Shooting Clay Targets

Not me, but Ngaire’s brother Vic did the shooting today.  What a variety of experiences I am having.  Vic has ribbons for shooting that line the walls of his house here outside Otorohanga.  Some of them represent very prestigious wins.  He lives in Australia most of the time.  He loves shooting and is very good at it. 

After watching Vic shoot, we came back so that Ngaire could cut the thistles in one of the paddocks.  My lack of experience in farming leaves me pretty useless in terms of help.  I did get some pictures, and walk around the farm for about an hour just soaking in the warmth and the sunshine.  There is absolutely no way for me to adequately describe the beauty of the rolling green hills stretching as far as the eyes can see, the colors, the sunlight and clouds, the breeze, the cattle and a few sheep spotting the hillsides, the sound of the tractor, Belle leading me along the lanes, the birds calling, the cattle coming over to the fence to check me out.  On a less lovely note, I saw the Offal Hole.  Gratefully it was too deep to see or smell anything. 

Tea (supper) was a magnificent feast of typical New Zealand fare.  There was roast Hogget, moist and tender and flavorful.  Then potatoes dug a bit earlier.  Home grown potatoes actually have flavor.  There was Kumera a kind of sweet potato, lighter in color than those found in the US, and much tastier.  We had pumpkin, again, lighter in color than the US version.  Broccoli and cauliflower was on the table as well.  Tasty gravy accompanied the potatoes — mint sauce for the lamb.  A glass of white wine complemented the meal.  Then came something that cannot be described adequately.  Ngaire used the eggwhites from the eggs laid by her hens, beat them and baked them until they became a golden brown meringue about a foot in diameter.  Then came the cream, whipped with fine sugar, then layered on top of the meringue.  It was topped with some passion fruit and freshly picked Blueberries that Vic brought over last evening.  It was a pavlova dessert that had the perfect combination of sweet balanced by a bit of tartness provided by the passion fruit.  Vic, Mum and I needed a second piece each — we needed it!

I continue to savor every warm shower and luxurious meal as the days of hiking the Tracks on the South Island approach.  Tomorrow morning comes the bus ride with Mum Lil.  I will get off at Urenui to join Ngaire’s sister Tui and her husband, Roger for a couple of days before heading to Wellington for the ferry to the South Island.  They live near the ocean and Mt. Taranaki.  It will be a different sort of terrain from the rich farmland here outside Otorohanga. 

The journey continues.

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