2017 New Zealand travel blog

Coastal Lamb Three Cuts


October 13, 2017

Dinner at Table in the Nice Hotel was superb! Quiet, intimate dining with beautifully appointed tables, dining room and toilets. I forget the owner’s name but everything reflected his excellent attention to detail. We started with a hot platter served on a long thin board: pulled pork apple sliders, BBQ beef and chorizo skewers, tempura (huge!) prawns, smoked salmon pate, chicken spring roll, oven baked bread. What a winner that was!!! 2014 Esk Valley Wine Maker’s Reserve Hawkes Bay chardonnay. For dinner I had what they call an “entrée” which is not to be confused with “main”. Perfect sized bouillabaisse in a rich spicy tomato soup. Bob had a main:3 different cuts of coastal lamb with mint pea yoghurt sauce. 2014 Craggy Range Gimblett Graves Vineyard merlot. All was wonderful and a delightful evening. We took a cab to/from the restaurant which was even better.

Overcast morning. Checked in on the fires and thankful that so many have given us personal updates on the neighborhood. Still keeping our fingers crossed.

After buying dinner, lunch and airplane snacks on our final trip to Count Down (paying with $30 in coins!) headed north on SR 3 towards Waitomo, home of the infamous glow worms. The scenery along the coast and then heading east inland was not remarkable. Lots of lush pastureland and cows/sheep. We also had our share of ess curves. Took us 2 ½ hours to drive 165 kms.

Arrived in Waitomo about noon. The Top 10 is in the center of this Glow Worm Caves (no town to speak of) and is very tidy! Walked to the ISite and booked our tour. Had lunch and checked in on fires.

The caves were underwhelming but glad we did get to see the glow worms which are ultimately winged insects. The glow worms are the larvae stage where there is a particular chemical produced that make the tails glow. They drop “fishing lines” (like a cocoon) to catch mosquitos to eat (about 1 a month!) After 9 months there is the fly!

I am packing up the rig for our 180 km trip to Britz where we drop of the rig and go to the airport for a 7:45 flight. Has been a great trip but we are ready to be back in Sonoma especially given the fires. Apparently smoke is delaying flights at SFO. Hope that does not become an issue as the day will be long as it is.

Dinner tonight is stir fry chicken, peppers and onions with a boxed risotto. Finishing up much of our supplies although I just donated a large bag of condiments and canned goods to the communal kitchen. Wine glasses will be the last to go!

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