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.
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.
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.
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.