Two Browns in Europe 2018 travel blog

Food and Wine festival

Getting Carol on the launch. Usual resourceful kiwi ingenuity, gathering nearby bits...

The launch

Going up Pelorous Sounds

Relaxing out the front

Look carefully, you may be able to see some of the hundreds...

Blue cod for tea :)

Turbulent waters at French Pass. Boat was drifting on the currents

Seals on the way to Kaikoura

Food and Wine festival was very pleasant. Tried lots of different wines and tasted a few of the very tasty dishes available. Managed to get a table in the big marquee they had set up; a great place to sit out of the sun, with a bit of a breeze. Gloria and I attend a cooking session hosted by Annabel White. She moved beside me as Ken rang. We had walked down to the venue and Ken had caught the shuttle, so wanted to know where we were. Annabel asked who was calling and why, I replied husband, who was lost. She then got me to ring him and had a 'suggestive' conversation with him :). She kept coming back to me to see if he was found. Lots of fun!

We had a couple of nights in Havelock camping ground, catching up on washing and cleaning. Spent Monday on the 70ft launch of a friend of a friend. What a fabulous day! He took us up Pelorous Sounds, to the top. Stephen Island is there, a DOC reserve, where we were able to watch the seals playing in the water. This is the most northern point of the South Island. As we crossed Stephen's gap, the water was alive with schools of fish - kahawai the men thought. They jumped out of the water as we came close and there were so many seagulls and petrels all around. Then headed along D'Urville Island to French Pass. There's a reef across 3/4 of the pass and the rest has currents going all sorts of directions and whirlpools everywhere. Was fascinating. We stopped for lunch and some fishing in a sheltered spot - caught plenty of blue cod and gurnard, which we later ate for dinner. Was a very enjoyable day....and no sea sickness from this awful sailor!

Had a night near Kaikoura. Amazing the work on the roads, of course. Stopped to look at the seals - dozens of mums and babies playing in the sea and rock pools. Met a couple there who turned out to be good friends of my cousin, Christine. Enjoyed Baileys and chocolates with them after their dinner at the pub where we were staying.

Visited the earthquake display at the Kaikoura museum, which was very well done. Then on to Hamner Springs, via the back road. A long, windy trip! Were joined last night by Carol and David's niece and her partner, who are over here for a few days. We met them in Stuttgart, where they live, so good to catch up with them again.

Were going to do some bike rides here, but were told the trails were closed yesterday because of the fire danger. Will do a ride around the town, then we head to Christchurch, the others to the West Coast.

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