|(photo from Internet)|
One delight that we’ve had on tours all over the world has been getting an “insider’s view” of the country by having a home-cooked meal in private homes. On the New Zealand motorcycle tour we took in February of 2000, it went a step further. For two nights, we stayed at a farm out of Te Anau in Fiordland. This would be our “home base” for the next day’s excursion to Milford Sound.
Many farms in New Zealand produce sheep, while others raise combinations of cattle, deer, horses, and sheep. Five of us, Judy and I, our friend Donna from Michigan, and two men from Minnesota, were assigned to the 875-acre sheep farm of Don and Dorothy Cromb. After a sumptuous lunch at Lammerview Orchard, we found our destination with no trouble and entered the property via the long gravel driveway.
Our hosts, the Crombs, provided us with a warm and homey place to stay and interesting conversations. Fellow biker Donna was especially interested in the workings of the sheep farm since she and her husband farmed in Michigan.
Dorothy Cromb was a real "farm wife.” She fed us breakfast, including her homemade muesili , and prepared two delicious 3-course dinners for us. She tended to the details on-call to help with the bailing. My thought about Dorothy was “Whatta Woman!”
“We enjoy having groups come,” Don said. “We can’t leave to go travel the world, so this way the world comes to us.”
The second morning, before our departure, all of us bikers climbed into the back of Don’s pick-up. While Dorothy stripped the beds, did the laundry, and made ready for the next group, Don drove us around the farm for a tour. We all enjoyed seeing the place, and Donna had a lot of questions and made observations that enhanced the farm tour for the rest of us.
That day we rode out with an appreciation of New Zealand farm life and something tourists rarely experience: a chance to know how the real people in another country live. And, tucked away, we had the recipe for Dorothy’s muesili, which Judy made for us several times after we were back home.
~ xoA ~