Published: January 2nd 2007January 2nd 2007
Opening Christmas pressies...
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL*** I hope you had a good one and enjoyed yourselves. I thought I had better do an update as we head out of here tommorrow to explore the South Island for the next 5 weeks. We have had a very relaxing time over the last 3 weeks, helped enormously by the vast quantities of Sauvignon Blanc they make in this region and the fact that Gail and Mike have a Spa in their back garden. Kiera has had a fabulous time with her Aunt and Uncle and especially annoying her cousin Natalie who has been a star! We have been out and about lots in the Marlborough Sounds region which is the north of the South Island and it is a beautiful area. Blenheim itself is bordered on 3 sides by hills/mountains and it is very sheltered due to these ranges; hence the fact that it is perfect wine growing country with a very Mediterranean climate. Next time you are drinking some Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, chances are it will have come from around here. While the boys have been kayaking, walking in the hills and fishing, us girls have been wine tasting, having massages and
Christmas Day starter
Starting Christmas Dinner with crayfish, scallops and prawns
shopping. (Gail has actually been on a couple of hill hikes, getting fit for the huge Queen Charlotte tramp (walk) her and Mike are doing later in January). Luckily for me my calf muscle is still not right so no big hills for me!!!!
Our wine tasting day was lovely and we went to Wither Hills, Cellar Le Brun, Allan Scott and Montana - very nice it was too; I am now a considerable expert on Sauvignon Blanc and prefer a Wither Hills 2005....... (ha ha)
We've been out to a couple of the local beaches, had a picnic beside Lake Argyle on the way to Saint Arnaud and also picnicked at Pelorus Bridge which was gorgeous - Rik and Mike attempted some fishing in the river but had no luck. They had better luck today when they went on a friend of Mikes boat into the Marlborough Sounds and Rik caught a 10lb Snapper fish - yes, he was very chuffed and is even smiling!!!
Tomorrow we are leaving for Hanmer Springs which is a big alpine hot springs area. The weather has calmed down a bit now as it has been a bit rough in the last few
days (luckily not here in Blenheim) so hopefully we will have some decent weather. Mike and Gail are coming with us for a couple of days and then we will carry on from there. We have spent a lot of time over the last 3 weeks debating whether or not to go to Fiji (because of the coup) and still haven't made a decision, so that will be something we have to sort out in the next couple of weeks; still, i am pretty confident that if we go and get caught up in anything we should have sufficient friends with the contacts, experience and nounce to mount a full scale rescue operation - you have been warned!!!
Well, i will publish this and get on with the packing. Love to you all and see you soon
Nicchi, Rik & Kiera xxxxxx
There are more photos below