Wineries and architecture (CONTAINS VIDEO)

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
Trip End Mar 21, 2008

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, October 29, 2006

Having had a couple of beers last night at the restaurant, I wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the bathroom. At the best of times I am a little disoriented in the middle of the night, let alone in a new place with absolutely no moonlight or streetlights to help me. I fumble my way around, banging into furniture and walking with my hands in front of me like a zombie. My bumps and muffled cries of pain each time my toe hits a new object wake Jane, who thinks my blind wanderings are the funniest thing going.

Anyway, once fully awake in the morning, Jane and I both go for runs to stave off our guilty exercise consciences for a while. It is a very peaceful activity, jogging along the winding rural roads, with the occasional passing car being the only other human contact.

The four of us take a drive through some stunning countryside to Clearview, one of the many wineries that contribute to the flourishing Hawkes Bay viticulture industry. Neither of us had ever been to a winery and we weren't quite sure what to expect. I guess I was anticipating a little tour of the property, a wee explanation of the wine-making process and a fair bit of tasting. As it happens, it is basically a restuarant within a functioning vineyard. We didn't realise we would be eating here and the food prices are way out of our price range so I just have something small and Jane doesn't have anything. As it happens, Bill and Carol kindly pick up the tab anyway.

From there we drive around to Napier, the town that was famously rebuilt in Art Deco style following a destructive earthquake in 1931. I was expecting a little more Art Deco to be honest but then again I'm not a fanatic so it doesn't really matter. We go to the local outdoor swimming pool and relax in the spa for a while. Back at the house we take it easy, have a homemade dinner and watch the season finale of 'New Zealand Idol', in all its hokey, self-important, semi-talented, glitzy glory.
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