Dec 31, 2014

My month part 2

Continues from December part 1

We made few wine tours around Blenheim with friends. On first tour I was the driver so I didn't do so much tasting. On first wine tour we visited Wither Hills Winery which was really nice medium-size winery. They had brand new tasting room or actually winery house and really good customer service. By good customer service I mean that every winery didn't deal as good with young people and backpackers than this one.


Our first tour gang
Daniel, Flo, Imke, Vojta and me

View from Wither Hills winery building

Other winery's we visited were Clos Henry, Drylands, Hunter's and also Moa Brewery, Chocolate Factory and Fudge Factory. At Drylands we got tour behind the scenes because my friend is working there. It was really cool to see how they really make the wine. In every place we visited we got good tastings and picture about local main industry -wines.

Clos Henry winery's tasting room is an old chapel.

Clos Henry's tasting room

Me, Imke and Flo drinking milkshake at Fudge Factory


Girls going out!
Toni, Miyuki, Imke, Flo and me

One weekend there were Christmas festival and parade at the town centre. We visited to see the parade, it was surprisingly big for this small town! We got heaps of candy!




Our second wine tour we went to three wineries and one brewery. First we visited was Highfield, awesome place hiding in the bushes! I haven't had heard anything about whole place before but luckily we found it. We tasted really good wines there, especially 2007 Sauvignon Blanc was really good surprise!

Highfield

Highfield vineyards

Highfield 
The second place we visited was Brancott Estate which is one of the biggest producers of wine in Marlborough area. They have their own Heritage center which is big and full of light. We had really good tasting over there also! I tasted the first dessert wine from New Zealand.


Brancott Estate Heritage Centre


Alcohol analyser -for me it said "Don't drive" after second tasting.. 
Brancott Estate vineyards
Next we visited Moa Brewery. I was there before also but I didn't do the tasting because I was the driver. We tasted many different beers, I don't really remember which ones. My favourite was anyway the beer which we added some raspberry syrup and also their cider was really good!


Jassi, me and Vicky tasting beers at Moa Brewery

Beers at Moa. We added some syrup for beer, everyone different amount of it.

This was my most of my December, I will tell about Christmas and new year celebrating on my next post!

Thank you for past year for my family, friends and all the readers of my blog. See you again next year!

xo,
Liisa


"Et saa minua kiinni,
ota kiinni jos saat, ota kiinni jos saat.
Älä tartu mun siipiini.
Et koskaan saa minua kiinni."
Älä tartu mun siipiini - Sallan ja Miron matka maailman ympäri

My month part 1

I don't really know how time has gone so fast! It feels like I just got here but I have been nearly two months in Blenheim and almost three months in New Zealand! Amazing. Even I have had lot of spare time I still haven't had time to write anything here, sorry about that.

First of all I'm going to tell what I have been doing this month. Working. We had lot of work, shorter and longer days. This month we did mostly wire-lifting, it was harder for arms because plants have been growing and shoots are heavier. Our work gang changed during this month often, so there was 9-30 people working every day. Weather have been sunny and I am really tanned (my skin colour is still white for everyone else but for me it's really brown!). On last week we had few rainy days when we worked only few hours but we were lucky to have so many working hours totally!


My legs and gloves after typical working day
River at work -it had really blue, clear water
I broke my phone at work one day. It was really hot day and we were working on contract. I didn't have pockets and I was listening music with my phone so I put the phone to the natural place for women, in my bra. Apparently it was really hot inside my shirt so my phone over-warmed and got really upset. Luckily I had extra phone (10 $ from CountDown) so I survived with that for 3 weeks. One day I got bored of it and I bought new phone, Samsung Galaxy S 4 mini.

I baked few times during this December. We don't really have any supplies for baking at the hostel so I tried different recipes where you don't really need for example mixer or anything else. I found really good recipe for carrot cake from Valio's website. It's really easy and doesn't take your time more than 40 minutes. They doesn't have orange cream cheese here so I tried to make the topping myself with orange but I think I used too much orange for it. You can find the recipe from here in Finnish.

Imke's cake and muffins and my carrot cake

But here are some pictures about other things I have been doing and seeing in the end of November and this month.

Wither Hills Farm Park

Me and my friend Jassi

Flo, Bob and me at White's Bay

Stairs leading to Monkey Bay

Views from Monkey Bay

Monkey Bay







Me and Flo

At the beach

To be continued!

xo,

Liisa

Nov 22, 2014

Row after row

Hey! How is it going? Everything is fine here, weather is sunny and very very windy! Last week's Monday we started working at new vineyard. We made wire-lifting for the whole day and it was quick because there was just two wires to lift. Rows were very long but by walking fast or running it didn't take long time to finish them. Every block is usually 100-200 rows, shortest rows are 10 meters and longest are 900 meters maybe..? We have usually 15 people group working and sometimes there are more people helping us.


Tuesday afternoon we finished nine blocks of really long rows (everyone can count how much we walked..) and started other wire-lifting where we had to release one wire and put two in their places. We did that for two days and on Thursday we started sweaping. That is really boring! We need to bring shoots of plants "arms" in front of wires and take other shoots behind the wires. I almost fell asleep while doing that! 

My gloves after few days of wire-lifting


On Sunday we had more people working. There were altogether five cars full of people, mostly Indonesians. We have been sweaping since Sunday. Indonesians are really funny! They speak mostly in Indonesian and they tell hilarious jokes while working. Of course I don't understand Indonesian but they are giggling like little girls so I guess someone is telling nice jokes! I also get lot of attention because I am one of only three girls. Everyone wants to help me and they are really curious about my family and if I'm married or not..




Few friends have said that they wouldn't expect me to work in the farm. I just wonder why? Have I become too city girl? I have lived 15 years middle of fields in countryside. 10 of those years I hanged out at horse stables and things and in nature! But maybe people change, if course I feel like I'm bit different now than six years ago.

On Friday we had day off so we took some beers on Thursday evening. Friday morning I had somehow small headache..but lot of new friends! And in my arm was reading good rule from work: "No crossing!". I had promised to go hiking with Czech guys and Japanese and German roommates in the morning and it was so hard to get up! But I did it! 

Half of our house gang! Miyuki, Imke, Chris, Toni, me, Jeong and Park. 
Flo, Lee, Daniel and Vojta are missing from the picture.

So on Sundy morning Daniel (guy from Czech) drove us few minutes out of town and we found what we were looking for: Wairau Lagoons walk. It was three hour walk and while walking we saw a wreck of an old coastal trader, the S.S. Waverley. I had to climb in and see it inside! Walk was nice and views were beautiful. 






I also visited beach one evening. Whites Bay is the nearest beach to Blenheim, maybe 20 minutes driving from town. Views were awesome! You have to drive up to the mountain and then back down to get to the beach so you can see whole Blenheim and sea view from mountain. Unfortunately I left my iPad to home so I had only my phone to take photos with.



I have been missing home and family few times. I guess some people thinks that it's a bad thing. I think it's healthy. I'm not missing that much that I would cry every night or I would go home earlier. But feeling of the missing doesn't disappear either with speaking in Skype or writing messages. It's still there and it's the mark that I love my family and home so much that I miss them while being here. 

Few things I miss a little or maybe more:

My apartment and own kitchen. It's been great to share kitchen and I've become more relaxed about sharing stuff. Of course I'm bit pissed off because someone stole my sausages (I still blame the cat, others don't believe that the cat would eat them from the fridge) but otherwise it's been ok. I miss my bed and sofa! Bunk beds aren't so comfortable but I sleep like a baby everywhere!

My family. Calling to my mum in the middle of the day and asking something important or less important. Joking and laughing about stupid things with my sister. My brother and his family. Of course I can't see how my cute nephew Juho is growing so fast and older nephew Niilo learning new words all the time. Funny stories which my little brother Lauri tells to me every time we meet. Playing board games with family and gathering to the kitchen and talking all night. 

Friends and workmates. Actually it was funny that the first dream of Finland I saw in New Zealand was about my workmates gathered together from every place I've been working. I miss our movie nights with friends and going out to the bar and of course the short way back to the home after bar! ;) I also miss speaking Finnish already and long talks with close friends..

Anyway, I wouldn't change one moment in this experience. It have been great time really and I've enjoyed every moment so much! Of course I miss other things also but these are the things which I have been missing the most. I want to wish Happy Birthday for my sister Annamari and my mother who have their birthdays this week! I wish I could be there celebrating with you. I miss you! And thank you for the package I got from you! I love it! 


"Don’t you cry for the lost

Smile for the living
Get what you need and give what you’re given
Life’s for the living so live it
Or you’re better off dead"
Passenger - Life's For The Living

Cheers!

Liisa