Cunninghams On Parade - 2017 New Zealand: Return to the Shire travel blog

The Nelson Market is big by NZ standards and has dozens of...

Penny had seen waiting six years to get her favorite bratwurst and...

We walked from downtown to Marchfest and past this neat little house...

Before the crowds arrived we noticed generally peaceful Kiwis going at it...

The end of a hectic shift of serving thirsty MF attendees, I...


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Nelson, New Zealand (night 3)

TRAVEL QUOTE OF THE DAY: “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” - Bill Bryson

Woke up with the alarm at 7:15 for our big Marchfest day! It’s cloudy but not rainy yet. I got my shower and washed my hair and look all presentable for my new Kiwi friends at the festival. Art ate cereal but I was waiting…..We got dressed and then pulled out right at 9am to go downtown. We parked over near the Founders Heritage Park where the festival will be so we could get good parking spaces; turned out there was no one parking on that street yet anyway! We were applying our good ole American experience to a Kiwi-style situation! Anyway, we parked and then walked 1.2 miles back to the center of downtown to Montgomery Square and the Nelson Saturday Market. I love this market! I’ve bought many things there over the years including a couple necklaces I really love. But the one thing I mostly love is the Bratwurst Grill and their sausages with Bosnia Griller Relish (a spicy onion/curry/mustard relish) that I dream about sometimes. We walked around some and looked at the stalls which was fun but then it was time for an early lunch/late breakfast or whatever you want to call it. I got a knockwurst with the relish on a baguette and Art got the kobliener with relish on a baguette. It was awesome! Well, I thought so; Art thought it was okay but not earth-shaking. I did manage to get some of the relish on my white shirt….sigh. That’s that for that shirt. Didn’t matter though as I decided to go back and get a second sausage and I got the kobliener like Art got and ate that like a little pig too! LOL. They were $5NZ each which I think is a deal! And we weren’t going to get lunch at the festival since we’d be working so it was really a sausage for breakfast and a sausage for lunch; I just ate them both at the same time!!

After the sausage festivities, we walked back to the camper and got there about 11:10. We were supposed to report at 11:30 so we sat for a few minutes, drank some water, put on our volunteer tshirts and then walked in the back gate to the registration area. We signed in, got our tokens (8 each) and then reported to the main beer building for our assignment, which turned out to be the main beer building. They had probably 18-20 of us serving on a long bar full of about 45 taps (15 beers repeated 3 times). When it started at 12, it got busy in a hurry and we poured steady the whole afternoon. You might remember that in the intro to this trip journal I mentioned pouring beer for several thousand of our newest Kiwi friends and I think that is EXACTLY what happened this afternoon….whew! It was nonstop tap pulling but everyone was so nice and I didn’t have any problems with drunks or pissy people so I was happy. The only thing that was hard was constantly jockeying around the taps with the other volunteers; we were right up in each other’s faces the entire time. Art and I got a 15 minute break around 2 and we went to the bathroom and drank some bottles of water and then we were right back in the thick of it until 4:30 when our shift was over. Man, the time went really really fast! We did get to see Jason from West Coast Brewing a couple times. I figure I poured probably around 500-600 beers for the afternoon…..

After our shifts, we reported back to the registration house and got signed out, got our Marchfest glasses and our wristbands that meant we could now begin to sample all the beers we’d been pouring all day. The rain also began coming down steadier and I was glad we had our raincoats with us. All of the buildings and tents were packed as it was so rainy outside you couldn’t just stand out in it. We walked to the Granary Building and got lucky to find 2 seats and it felt so good to finally sit down! We got a couple of half beers to share and just rested. Planned out what else we wanted to try and then walked over in the rain to the food area for a late “lunch” at 5:00. Art got a rosti potato cake with bacon, cheese, sour cream and sweet chili sauce for 4 tokens ($8NZ) and I got a Maori fry bread sandwich with pesto cream cheese, carmelized onion, bacon (again, think ham), tomato, and lettuces for 4 tokens too. It was delicious! I never even knew Maori did fry bread like Native Americans at home do.

After getting some food in us, we went into the main beer building where we had been servers and managed to snag a couple seats (boy were we lucky!). Then we sampled several more of the beers; Art went and got us 10 tokens more for $20NZ and those plus the 16 coming to us for volunteering was plenty for the food and drinks. Let’s see if I can remember what beers we tried (all were half pours that we shared between us, so Mom, I have not become an instant Kiwi alcoholic….): Bullion Golden Ale, Cherries and Berries witbier, Hey Blondie from the keg, Kitten Caboodle, Moving Target, Riverside Recliner APA, Sprig XPA, That Beer kolsch and Jackhammer XPA. I also got a taster sample of the Alex’s Apple Cider. Took our time drinking and enjoying the whole scene. The entire experience cost us exactly $20NZ and about 5 hours of our time working, so that was a deal! The fun we had was just a bonus!!

Finally finished drinking and then headed outside about 7 to find the rain had stopped. Went by the band tent and there were lots of people there rocking out; band was okay but not really my thing so we moved on after a little while and headed back to the camper at 8. It had gotten a lot cooler since it got dark and it was nice to get into the camper and get dry. Sat around for about 20 minutes just to make sure we were more than sober and then drove back to the camper park about 10 minutes away. Pulled in and were parked and settled by 8:45. Art went and got a shower while I caught up on this blog. We made Oodles of Noodles cups for dinner and had two microwaved sticky toffee pudding cups I got at the grocery store as our treat. Well, treat is being generous; they were just meh.

Felt good to lay day and I was tired; that was a long time standing today plus the walking 3 miles to and from the market in the morning. Played on the phones a bit and then finally turned in for good around 11.



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