Day 157 :Whine Or Beer

Thur. 17th January 2013

Austin Power's ShaguarThe early sunshine soon disappeared behind clouds so we settled in to utilise our 24hours of internet and Skype the boys. We do feel for Steve stuck in the middle of exams in cold Southampton, and also Chris alone in not quite snowy Oxfordshire. However our sisters are elusive as usual! Once the list of on line Skypees is exhausted we are on our way to Abel Tasman National Park, via the WOW (World Of Wearable Art)  and classic car museum in Nelson.

Tahunanui Beach - best beach seen so farAs the sun has come back out the first stop is coffee on Tahunanui beach, but we are not allowed too close as the sign said recent floods had caused effluent contamination. The photo is therefore better than reality.

Put  cork in it - wearable artWe had been told the WOW museum was a must see quirky site in Nelson, so this was our next stop. We did not really have much clue as to what to expect of Wearable Art. The creations were very diverse, from futuristic looking outfits, to those inspired by local traditions and folklore to the Bizarre Bra category. The one that caught my eye was a bra made of two hedgehogs – why? At times I just do not get art. There is an annual competition culminating in a show in Wellington each September. Costumes (sorry Wearable Art pieces) from the competition are then displayed in the museum. There were a few pieces of the art in the car museum, including one with a wine bottle instead of a mouth called “Put a cork in it”. Bizarre sentiments as well as bizarre costumes.

Big fancy white carThe classic cars are more down to earth and there is quite a diverse collection, but I am dismayed when Dave points out that the yellow Lamborghini in the corner is a replica.I expect that is true of the Austin Powers Shaguar and three minis painted like those in the Italian Job. Oh well there are many others to see and in front of some are an ignition key on a stand so you can turn the key and hear the engine!

Not very drivableDave has a quick sit down before we eventually tear ourselves away so that we can reach Motueka, where we are basing ourselves to visit Abel Tasman National Park, by lunchtime. As soon as we arrive  we visit the iSite tourist office and a very helpful lady gets us all excited about kayaking, walking and cycling. It could be an energetic few days.

Small winery - wine tastingWe quickly get settled on the camp site in town after many days of practice. Over lunch we read all the leaflets to decide how best to spend our time. Once booked up on trips for the new two days, including a free lunch for tomorrow (a perk of the Top10 Holiday Park club we have joined), we set off for a cycle. We have driven quite a distance over the last two days so feel we should get out and exercise. As a bonus we have planned a route passed a brewery and two vineyards for tastings. The brewery is not far away so we decide to give it a miss on the outward leg otherwise we may not get to a vineyard and we so want to try some local wine tasting.

A yummy little numberThe first vineyard turns out to consist of only a few acres producing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The owner tends her vines by hand and when we arrived was busy removing leaves to allow the sun to ripen the grapes, she also picks the grapes by hand but has a winemaker who turns the grapes into wine.

The first to be tasted was the Sauvignon Blanc which was divine and so we just have to buy a bottle and load it into our daypack, as we do not have panniers or baskets on our bike. The other wines were OK but nothing special.

Yet another one way bridgeWe headed back to a decision point, should we go back to the brewery or should we take the long way round back to Motueka on the far side of the river and past the second vineyard, which we had been told was up a steep road? We decided we needed a good workout so we took the long route.Sadly we missed the second tasting as there was more than one steep road and none had signposts for a winery. By this time we had cycled about 23km and still had another 7km or so back to town. Although the terrain was mainly flat following the river, it was difficult cycling as there was a strong wind which seemed to be against us the whole time. At one point a gust caught me side on and blew me into the middle of the road but luckily there was no traffic around. There was therefore much whining and no more wining and no brewery.

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