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    Monday, December 03, 2007

    Crayfish in Kaikoura to World War I in Blenheim

    The weather is just wonderful, it was so hot in Akaroa, we had to close the curtains late afternoon or we would have fried.
    So up reasonably early and on recommendation of Linda and Neil (new best friends from Akaroa)we stopped at the The Little River Cottage for breakfast.

    They have an excellent art gallery but we were too early for that but not too early for breakfast.

    I had the Bacon Butty
    And Dale had Vegetable Samosas a little unusual for brekki but delicious no less!!!

    We bypassed Christchurch as we have all of the cities so far we are not on that kind of a tour.
    Now we thought what we had seen of the South Island so far was pretty amazing but nothing prepared me for Kaikoura
    Where the mountains meet the sea.
    It is once again awe inspiring.
    Look at these colours magnificentUnfortunately for our friend Debbie she was in Kaikoura for a dear relative’s funeral.
    But it was fortunate for us as we were able to meet for lunch.
    Kaikoura is famous for many things. Whale and dolphin watching.
    Originally we had planned on doing one of those trips but as we have been up close and personal with dolphins and even a whale on the good ship Cajun Moon we swapped that activity for a crayfish lunch with Debbie and Summer her daughter

    The information Centre was very helpful and we passed on the trendy Cafes and took their advice and went to the Lobster Inn. A tavern no less.
    Very much the Sports bar. We ordered a whole cray each and Debbie supplied a bottle of the local wine. Our driver abstained but I helped the girls consume the bottle.

    Steamed Crayfish with dipping sauce of malt vinegar and melted garlic butter and chips.
    Just like it should be...wonderful. They added a ramekin of Thai Chili Sauce. Not necessary in my book. This was by the way the most expensive lunch without wine. Crayfish doesn't come cheap. BUT it is worth every penny
    We took leave of the girls and The Lobster Inn

    I loved these little Cray Shacks you can eat in or take out. They are so much fun.
    And continued north.
    No matter which way you look there is beauty.
    Another good hint from John Wallace. Stop for coffee at The Store in Kekerengu

    How’s that for a view from your restaurant
    Good coffee, nice home baking

    The colour of the water on this coast is like a tropical island.

    Just beautiful.
    So back to Blenheim the Heart of Marlborough home of the world’s best Sauvignon Blancs and …was it only 11 days since we lunched at Wairau River Café with Tony?
    Tony and Annie’s house is nestled in their own parkland

    Not only do they live there but they operate an excellent Home-stay look at their website

    And guess who has yet another best friend.
    Tessa was entranced with Dale she just wanted to lean on him.
    Great humour for the troops.
    Some wine and a tasting of their Olive oil with warm bread...It was beautiful. We have a souvenir of this on Dale’s shirt. Even after a good spray with Frend it is still there Never mind.

    A bit of Napisan when we return should suffice.

    Annie had made an excellent vegetable lasagne.
    Well fed and watered, we retired.

    Annie and I walked the dog, Tony went into town for his constitutional…coffee – the paper – the mail. All within spitting distance.
    Well of course there are 2 Sudoku people at Chez Preston, Annie and Dale, so to keep the peace Tony photocopied all of the puzzles for them.
    He also booked us into "His" Café Figaro for lunch.

    Run by a cheerful crew it soon filled up. We had excellent lunch
    Tony had Thai prawn salad

    Dale had the Salmon
    Annie and I had the sandwich - mine was Chicken Caesar Salad
    Annie went for the lamb

    The food is outstanding. Great coffee yet again and a little Pinot Gris on the side.

    We had to have a little rest. It is so hot here as well. Around 30C .
    Tony’s exercise for the day

    Now a must see is the Aviation Museum at Omaka

    Apparently the local society was putting this Aviation project together but they got a bonus. Peter Jackson of “Lord of the Rings” fame has a passion for World War I aircraft and memorabilia. He has invested several million dollars. Lucky Blenheim.
    This is a World Class museum. Just a few images

    Looking at the road map to find their way.

    Hopefully these guys had a good eye in order to drop the bombs

    This so so lifelike you want to lean out and touch them

    I love this tableau below.

    This pilot was about to crash and he climbed out onto the wing ready to jump, just before crashing his out of control plane, (as they did) but he discovered that by standing on the wing and holding onto the wheel he could maneuver the plane, and landed it and saved himself.

    Those wonderful young men and their flying machines.

    Manfred von Richthofen "The Red Baron" the Uber Hero of WWI was finally shot down by a lone Australian Gunner. This tableau depicts the Aussies grabbing souvenirs.
    Apparently The Red Baron’s family was so impressed with the exhibition they donated memorabilia to the museum.
    These exciting young men formed what was known as The Flying Circus
    The Red Baron in the centre.
    He was only 25 when he got shot down. I found this museum very moving what a waste of life.
    But what a marvellous monument to these brave men from all sides.
    It is sensational.

    So to dinner…
    Whitehaven Restaurant…fine dining one side...Pizzeria the other.
    We took the Pizza option and more wonderful Marlborough wine.
    Being very drink driving conscious we left the car and waddled home.
    A lovely balmy evening…just a gentle 20 minute stroll.
    Some extra wine to finish off the night.
    So an early morning start
    Bye to
    I would award this establishment
    Beautiful Parklands, good bed, great food, great wine lovely dog
    Good Sudoku and plenty of laughs

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