Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Culinary Challenge and a Wedding

I set out from Greymouth after eating breakfast with my new friends, Pauline and Dick from Ottawa. I hope to see them in Ottawa sometime (a trans-Canada ride sounds good!).

I'd been hearing about the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival for a number of days. Lots of people were going to Hokitika for the festival. I just happened to be riding through there today--the main day of the festival. I'd heard there were some pretty weird foods such as Huhu (some insect, fried then dipped in chocolate). There were also such things as "mountain oysters" which I know as "Rocky Mountain Oysters" (aka sheep testicles) and whitebait fritters (a NZ delicacy).

What was more interesting than going into the festival itself (which cost $42, so I didn't go in), was watching the people who were going in. Apparently, there is also a costume contest. I saw all the Wizard of Oz characters, people completely covered in blue paint, Spartacus type costumes and many other oddities.

One of the main things Hokitiko is known for is the greenstone (in Maori--Pounamu or Jade). There were several Greenstone "Factories". I stopped at a smaller shop called Mountain Jade. I decided I wanted to get a small jade pendant necklace. The pendants have different meanings. I chose a small Manaia design. The Manaia is a spiritual guardian and the carrier of supernatural powers. I figured, since I am Super Biker Woman, it was appropriate.

After my Hokitika Wildfoods people watching festival was over, I headed out of town. Not surprising, the traffic going out of town was non-existent.

I pedaled for another hour or so until I came to a sign for Lake Mahinapua. The sign said it was 700m to the left. I decided to check it out as a possible lunch spot. A narrow dirt road took me through a jungle area to a very nice lake. I pulled up to a picnic table and fixed myself a bagel with peanutbutter and nutella. After lunch I went over to the restroom. There were some very well-dressed people over by the restroom building. As I came out of the potty shack, there was a young man in a tux waiting for the ladies to come out. Pretty soon a gal came out dressed in a wedding gown. I said, "its not often you see a gal in a wedding dress coming out of a park bathroom!". Then I asked if I could take their photo. Liz and Eli had just been married 1/2 hour before. Liz said she would be upset if I DIDN'T take their photo! So, I did. I also met the mother of the bride. I told them if I'd known I was coming to a wedding, I'd have brought a gift! Then they went off for more photos and I headed down the road.

My destination for the day was Pukekuru. However, when I got there, although the road sign said there was camping, the place was deserted. I rode around abit, but didn't see anyplace suitable to camp. Also, I didn't see any source of water. My only option was to continue down the road. My map said there was a campsite on Lake Ianthe, another 10 km or so. I made it pretty easily and, sure enough, there was a DOC campsite on the lake. It costs $6. There are about 4 other campervans here. At least one bunch is from Holland.

My tent is set up next to the lake. It is quite nice really! Better than Pukekuru would have been.

As soon as I can get wifi time again, I will go to my blog and delete photos from old posts so I can put more photos up.

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