Nelson Market and Ngarua Caves
Saturday morning we shower quickly then drive into the Nelson Market. The market has a wide assortment of produce, cottage-industry products, food trucks and entertainers. We pick up fresh fruits, vegetables and cheeses from the local
producers. There's a gentleman selling a natural insect repellent that William engages in conversation for 10-15 minutes, then is convinced we should give it a try (it turns out to smell and feel similar to products we purchased in Panama that worked great). We also spend some time watching the local entertainment.
After brunch William points the car toward Takaka. Our destination is about 70 km from Nelson - Marble Mountain and the Ngarua Caves, where we are booked on the 1 pm tour. Much of the route is the same as to Kaieriteri, but today the tide is in so the shoreline looks different. Also, this time we climb further into the mountains and as a result have some wonderful views.
We arrive at Ngarua Caves and see a much different landscape- it feels like it is out of The Lord of the Rings. We are joined in our tour by eight other people (including some young children). The caves are very interesting, filled with stalactites. In addition there are displays of the skeletons of Moa birds which fell into the caves. When we arrive at the end of our 45 minute tour the exit is a bit of a surprise. It is a narrow passage to the cave ceiling with a permanent metal ladder with 25 rungs. At some points William's shoulders have just a few inches on each side to make their way out!
On our return to Nelson we take the Old Montere Highway and wind through orchards and vineyards. We stop at Neudorf Winery for a tasting as it is one that review sites comment is a "can't miss". I think it's pretty and the wines are okay. Closer to Nelson we stop at a boutique winery, Rimu Grove. Their white wines have a little more residual sugar for my taste, but their Pinot Noir is drier and delicious. We buy a bottle for later.
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Hi. I'm Anne. I wander around the world with William.
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