Getting to Know Ernie

We walked over to the cutest cafe for a true Methvan breakfast this morning.  It was an antique store but with a country style restaurant inside.  My sister Jodi would have loved it.  We all did.


Tess found a book in her pack today.  Not just any book but a giant, super heavy one wrapped in a flannel at the bottom of her pack that she has been hiking unknowingly with every day.  Including the gnarly 3-day hike.  She carried it the whole way.  There are some guides back at base who are going to pay for this, I’m sure!

And then we were off. Today we had to drive around the west coast and southern alps to make it to our next impromptu destination. The scenery was ridiculous. Mountains on both sides, waterfalls everywhere you look and we must have passed like 100 lakes.


There is road work everywhere we go.  Either an earthquake, fire, or slip has destroyed bits and pieces of the road all around.  They say Australia has everything that wants to kill you with plants and animals, but we are finding it’s the natural disasters that want to get you here.

We had a very long drive but we took lots of breaks to walk and stretch our legs.  Tess gave us a riddle to occupy us for some time.  Here it is:

“There are 3 light bulbs downstairs, all turned off.  You are upstairs with 3 light switches, one for each bulb.  You can do anything you want with the switches, and you can go downstairs once to inspect the bulbs.  How can you tell which switch controls which bulb?”

Later, Guide Laura tried to give us a riddle too.  It included a man walking into a bar.  There was an albatross involved and potential cannibalism.   It was bad.  So bad.  And we wasted so much time with it!  Which maybe was a good thing because it really was a long drive.  Laura’s riddles need some fine tuning before disclosing in public.

We stopped by this lake to see Mt. Cook, and it was outrageous.

Mount Cook

We stopped here to eat.  We couldn’t find anyone to shear Griffin but we did look.



Everyone ordered differently but I won lunch with this delicious smoked salmon salad.


We drove through the only area in South Island that has wallabys but the first one we saw was dead on the side of the road.

“It’s a was-a-bee” said Hubby.

But soon after we saw a real live one hopping by the side of the road!

Too much Ernie time makes us all punchy and we were laughing like kids at the stupidest stuff. Then Tess told us we were stopping for a hike.

This one was fairly short but incredibly steep. I now am a hiker who uses poles and I love them. They are knee savers. It wasn’t a race to the top, and I’m not sure who was the last one up.  Yah, ok, it was me.

Kellen has turned out to be a hiking savant.  He is absolutely incredible.  Every single hike, he takes off, blows past anyone on the mountain, gets to the top, comes back down to me, then does it again.  He has unleashed his hiking potential that we didn’t know existed. I want to look into some kind out outdoor youth program for him when we get home.  He loves it.

Incredible views from the top.



Show offs!

After some more hours of driving we made it to our destination: Makarora.

“We doubled the population as soon as we arrived.” said Tess.

We were told we are staying in rustic cabins and I got a little worried. But no need because these weren’t cabins, they were gingerbread houses and we all loved them!  We are here for two nights which is such a treat with all of the moving and shaking we have been doing.



Borut and I were joking that the front desk was closed because the clerk is the same guy who is working the bar now. He’s also the pilot, town doctor and the mayor.

After Laura’s fabulous dinner of burgers “Kiwi Style” ( with pineapple and beets) we settled into our darling gingerbread houses.  That was when my sand fly bites started to really kick in. The itch was unbearable. I lay in bed wishing someone would rub industrial strength sandpaper all over my legs as hard as they could because I don’t need the top few layers of bug bitten skin. I would like it sanded down to a smooth layer of fresh, unbitten epidermis.. That would feel just oohhh so good. I would pay so much money for that.

New words:

Cabinet- counter “Order your food at the cabinet”

Entree- appetizer

mufty- without uniform or unmarked. “That’s a mufty cop” (unmarked cop car) or “The kids have a mufty school day on Friday” (no uniforms)


Answer to Tess’s riddle that only Steve figured out:

Flip 2 switches up.  After a few minutes, flip one of them down.  Then go downstairs.  The bulb that is on is the one that you left up.  The one that is off and warm is the one you flipped up and down.



Author: foodkibbitzer

I love to cook, especially soup, and bake challah. I ride horses, enjoy sarcastic people and am a food snob. I'm busy being mom to my two boys and I play mahj jong.

3 thoughts on “Getting to Know Ernie”

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