More travels w/Ruth and Chris

Trip Start Jan 12, 2011
Trip End Feb 15, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , Wellington,
Friday, February 11, 2011

Hey Everyone,

                        We have been on the go. The second half of the tour has been more jammed than the first half. We headed for Featherston to the Tin Hut to play for the Cross Creek Blues Club. We were given accommodations for two nights in a full apartment above the Pub which had windows all around. The views were great. The morning of the first day we went out to the kitchen to make some coffee and there was a male peacock strutting around on the deck outside the french doors. He was a proud one.

                         The gig was a particularly successful. One which doubled the clubs attendence records from 85 to 160.  People were sitting on laps and flowing out the doors.

So they opened all the windows so you could hear outside. We sold out on two of the past Cds  and only had the new left, (which we brought more of), with half the tour still left; oops.

                         This area is one of several in NZ that because of the steep inclines had trains that in addition to the normal drive wheels on a locomotive train had three sets of horizontal wheels underneath that rode on an additional track in the middle. The trains were much heavier but had the additional traction they needed to manage. They used a lot of coal.

                          Next we crossed over to the South Island on a two and half hour ferry ride. We docked in Picton and then drove to Nelson where Ruth had a gig at the Free House. Originally it was a Dutch Reform Church that has been converted to a pub. It serves some of the finest beers around. Now that is what I call reform.

(SIDEBAR) For the record The Mussel Inn wins hands down as serving the finest beers I have ever tasted period and they brew their own. But we will get there later in the trip.


 From the picture of the Nelson gig you can see that the insects in NZ are enormous but of course Ruth was wearing the appropriate bug repellant so all is well.

                           After a day in Nelson we drove to a town called Geraldine and stayed a night, on the way to Oamaru. Unfortunately we went into town without the camera. The town turned out to be really quaint. It didn't hurt that they were having a fair at the time.  There was great hot food and coffee stands along with musicians and funny kids running around all excited over the muffins, sweets and great smells all around. (By the way for all you coffee drinkers out there, you can’t get a bad cup of coffee in New Zealand)                           The next day we got to Oamaru to play at the Penquin Entertainers Club for her forth engagement there. It is one of Ruths favorites. The club is part of long long warehouse, very old, that now has art galleries, old time craft studios and a gourmet whiskey bar/restaurant. It is very near the water (Pacific) and blue penquins live underneath the building.

                            We stayed with two wonderful hosts Pat Trembeth and his mate Katheryn. Pat sat in with Ruth that night on harmonica. They were great together. We hope to be a part of a Blues and Roots Festival they are setting up in a remote part of the west coast called Karamea next March.

                             The house was packed that night and the show was as good as ever. The audience was thrilled as many had not seen Ruth before but had heard of her by word of mouth. This was Ruth’s first weekend gig there. She didn’t dissapoint.

                              From there we went west to Wanaka on the way to the Franz Josef Glacier. Something Ruth and I have wanted to do for a while. I will save the Glacier walk for the next installment. So talk to you soon.

Best regards,

Ruth and Chris                               
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Barbara on

Agree with you about the Mussel Inn beers! Bring some back, please.

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