Published: August 11th 2011July 31st 2011
Pine Cone HQ
There is the boss (the brains of the operation)
Yep. TV. I Was nearly getting my 15 minutes of fame as We entered into Wellington airport uber excited to see Jean. I totally forgot that I had 2 of the shiniest apples ever in my bag. And that's a big no no. So as john got through no problem with our declared food left over from the hostel, I was being pulled aside by airport security to be questioned. Couldn't believe how stupid I was, we were supposed to have the apples for breakfast in the airport but we obviously got distracted by all the bright lights of the food court. Great. So I was interviewed by a 6 foot 7" giant with a kids bowl haircut kinda like the guy from dumb and dumber (except i was the dumbo here) and I told him what had happened. He wasn't having any of it and told me to sit down and read a laminate on what was going to happen to me, fine of $400 (ouch) or a possible $10,000 fine if they think it was intentional OR imprisonment if you really tick them off. So after nearly falling off the chair after reading this the giant and I chatted some
more. I said I'd pay the fine and that I was so sorry for being so careless. But turns out he was a BFG a real life big friendly giant and he gave me a letter and told me not to do it again. As they have a note of my passport now if this happens again I'll be fined for sure. So grateful to him I got outta there before he changed his mind and before they turned on the video cameras for border control. Although my mam loves those programs, she'd be so proud!
Practically ran outside to find john and Jean, do happy to see them without bars in front of their faces. Told them what had happened, yeah yeah it's hilarious. Great to see Jean and we were on our way to through the wairarapa to get to Carterton. Passing by Fetherston and greytown along the way it all looked beautiful and we couldn't wait to unwind there. What a perfect place to do it. It's about one and a half hours away from Wellington to Carterton a nice drive up into the mountains before coming down again to the flatlands near martinborough. Got to the
farm and were greeted by mick, daisy, poppy and madra. It was so nice to be in the comfort of their home and in no time at all we were settled in. It didn't take long we were so looking forward to just resting for a bit and doing some work on the farm. Mick, Jean and the kids were staying the night with friends in Wellington so we were left to our own devices. And it was so hard not to go back to the cosiest bed we've had since leaving our own one behind in Dublin. So we walked into carterton, about 5k away. It was such a nice day the sun was beating down on us and this is supposed to be their winter! So after we did our shopping we had to stop into the marques de normanby for a quick pit stop. One of the local pubs but with a betting office and a mini casino, well fruit machines. Back to rancho el relaxio to make John's beef curry that we'd been dreaming of. So looking forward to some home cooked food and man were we spoiled. Jean made amazing dinners and deserts we hardly
ever missed a meal time.
And so to walk off all those calories we would venture into the bush to fensham reserve about 3 minutes walk from el casa de clarkes. We got to love the circuit route which takes about an hour or more depending on how many cute lil fan tails you stopped to look at along the way. They're like the little birds from snow White that dance all around you, so close to you. We tried to do this walk nearly every day but probably more like 4 times a week. Once we met Jean and Mick's 79 year old neighbour, belinda doing the walk too. Put us both to shame not a bother on her. Jean had just started a new job which meant that we would have poppy from 9 till 2. John got stuck into his farm work duties and happily played away with the chainsaw while poppy and I had our own farm work to do. We had to collect some pine cones from the cottage and bring them down to the main house. Which took a while as we only had poppy and daisy's comedy wheelbarrows to use and poppy
got bored with hers after about say....8.4 seconds. Had to carry them both up and down full of pine cones while poppy spoke to the sheep and chickens telling them all about princess poppy's pine cones. So we got them all down bur didn't really know what Jean used then for, maybe something arty. So I asked poppy if she knew and she did of course we had to wash them!!!! Ok wash them we did, drowning the lil cones taking all the straw off them the works. They got the delux wash. Then we lined them all up real pretty, they were picture perfect. Job done. Jean came back from work with daisy and had a look at our hard work looking a bit confused she asked what we done and then came the laughter. Eh so we weren't supposed to wash them they are used to start the fire in the morning. Oppps they'll be starting no fires for a long time they were soaking. In my defence poppy told me and she is an incredibly intelligent girl, even for a 2 year old. So Tuesdays with poppy became the pinky and the brain show pure entertainment and
we loved it. So we made cakes, the dinner, hang out the washing, go talk to the sheep, wash dishes, sweep the floor it sounds like child slavery but we had fun. And it was great practice for when Mick and Jean gone and went and left us with the kids for the weekend.
Jean kindly packed us a lunch and gave us directions to waiohine gorge one day and off we went. It was such a sunny day and a really nice drive up to the gorge. Our first swing bridge which was quite scary it was so long and quiet swingy. Had our lil picnic in the camping grounds and got a taste for camper van life in about 4 weeks time. We did other lil day trips like this to greytown, martinbourgh, tons to masterton, went to Wellington for the day and their version of Stonehenge. Which was closed the day we got there but we drove up a hill to get a sneak peak. Greytown is full of little boutique shops and cafes and home to the best chocolate shop, oh to work there the smell alone was worth a wage. Schoc is the name
of the shop and apparently Bono and the boys get the choc and lime sent over to them while their on tour, bless! So if it's good enough for them...we gad to try it and I can see why the whittle away a few thousand on it. It's gorgeous. Check out the website apparantly it's good for you, like I need an excuse www.schoc.co.nz. Another good for you product if new Zealand martinborough vineyards and there tons of them to chose from. Although a lot were closed for the winter time, it's their busiest time as they have to prep the vines right back to 2 branches. But the ones that we tried were Gladstone, johner, the martinbourgh cafe shop where you could sample some local wines, Schubert and te kairanga. Nobody around this time of the year so you get full attention and full glasses. With all this home cooking, good for you wine and chocolate how were we going to leave???
There are more photos below