Sunday, March 23, 2008

Between the jet lag and all the walking I did on Friday I was a little tired and sore so I took the ferry over to Waiheke Island and took a bus tour. The Island is about 90Km square, very hilly, has beautiful beaches, vineyards and olive groves. Truly lovely and tropical. Most of the wineries are at the far end of the island, requiring either a car or a full day of touring - not my cup of tea. Instead I headed to the local grocery and picked up a few local specialties and then headed to the liquor store for wine. This is where I ran into trouble.

The Problem: One of the biggest obstacles to traveling alone to a place like New Zealand is that there are so many great wines to try and no one to help me drink the bottle. So I’m restricted to trying only as much as I can drink. Hopefully I can squeeze in a few wineries where I can try samples of more than one.

Waiheke Is. Organic whole wheat sourdough bread with pumpkin seeds
Puhoi Valley, NZ Cambert
Waiheke Is. local olive tapenade
Merlot grapes from the Is.
Kiwi berries - they look like overgrown green gooseberries
Passage Rock winery Sisters blend of merlot, cab sauv., and cab franc wine

After the day in the sun it hit the spot!

Mandy from Manchester, England - On the ferry
Mandy is 30 and has been here 4 months doing office work. She came here from Vancouver where she worked for 6 months. Before that she taught English in South China (doesn’t speak Chinese at all) and when she was but 19 taught English in Japan as well ,until she became ill and had to leave. When she returns home she will finish her studies to be a psychological therapist. I think with her experiences she will have a keen understanding of people.
A 29 year old professional squash player and his mother. - On the tour
He played professional squash for Australia, traveling all over the world until a knee injury forced his retirement. Now he teaches squash and takes classes at Auckland U. Been here about 2 weeks. Mother is visiting from Sydney for the holiday.

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