Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 21: Motueka

Day 21: Motueka

NZ Fact: Number of internet users: 3.047 million (2008); country comparison to the world: 58

Hmmmmm…the country only has around 4 million residents, and 75% use the internet?

Answer to yesterday’s Valentine’s Day pop quiz: DB – yes…THB – no (uh oh!)

Book review: The Devil and Mr Casement, Jordan Goodman, Kindle edition. THB thought this book would be a biography of a British guy (Casement) that exposed the abuse of the indigenous Putumayo Indians by the rubber barons in the early 1900s and Casement’s involvement in the Irish uprising in the years before and during WWI. Turns out that the book is 99% on the abuse of the Indians and 2 pages on the Irish uprising. Not a good balance! If you want to know a lot about the abuse (clearly something that goes on today by big business), this may still be too much information for you on the time period covered. Not recommended.

Pics: THB models the latest style, inside and outside our exchange site, Golden Bear brewery (Go Bears!), view from our lunch site, invert bottle before opening (what does that mean? Turn it right side up before taking the cap off? Turn it upside down before opening and then maybe just possibly they don’t have to tell you to turn it right side up?) , people beware (birds don’t know how to read signs?), a derelict barge – shades of Monterey Dunes, more boats stranded at low tide

No wi-fi here, just a computer from the 90s and a monitor from the 80s. See pics of the living room and kitchen and our car and the outside of the house exchange. So unless we start attempting moving stuff around with our thumbdrive, we’ll be seeking an internet café (and, that’s where THB is right now…the thrills of being committed to a loyal and hungry following).

Breakfast of homemade flat whites and crunchy honey mini-weet-bix. Crunchy if you eat them before you put the milk on. Otherwise, ya gotta eat damn fast or just two or three minis at a time. THB has the answer: eat an equivalent of a bowlful of naked weet-bixies, then a cup of milk or so, followed by an apple. All good, all the time.

Now into town to post blog entries and pick up some other essentials. First THB drops DB off at the post office. We’ve cleverly had the missing pillow sent on ahead. Even more cleverly, we find out our house exchangers have their mail forwarded from Motueka to Auckland! DB finds out that we should come back tomorrow morning early and see if we can intercept the pillow. If not, it is going to be the most well-traveled travel pillow in NZ history.

And, we make it through two loads of clothes and since it is a scorcher out there, they are line dried in under an hour (can you figure out what THB is wearing in the first pic…no, not a navel piercing). And…HEY!!! We’ve found the missing pills and underwear hidden in our own bags. Looks like only the well-traveled pillow and converter plug (long gone, never coming back) have evaded the doublecheck. So, now we need to create a checklist of where we’ve put everything in our own luggage. Triplecheck! If we do enough checking, we’ll never move on to the next spot.

Kiwi kindness: Since THB lost the converter plug, the guy in the internet store gives him (free!) a plug that goes from the HP netbook computer transformer thing-ee to the NZ plug. Damn! Problem solved, and THB did not electrocute himself. And, now I am trying to compress pictures so they upload faster. We’ll see….

We decide to eat lunch at the Smokehouse, right on the water south of Motueka. What a spot!!! Fish and chips overlooking clear turquoise water with boats resting in the bay (see pics). And, the fish is greasy and great (good combo!). With water and soft drink, $15. We also buy some smoked fish pate for tomorrow’s picnic lunch on a beach in Abel Tasman National Park (plot advancement?)

DB finds a necklace at one of the galleries nearby, proudly wearing it the rest of the day. It is made of flax and looks like a string of rubberband balls. Looks good…we forget to take her picture in front of the gallery, maybe there will be another chance.

Wine tasting around and about, plus art hunting; find several good pinot noirs! THB will have to reevaluate his mid-term results…

Stock up on items for dinner and, at the same spot, manage to get two fresh fruit ice creams: they have a device that you load the fruit and ice cream into and then push down and out comes the mix into a cone. Terrific, and we know other spots do it, just not this easily (we’ll have to keep trying them until we find a faster mixer!). Total of about $30 for ingredients, wines averaged $25/bottle

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