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Where's Jonny? Care to dine with me? You would think that 11 years of daily food tasting for a living might put me off?......au contraire! Chomp away with me across 6 continents. Seduced like a bloodhound to the scent of good food, I anticipate the misty waft of steaming broths, the satisfying crunch of mudbugs and the vibrant aroma of freshly pulverised lemongrass. Buon appetito

Hobbit Habitat

NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 24 July 2007 | Views [1264]

South Island pictures

South Island pictures

When my trip began in South Africa I recall a chap in Cape Town asking us in all sincerity if Hobbits where a real race of people. He assumed that the films were shot in England and that we were part of the cast. (actually I'm not that short)

We could have had all kinds of fun but let the poor disillusioned fellow know that hobbits, like Haggis were not, in fact living creatures.

That is.......until Maria spotted one in a bar in Queenstown. Dressed in simple clothing of browns and beioges with a cape, she watched him eat a wild mushroom omelette whilst drinking a tankard of Speights ale of distinction. He was off before I could catch a glimpse.

Hobbits seem so happy here - and why shouldn't they? Every turn we've made on the south island has been worthy of a postcard. The depth of colour visible in the lakes, streams, rivers and mountains would make Monet rip up his lilly pad pictures and start again.

Even in winter I survey a land washed with ochres, oranges and evergreens I've only ever witnessed in Tuscany. The trees, a blend of birch, beech, oak, red bark and tropical types blend effortlessly together. Purple hued mountains, drifting mists, reflective, glassy lake surfaces and layer upon layer of foreground, middle and background provide an astonishing landscape.

Vibrantly green pastures hold legions of majestic deer. There's the ubiquotous sheep munching away on old Swedes (the vegetable! fear not, Scandanavians)

Horses roam as brown eagles glide. This place is God's own botanical garden. A gigantic Kew gardens of experimentation - that works.

The undulation of this corrugated surface is reminiscent of some huge patchwork rug being pulled sharply under the lands.

I'm unsure how many Hobbits live here but I wish that those who use their lands treat them with respect.

I'm currently driving along the Gore to Clinton road! No sign of Presidents or Hobbits for that matter.

However, something I've picked up from Kiwis here is that every single one knows someone who was in Lord of the Rings.

Ask them if they know an Elf or an Orc and you'll be greeted with nods and grins.

So the next time you're in a New Zealand alehouse and a small person with big feet orders a drink there's every chance he's a real life Hobbit.

Tags: On the Road

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