Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008 - Opua

Sunrise over Tapu Point

This morning we hopped on the shuttle with about 10 other folks, including Ann and Joe from Serannity and Betsy and Sandra from Bahati, and headed out to Kerikeri. Ostensibly, this was a provisioning trip, but since we have enough potato chips, pineapple lumps, beer and wine to get us to Darwin, we were just using it as an excuse to get off the boat for the day. Even so, we found ourselves filling out our stores in some of the gourmet shops in Kerikeri.

Meandering down main street, we came to an abrupt stop in front of the window at Churchill's Fine Meats, where beautiful cuts of beef and lamb lured us into the shop. Once inside, the wonderfully spicy smell of salamis air curing pretty much guaranteed that we weren't leaving without taking a few with us. The butcher sealed the deal when he explained that his cured meats didn't need to be refrigerated after we opened the vacuum sealed packages.

On our way back to Opua, we dropped by Cottle Hill Winery and visited the Mahoe Cheese Factory, which is situated in the midst of rolling farmland. We've been buying their yogurt, fresh mozzarella, and aged gouda at the Whangarei farmers' market. It was fun to visit the shop and see where it is made. The lady behind the counter used a curved 14 inch long double handled cheese knife to slice samples off of wheels of their aged edam and gouda. She used a smaller scraper to portion off samples of their blue cheese. While everyone finished making their purchases, we wandered outside to watch baby calves chasing birds in the pasture behind the shop - a pretty comical sight. There were three calves in the pasture, and one older cow to feed them. She had the biggest, lowest hanging udders either of us have ever seen.

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