic mask.

This noisy bird self introduced to NZ from Australia in the 1930s and is usually found in open fields, or near water. When I took Lucy for a walk one evening, I found the water: Two small canals running perpendicular to either side of the road.

I think perhaps it was calling out to its chick all the time. My camera had problems focusing on the chick. At one stage it was trying to shelter from the hot sun under a leafy plant in the garden just outside our rig . . .

. . . but its mother soon called it away from there.

I am ashamed to admit that I think I have paid more attention to the bird life in New Zealand over the past few months than I have in my whole life. No excuse.

The sky lit up in fabulous colours that night.

Some of the sunset reflected in the windows of our van.

While staying here in Napier, we managed to visit relatives in Hastingsex-motorhomers who, knowing our needs, immediately said to us: "bring your washing" after we'd arranged to meet them for lunch in a nearby cafe. Yay! We enjoyed a coffee and scone (I must try making some of these in the rig one day) at their place while the washing machine did its job, then later went off for lunch and a catch up.

We had a problem with our freezer door in Napierwe just couldn't open it. Of course, this was on a Saturday morning, so we had to do without access to the ice cream until Monday when we could contact the suppliers. They directed us to a local business who checked it out for us. Apparently the catch had frozen shut. The front of the door had to be removed to gain access to the lock, which was broken in an attempt to get inside. We were leaving Napier and heading for Hamilton, so we arranged for a new catch to be sent to a service place in Hamilton.

If you cannot see "Post a Comment" below, click here to talk to me!