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Published: March 15th 2018
Today, for a nice change, I’m not responsible for the itinerary so no need to pore over guide books and maps selecting destinations and planning routes.
Before going out, a tour of the property which starts with paddocks running down to a creek, then turns to woodland and ends at a river. Plus a chance to meet the resident sheep and alpacas.
Our hosts’ plan for the day; a trip to Martinborough, part of the NZ Wine Trail. It seems fitting that my namesake town is renowned for its abundance of wineries.
Our first winery is Haythornthwaite where we buy a bottle of rose and have a lunch platter. The platter is huge and contains a significant amount of various cheeses. Wine and cheese with friends in the sunshine - does life get any better than that? There are also cold cuts, chutneys, figs, sundried tomatoes, olives and pickles, mostly grown in or made at the vineyard.
We move on to Tirohana for a tasting and to purchase some wine for later. I go to the toilet and a tipsy old lady follows me into the cubicle where I point out (and she has to check to
confirm) there is only one toilet. Eventually I am left alone and she stands outside alternatively checking the door and knocking on it until I vacate the cubicle.
Next, as if we haven’t eaten/drunk enough already, we stop in Martinborough for coffee and dessert.
Mr Martin was both egotistical and patriotic. He named the town after himself, had it build round a park with 8 roads leading outwards forming the shape of the Union Flag, then named those streets after places he had visited.
A brief shopping stop in the market town of Carterton. According to my guide book, Carterton is renowned for its hanging baskets so I take some photos. I choose a pretty 19th century building with window boxes, hanging baskets and banners with photos of a man’s face. A voice behind me asks if I would like to photograph the real thing? I am taking pictures of the out of parliament office of the local MP (the man on the banners) who is standing next to me on the pavement. I make an embarrassed retreat. Home for dinner and maybe a little more wine...
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