2006-Allan and Joel's Excellent Adventure travel blog

Met a really nice Dutch couple at breakfast this morning that regaled us with all sorts of scary stories about Thailand. Well, it didn't sound that bad and they said they still had a good time so ......

Anyway, off to Hawke's Bay this morning. Apparently, it is a holiday [Waitangi Day] which, depending on who you listen to, is either the day the Maoris [original inhabitants of NZ] entered into a treaty to let the British Crown protect them and their land rights or the British, yet again, screwed over a bunch of natives for nothing and took over their country.

The flight to Hawke's Bay was a great deal of fun. First, my backpack was not only too big to fit in the overhead glove box; it was too big to fit under the child-sized seat in front of me. Even though it contained bottles of not well packed wine and my laptop, the airline attendant checked it as hold baggage. I was then told I could not change my seat because the weight distribution would be all messed up on the plane. Actually many of the whopping 28 passengers on the Saab 340 were told this. They wound up the propellers and we were buzzing along in no time. I, of course, clung onto the arm rest for dear life for the entire 89 minutes. Good Times!

Got to Hawke's Bay and, I know this might shock some of you but, it was raining. In a part of New Zealand that gets 2188 hours of sunshine a year, we show up on one of the only rainy days. Not really a big deal, it cleared up shortly afterwards and it was a beautiful evening.

Checked into our studio apartment on the Te Mata Estate vineyards. Very nice. It is a cute, open plan studio with large, three panel glass doors on the west and north walls that open all the way and allow you to step out onto a giant wrap around deck. The view is 20 acres of Merlot and the sun, by this time, was nice and toasty. Our hosts even left us a bottle of wine to get started.

I popped down to the grocery store in town, got some cheese and crackers and we laid in the sun for a while. Afterwards, we drove into the tiny, but cute, town of North Havelock for dinner. Came home and went to bed as it was late for us old people [10:30].

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