So, Chris and Judy who run Ake Ake restaurant live 20 minutes north of Kerikeri in a place called Opito Bay. They asked us if we wanted to pet/house sit while they were in Auckland, so we of course said YES!
This is Opito Bay itself.
Here is the house and pets...they call chickens ' chooks' here.
What a view eh?
We made paprika chicken and rice, mmm.
Chris distils his own tum and whisky and told us to help ourselves...
Bit of a topic jump...John told us to be be up and ready at 6am for a 2 hour drive up north to a vineyard in Kaitaia called Okaha Vineyard. So the 3 of us jumped into the front of a hired truck and off we went!
The truck John hired for us.
My orange waterproof pants. Jacks job was to life the full boxes of grapes into the de stemmer while my job was to hose down those boxes when empty wooo!
A cockroach on jacks shorts. Not the inner city type, the rural type!
And big moths.
The moon at night is so incredibly bright. We don't need torches to go pee.
I chopped the pubes...
We went on a day trip to Mangonui where we were told to get the fish and chips.
We thought that (based on the UK) we could share a fish and chips for lunch. Oh no. There's nothing more disappointing than getting excited for fish and chips and it being a tiny portion...and spending waaaaay too much! The blue cod was bloody beautiful though.
Nice view :)
Quick trip to cable bay.
So, one of the chefs at Ake Ake restaurant is Fabs. He is from Bavaria and we love him. He calls me cheesecake.
Fabs lives in a kind of converted army barracks. So weird but cool.
We got invited round to drink all of the beer and be cooked for and stay over.
Hangover artisan market.
Hangover eggs and toast.
I picked some flowers for the bus.
Then jacks decided we would make some art out of leaves and stuff.
Any guesses what these are?
Our friends from Auckland, Zahn and Addison, messaged us to say they were up in the north and wanted to meet up. Soooo we went for a €6 (£3) burger and chips in Paihia along with beer and live music.
Some tree clipping today.
John then asked for help. He gets his swim shorts on, climbs a ladder and jumps into a giant vat of wine and skins and hand buckets it out to us who take the buckets and empty them into the press. We got COVERED in juice.
Afternoon at the Matauri Bay.
Next 6am start grape picking trip. This time, we travelled an hour and a half trip down to Tutukaka to Sailfish Cove Vineyard. Look at this flufffffffy!
Beautiful location and they have their own beach...
They have spare money for 2 mustangs.
And...another Vineyard trip! This was to Kaitaia again but to the Waitapu Estate Vineyard.
The fog looks amazing in the morning.
The nets in the vines are meant to keep birds out. This one was in long enough to make a bloody nest!
This was a hard pick...there must have been 25 looooong rows and only 5 people and the grapes weren't great. Took about 5 hours to pick in the baking heat.
We were so good, John bought us ice creams.
This is the juice and skins pulp after the grapes have been put in the de-stemmer and squished.
John, Marie and me.
More damn eggs.
We did a day trip out. Starting at St Paul's Rock, then stopping at 4 beaches on way back.
Chains for the last part.
Tauranga Bay and lunch.
Beach number 2 - Mahinepua Bay.
Beach number 3 - Te Ngaere Bay.
Last beach - Matauri Bay.
A bit of an odd story...Jacks charm paying off again. He called a random musician in Kerikeri who called another musician in Kerikeri who called Jack to play guitar in their band...Tambo! So off he went...driving 20 minutes to Paihia then getting a 10 minute ferry to Russel before getting picked up by Marina the lead singer.
She gave him a very expensive guitar and amp to take home to practice on. More on this subject...later.
Next vineyard trip. Back to Harvey's Vineyard.
This llama stared at me for way too long...it was terrifying.
One night chicken noodle soup.
Next lunch...left over lamb pie from restaurant.
John in a huge vat of wine.