Tēnā Koutou (hello), and apologies for the hiatus! I haven’t carked it, I’ve been living it up in En Zed – that is, New Zealand!! Our cuz one coo-ey across the Tasman, home of silver ferns, jandals, the All Blacks, bickies, lamingtons and pavs (debatable), ‘tramping’, beached-as and choice bros, ‘fush’, ‘chups’, and ‘grotty grunds’ (undies). I’ve learnt that some words just sound better when said with a Kiwi accent. And others do not (ah dear ‘Bin‘ (Ben), so sorry to laugh, but the way you said your name amused me to no end!).
A little Kiwi trivia for you: To ensure the survival of New Zealand’s rich population of river trout, the NZ govenment put a total ban on the trade of this species, making it illegal to buy or sell trout altogether. Zero market value means that the trout population is almost completely protected from overfishing and exploitation.
I feasted on the freshest kai-moana (seafood); crayfish, grilled by the side of the road just a few short steps from where it had been brought ashore, the most succulent, giant green mussels, and raw, live oysters, plucked by yours truly straight from the sounds to be shucked on the spot (by a helpful local who knew what they were doing!). The fresh produce was amazing and the variety of top notch wines sparked an enthusiastic new personal interest in viticulture. Beyond the edible and drinkable, New Zealand probably ranked as the most awe-inspiring, naturally beautiful country I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. I hiked and kayaked the stunning Queen Charlotte Sounds (at the north-east tip of the South Island), which was, without a doubt, one of the most fantastic experiences of my life to date. And the locals were hands-down the friendliest bunch around!
Just some pictures to amuse, I promise a wordier post soon. E noho rā