Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Heading south in South Island - in bite size chunks

I'm going to re-write this in bits so I lessen the risk of losing it all again..........

By Saturday morning Muggsy had decided to be friends and I left Sharon and Murray's with the familiar feel of cat fur on my lap. Murray works on Saturdays and very kindly bundled me and my baggage into his van and off loaded us at the car hire place. "Turn right, turn right and keep going until you've had enough" got me out of Christchurch and I was soon cruising down State Highway 1 at 100 (120 really but the limit is 100) listening to classic rock songs. So, I admit it - it was km's and a Ford Focus but it was a great drive and I knew exactly where I was going.

Just about everyone I spoke to since I arrived had told me that if I were heading south I must go to Fleurs Place at Moeraki. I could miss the boulders but the restaurant was an essential - the best fish place in NZ. So that's where I went. Blue skies, blue sea, small boats, houses perched high above the bay. If Fleur had offered me a job washing dishes I would have been sorely tempted! I even saw the perfect house - and took a photo from its helipad!

My baked sole with lime and caper sauce was superb but I left some of the dessert - strawberry rissotto - which prompted a visit from Fleur (wearing gorgeous lavender specs) who asked if I'd liked it. When I said it was too sweet she summoned another member of staff and spoons. Having tasted it she pronounced it baby food! Took it off my bill, off the menu and gave the chef a telling off! I wasn't really surprised to find that Rick Stein had been there before me.

During my post lunch tramp round the bay I spotted a beautiful blue crab shell and bent to pick it up. Not sure who was the most surprised when I discovered that it was firmly attached to a living crab. Do know that the crab came off best - it nipped me before I could put it down!

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