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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

Searching for Quad

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 4 August 2007 | Views [847]

New Zealand is a bizzare country of Capitals.

In an attempt to encourage tourism across its small townships the government has coached folk to create their own USP.

"Gore," for example is the self procalimed, "brown trout capital of the world," and confirms its status with a huge leaping fish as you enter.  Similarly "Rakaia," has a huge welcoming Salmon as its fishy capital mascot.

We've been to Queenstown, the "adrenaline capital of the world" and I'm currently writing from the caffeine capital (Wellington) which also happens to bee the REAL capital.

Hunterville in the north island is the capital of......well you can guess, whilst the unfortunately named "Te Puke" is the Kiwi fruit capital.  My friend Sam from Omaru says its the cheese capital and I must confess that their Whitestone cheddar is excellent.

We arrived in Hanmer Springs (surely the souths spa capital) to a cute little town of crazy golf courses, the usual adrenaline based stuff and the acclaimed outdoor thermal pools.

I had every intention of dowsing my travel-ravaged body in the sulphur rich pools but an overwhelmingly eggy fart stench gave me other ideas.

Although a small town, there's no shortage of outdoor pursuits.  I quickly warmed to the idea of horse power without the horse and quad biking ticked all the boxes.

Set amidst pine forests, snowy mountain ranges, rolling hills, clean streams. vines, valleys and vineyards there was no better place I could imagine for this activity.

Maria wasn't keen after viewing pictures of other groups caked from head to toe in mud.  The booklet also talked about traversing cold streams, ascending near vertical slopes and breaking the odd limb.

Although I tried to convince Maria using the "free all over body mud pack" (spas cost a fortune) she decided it was more for boys.

New to quad biking, I was joined by one other recruit (an Aussie) and our guide Andy.  We were taken to farmland over many acres of idylic terrain.

After proving to Andy that we had a vague aptitude for quad biking on a circular track it was off on our 4 wheeled beasts. 

Bumpy, muddy tracks led upwards into the hills.  I held my breath as I steamed through a stoney river bed, the water spraying high into the air creating a fountain effect of fine particles.  This was BIG fun.

We stopped off periodicaly for photos (I look like a Top pilot in one) and Andy shared his knowledge of the environment.  These guys are not all adrenaline suckers.

He identified the nasal unearthings of snuffling wild pigs and explained how they were originally introduced by captain Cooks men.

We tasted some sweet secretion from an insects anus and then crushed tea tree leaves so we could smell the aromatic oils.

Back to biking and my 2500cc machine was urging me to go faster.  I was goaded to take the bumps forcing my front wheels clean off the ground.  I accelerated faster than before across muddy patches and allowed the back wheels to slide like some Dukes of Hazard episode.  

Yes, there was mud, water and the "Suicide slope," but this was easily my best experience in New Zealand.

In Hanmer, I had discovered Quad. 

Tags: Adrenaline

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