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Friday, October 25, 2019

Birds, little fishies, and traveling on

We spotted some interesting bird life at our camp at Taupo.  Several Kingfishers sat and sunned themselves on the power lines.  Known as the Sacred Kingfisher for it was said to be a holy bird for Polynesians, who believed it to have control over the waves.

Sacred Kingfisher

Gemma was almost beside herself with excitement when she spotted a group of California Quail  through the caravan window.  Californian quail were introduced to Nelson in 1865. Who would have known that with the rapid population explosion, in 1890, thousands of Californian quail were canned or frozen and exported from Nelson to London.  Later, the release of stoats and weasels for rabbit control took its inevitable toll and numbers decreased dramatically, but quail are still the most common of the introduced upland game birds and are found in both islands.

California Quail

To celebrate my birthday we went out to the Cossie Club restaurant, they always do great meals there.  For starters, we shared a huge whitebait fritter, a real delicacy here in New Zealand.  For those of you who may never heard of whitebait before, whitebait are the juveniles of six species of small New Zealand native fish and are highly prized by fisherfolk, and sells for about $130 per kg.

Giant whitebait fritter to share

This was followed by Pork Belly for two, always a favourite of ours.  We toasted my birthday with bubbly, sat and relaxed with our tasty meal, and had a lovely evening out.

Main course, pork belly each

The next morning we packed up early and left on our trip southwards.  The weather was atrocious, wild blustery winds which made towing the van a challenge for Robin.  During part of our trip the temperature kept dropping lower and lower, getting down to 3 degrees and we drove past the almost invisible Mt Ruapehe, covered in swirling mist and rain.  When it was time for a lunch break, we decided to stop at a café and order something warm, rather than just have a cold lunch in the caravan.  Hearty soup for her, and a hot roast sandwich for him.  Look what I spotted in the café gardens as we left to get on our way.  This is what you do with old teapots!

New use for old teapots

Arriving at our destination, Kai Iwi Beach, in the mid afternoon.  The wind was blowing a gale here to, think we will wait a while to do a beach walk.  There’s nothing worse than sand blowing in your eyes.


The camp office where we had to book in is a pretty little old cottage, goodness knows how old it is.  Certainly looks vintage to me.

Camp office

There has been a stream of the early bird caravan club members calling in to check out our new van.  And look, I have a lovely new tea towel too to hang in the new van, courtesy of Janice who writes as http://jannimary.blogspot.com/.

Thank you Janice

We arrived a day early, and now the other club members are rolling in to the camp, so the weekend rally will soon be underway.  Wonder what the rally captains have arranged for us to do this weekend?  We will just have to wait and see.


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

sounds like you are having fun and enjoying your new home on wheels! interesting food you had for your birthday and a nice celebration. We too on cold travel days like to stop and get something warm to eat already made instead of a cold lunch although with the propane stove I guess I could always cook something but then there is clean up isn't there and never seem to want to take the time for that

Warm Quilts said...

How special to see a covey of our state bird in your post. And, what a cute tea towel, too.

Julierose said...

Happy belated birthday--hope your weekend is wonderful hugs, Julierose

Tired Teacher said...

I always learn something in your posts. Interesting about the quail and whitebait. Your birthday dinner looks quite tasty. Enjoy the rally.

Maria said...

Lovely meal for your birthday...
Enjoy your time with the fellow travelers..
Gorgeous teatowel Janice made for you.

Janice said...

Happy birthday. Your lunch looks delicious. It sounds like your first outing with your new van has been a baptism of fire weather wise. I hope it improves so that you can enjoy a walk on the beach. Enjoy your new tea towel in your new van.

vintagerose said...

Hi Jenny happy Birthday. pork belly is my hubbies favourite too.
Lovely bird life great to see.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend xx

Karen S said...

What a lovely way to celebrate your birthday. Hope the weather has improved since then.