Monday, October 24, 2011

Take time to smell the flowers and watch rugby

Prior to smelling the flowers we went to the Coromandel Pennisula and biked between 65-100kms or so a day. We only had one day of difficult rain (and hail) but since it only lasted 10 minutes or so, we couldn't really complain about it. I thought it was quite exciting and adrenalin producing actually. Reminded me of past squalls I've been in. Three hotsprings in five days.

Got to Doreen's house a little late to avoid the Labour Day traffic, but what was really great was with 29 kms to go, she had Shona come and collect us from the busy highway and what would have taken us a good couple hours lasted 25 minutes in the truck. It was a good thing too cause I was sick of all the traffic and complaining a bit too much. Whining works one time to the cycling gods! Of course Mark didn't want to accept the ride, but he relaxed and surrendered to the offer as well.

Springtime in New Zealand is truly magnificant. The wisteria, rhododendrons, clematic and the native flowering trees are really coming on strong right now. We showed our hostess Doreen pics we had taken and she didn't realize that she lived in such a beautiful place. Doreen lives outside a little town where everybody knows everybody and she and her family had farmed in the area for their entire life. They owned a dairy farm until they sold.

New Zealand produces 1/3 of the entire world's supply of milk. There is one company Fortuna that has 85% of the market apparently. Needless to say there are a lot of cows. Actually there is more money in dairy compared to sheep and people are doing that instead of raising sheep. A chunk of lamb now costs close to $50.-- which is pretty expensive.

Doreen was great to serve us mutton and we visited with some of her family on Labour Day as they were travelling through from their holiday weekend.

She had us doing some farm stuff - we joked with her that in her older wisdom that she was smart to "farm stay" us so she didn't have to work so hard planting her garden and fixing stuff.

So far the Rhodendron Tree on her property is the largest I've seen.

Tons of pear, apple and other fruit trees are in bloom as well. Most smart people have a lemon and an orange tree in their yards.

This horse was handsome. He suggests if you want to see more pics of the trip we did prior to stopping and taking time to smell the flowers... go to

be careful - it will take some time! Oh yes! The All Blacks beat France in a nail biter 8-7 What could be more important to report from New Zealand than that?

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