Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Strategic Errors

Sometimes we fail to learn the lessons from our slip-ups or mistakes. We’ve consistently failed to learn one lesson on this trip and that is to do with the ordering of food. Invariably as we peruse menus we convince ourselves that it’s okay to add a side or this time try a starter. Foolish us, just as invariably we end up with far too much on the plate. This is a country where food portions are never less than generous and the side order is often the size of a family meal. Chips are a case in point, we’ve yet to see a side order of chips completely eaten anywhere that we have stopped to eat.

Wildfoods are Us

Ostensibly our first stop of the day, at Hokitika, was to try the famed whitebait fritters of the West Coast. Sheila is clearly a faster learner than I am as she declined a plate of food and declared that she would nibble round the edges of mine. Wise woman, a huge plate of food arrived and even with two of us at it food was sent back. Our ‘clean plate’ upbringings are giving us real conscience issues. Interestingly enough, Hokitika calls itself the Wildfood Festival Town and we were to discover more about this later in our trip.

A few miles along the road we arrived in the metropolis of Pukekura (population 2) where there are two buildings, the Bushman’s Centre and the Wild Foods Restaurant. A scrutiny of the menus certainly clarified our thinking as to what constituted wild foods in this part of the world and also the fact that political correctness is yet to permeate this corner of the South Island.

You kill 'em, we grill 'em

The rest of today’s travel was through heavy rain as we made our way to the small village of Franz Joseph. Regardless of the weather that had not yet reached Franz Joseph we were keen to take a walk and view the glacier but as you can guess we had not long been into our stride when the heavens opened. The worst of this was that it limited our view and consequently our photographs are not as clear as we would have liked. We carried on with our walk till we reached a swing bridge that crossed the torrent emerging from the glacier. This provided us with one of the highlights of our trip. Those of you who know Sheila are aware of the fact that various injuries have affected her balance and consequently her confidence when her footing is not perfectly secure but you will also know that she is fighter and she decided after watching me on the swaying swing bridge that she would like to give it a try and off she went. A huge step in restoring confidence out in the countryside.

Glacial run off

Franz Joseph Glacier in distance

Franz Joseph Glacier

Final view before the cloud came all the way down

Sheila steps out

Who's a clever girl then?

Come back, all is forgiven

The celebratory dinner had us back where we started, ordering a starter, garlic bread, we thought just enough to get the juices running and we just ordered the one to share. A more careful investigation might have had us ready for the arrival of one day’s output from Warburton’s, cut through and doused in delicious garlic butter. A further Strategic Error to add to the list.

No comments:

Post a Comment