Bay of Plenty sun – 2008

It’s our annual summertime visit to the Bay of Plenty – there is just so much blue sky here. The drive up isn’t too bad – just over 6 hours driving time and with a couple of small breaks it doesn’t feel that bad. We were surprised to see the mountain with so much snow still on it (and for my foreign non-Kiwi reader – in the North Island if any one says ‘the mountain’ everyone knows that it’s Mt Ruapehu (pronounced roo-a-pe-hoo) – pretty much one of the only skiable mountains in the North Island and it resides in a clump of 3 mountains that just rise up out of the flat.

I didn’t have to shout much at bad drivers through my windscreen this trip – just a couple of times going through the winding bit at the northern end of the desert road. The two cars I was following both thought that there’d be some kind of sign (flashing or from God … who knows) to tell them that yes, they were going ‘slow’ and certainly more than qualified to use the Slow Vehicle Bays provided. As I was trying to explain to them (hmmm) there is no sign. If a car is right up behind them, practically riding their bumper, then yes, they’re slow! No wonder when we got to Taupo the Mister was so desperate to go to Scenic Cellars to buy a bottle of wine and then so in need of a drink used one of the empty jars we had in the boot to fill up with jam that we planned on making at the weekend. His ‘glass’ of wine with our lakeside picnic dinner looked like a urine sample!

The Mister has made his annual batch of jam – this time completely unsupervised by Mother-In-Law and it’s delicious! The biggest load yet too – I think we’re going home with about 12 jars!

Also had to go out in the wilderness (ha!) to the plum tree to help harvest – a future in orcharding is definitely not in our life plan – insects, sharp branches, uneven ground, rotten plums, reaching and stretching, electric fences, leaves falling down your clothes, bits in your hair … nevertheless we were *very* proud of the haul – we picked hundreds! Now trying to convince the Mister to have a go with plum jam!

Had a tour around the garden (yes it does take an entire tour to get around it now) and saw an amazing orange, and very rare flower that Mum’s been nurturing.


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