Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day thirty something

Day 36: Oamaru

Last full day in NZ, so the last NZ fact and quiz, all rolled into one:

New Zealand Facts

The Treaty of Waitangi comes in three versions: the English, Maori and the English translation of the Maori version, which is slightly different to the English version.

Which version is the following, the English version or the English-Maori-English one?

Her Majesty Victoria Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland regarding with Her Royal Favour the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property and to secure to them the enjoyment of Peace and Good Order has deemed it necessary in consequence of the great number of Her Majesty's Subjects who have already settled in New Zealand and the rapid extension of Emigration both from Europe and Australia which is still in progress to constitute and appoint a functionary properly authorized to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's Sovereign authority over the whole or any part of those islands.

Pics: DIY bath, sunrise, pics from local hike (appropriately named given the dropoff to rocks below), penguin mania, more Oamaru buildings, steam punk going diesel, Oamaru walking committee

Weather: Unusual, clear with Santa Ana winds (means quite windy with warm to hot temps for those blog followers not familiar with this terminology), more warm than hot

Just to reiterate (like there aren’t enough words already in the blog), the Harbour View Cottage is terrific: a great view, fully functional, close to town without being in town, a nice place to lay up for a couple of days, a very nice final (inadvertent) stop before leaving NZ.

Breakfast of toasted sultana bread and fresh ground coffee, a hike over the hill and through a pine forest to a path that hugged the cliffs down to the pay for view penguin arena and on to the bakery in town. We decide that the pay for view penguin show is not for us (and, we saw them last night on our own): they basically herd the penguins to a path that leads by the viewing area to a gate that opens up into their nesting area. Hard to imagine doing that to too many wild animals under the name of conservation (THB saves $40!).

Second aha moment of the day (it’s only 10am): the best bakery in town puts out yesterday’s (or even earlier?) pastries, and not to the improvement of the pastries. Sad…very sad; two dead pastries and two flat whites, $16.

Third aha moment (it’s now 10:20am): Loan & Merc, Fleur’s second (or is it third, if you count the caravan?) restaurant has a sign up that they are closed for Staff Training. Damn….DB calls when we get back to the cottage and they may open up later in the day. What else can happen?????

By lunchtime, Loan & Merc is not open and Katie has managed a rezzie at Fleur’s Place for 6 of us, so that takes care of dinner plans. We dine at a café in town on grilled ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches and bottled ice teas, $18.

Another shot to see the yellow-eyed penguins from the bluff, no go. Too early, apparently. We agree that it doesn’t matter, even with strong binocs from HVC we won’t see much detail, the distance from the viewing area to the beach is too strong.

Dinner at Fleur’s Place turns out to be very disappointing. We share baked sole (supposedly the whole fish, instead we get very dull fillets with a flat sauce of capers and lemon that turns out to be more of a bordelaise) and seafood chowder with almost no taste. Same for the veggies that came with the sole, overcooked. Dessert was decent, a Crème Brule with poached plums. Katie and Tom had the same as we did, a different dessert, and the boys shared pasta and a dessert. Chard Farm Chardonnay. Total: $180

And, we find out what happened at Loan and Merc today from Fleur herself. A long story, of which THB understands very little, about the three chefs not getting along and Fleur saying there will be no hiring of a maitre d, so they, as Katie put it succinctly, had a “time out” today for the staff to work on getting along.

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