Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Promised Land

Day: 96
Motueka to Tapawera
Time: 3:12
Distance: 48.95
Avg Speed: 15.2
Terrain: Uphill (barely)

We headed out early and fast from Motueka this morning. The thought of spending any more time with our new 500 or so neighbors didn’t please us at all. We got our breakfast eaten and packed up by 8:30 and were off. The road out of Motueka follows the Motueka River valley towards the Northern end of the southern Alps. The river valley is quite fertile and we were able to enjoy a morning snack of fresh blueberries and plums.
We rolled along past vineyards, kiwi, plum and cherry orchards as well as acres and acres of hops. The hops fields were really interesting since they are grown on vines which go from the ground straight up 15’ to overhead wires. We even passed the processing kiln where the hops are dried before being sent off to the brewers. I only know this from the Speights brewery tour we took earlier in the trip. We also passed by several DOC angler access roads to the river. I was able to take a peak at the river at one point and caught a glimpse of a nice trout cruising the shallows.
We arrived at camp in the early afternoon and took it easy the rest of the day. Our main dilemma was whether or not eat the stir fry we had brought or hit the pub for a take-away meal. The pub won out due to the kitchen being full with several families cooking what appeared to be a full holiday dinner.
Leslie and I have both decided that small towns with clean campgrounds are by far the best and most interesting places we have stayed. Whether it was the rail trail, the Northlands or this part of the island we have been lucky to be off the beaten track and spend some time with small town NZ.

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