Tag Archives: eating

Vanuatu

Jean and I took our last vacation before becoming parents to Vanuatu, a place that before our trip was only a vaguely familiar word. It is a Pacific Island nation, known as New Hebrides before independence, northeast of Australia and almost due north from here in Oamaru, enough to have a much warmer climate. We stayed at a small resort outside the capital Port Vila. We took it pretty easy and did not see too much of the country which includes many islands. The food was very good with plenty of fresh fruit and fish, which we also saw at the market one day we went in to Port Vila. We took a kayak out in the lagoon most days and paddled out to a deserted island for some exploring and snorkeling.

Back in Oamaru it is spring and lambing season. On my run yesterday so many little lambs were sunning in the grass. It’s nice to be coming through winter.

Enjoying the escape from winter

Escape to Sydney

Jean and I just returned from our first trip out of the country since arriving in New Zealand in December. Even though it is technically also winter in Sydney we enjoyed a real respite from the cold, wind, and brief snow we’ve seen here. It was near 20 Celsius almost everyday with sunny skies and a light breeze. Downright hot at the beach. Five nights in Sydney and a one night trip up to Canberra to visit family and take in a footy match.

Day tripping in Otago

This was our first weekend to explore the area and we took advantage of it, poking around the district near Oamaru. We went to Elephant Rocks, taking the back road through some farming country. This is an area we hope to come back to for bouldering. Unfortunately we can’t bring Sam there but we found lots of areas nearby for him. We met the owner at Elephant Rocks who was very welcoming. There was only one other couple there. The rocks have really cool pocketing and are just plopped in the field. Parts of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe were filmed here but I haven’t seen that yet. Nearby we got to hike with Sam by the river where he enjoyed terrorizing the local bunny population and playing in the river.

We made it out to Kurow and after a hike up a hill in town went to the winery cafe for an excellent tasting and meal. We really liked the Pasquale Waitaki Pinot Noir. And we got a recommendation on another hike we could take the dog on near Lake Aviemore. We headed home to recharge for the next day. This morning started more slowly but we took off south and checked out a beach really close by that was great for walking. Sam found a seal lounging by the river mouth. We drove on down the quiet coastal road and had lunch at Fleur’s Place, a pretty famous restaurant in Moeraki that specializes in cooking up fresh fare that the fishing boats in the harbor bring in each evening. We had a really delicious blue cod. Sated, we headed home, pretty excited about everything that is in our backyard.