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Published: June 23rd 2017
Geo: -39.4917, 176.916
Today was special! No shore excursions, as an old friend and associate who helped spearhead the establishment of Class Software down under lives with his wife and three kids in between Hastings and Napier, the Twin Cities or the Bay Cities.
Scott and his lovely wife Emma agreed to meet us at the shuttle bus drop off and tour us around the area. allowing us to catch up at the same time.
The total population of the area is 128,000 and it is located in Hawkes Bay, which is also the name of the region. Napier is smaller but is seen as major centre due to its proximity to the sea and airport. The City of Napier was razed due to a major earthquake in 1931 and the town had to be rebuilt, the result of which is a very stylish art deco architecture that attracts many tourists to the region.
We were told that the area gained 9,000 acres of new land because of the earthquake, including the site of the current airport and resulted in the port being moved to the other side of the bluff. The prisoners incarcerated at the top of the bluff were offered pardons to help
rebuild the City.
We traveled south and saw the headlands called Cape Kidnappers, the site of one of two luxury golf resorts developed by US hedge fund manager Julian Robertson.
We then traveled along the Tukituki River, site of many wineries and lodges, including Craggy Range Vineyards started by Australian businessmen Steve Peabody, on encouragement from his wife and daughter.
En route we view a shepherd on his motorbike and his dogs at work with a flock of sheep. Absolutely brilliant to watch hundreds of sheep trundling up the road and the dogs at work - amazing animals.
We drove up Te Mata Peak - the home of The Giant Among Us and the site of significant hang gliding and paragliding. We got a fantastic view of the Hawkes Bay area from the top.
Emma and Scott gave us the choice between a beautiful English pub and a place called the Loading Ramp, which we ended up eating at, as the decor leveraged sheep farming artifacts and presented a very pleasant combination of modern design and history. Many of the tables were made from wooden crates for transporting wool. We discovered that NZ fish and chips are smaller pieces of fish and smaller chips,
resulting in crispier fare, which was very tasty!
Visited Arataki Honey, the largest beekeeping business in the southern hemisphere. We tasted the renowned Manuka honey, the trees from which we had seen in numerous places, with their white flowers and thin leaves, in our travels in the area. We took away small jars of Manuka, Blue Borage and Creamed Clover, as all their tastes appealed to us. The tastes and textures took us back to our childhoods with the Creamed Clover brand.
We then toured Birdwoods Gallery, Garden and Sweet Shop, which was started by a family fleeing Zimbabwe, who bought the property, relocated an old church and turned it into a quaint boutique store attached to an outdoor events area and sculpture gallery. Their giraffe sculptures, made from recycled oil barrels, were retrieved under the cover of night. I was again taken back to my childhood and the Scottish candy stores with the countless jars that we used to visit with my gran and parents. If you can believe it the beautiful blue flowers called Agapanthus surrounding Birdwoods are classified as weeds in NZ!
On the way back to the ship, we got a brief tour of Emma and Scott's house, which
is being renovated by Scott's rugby mate Shannon and a quick visit to the local ice cream store (Rush Munro's) established in 1926, where we got a taste of a local flavour and favourite of Scott's and Emma's kids called Feijoa. We agreed!
A lovely day seemed to fly by, as we did not get off the ship until 11:15 and had to be back for 5:30, but it was wonderful. Thank you to Scott and Emma!
Got 2nd workout in - 1:52 and 1115 cal
Tot: 2.289s; Tpl: 0.06s; cc: 12; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0568s; 2; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb