Leaving Clareville and the art of mattress making, it was back to Featherston for a little cheese tasting. And where better that the newish “C’est Cheese” Deli. Cheesemaker Paul Broughton’s great little shop sells specialty cheeses made by 20 different producers, as well as a range of cured meats, olive oil, chutneys, relishes,olives, breads – all sorts of yummy foodie items.
Les had arranged for our group to have a “Cheese Tasting” which took at the back of the shop. This is where Paul will eventually start producing his own range of cheese. He described what we were tasting and then let us loose. That soft blue cheese was exceptional, the blue cheese lovers amongst us declared, and was from the famous Barry’s Bay Cheese in Akoroa.
Then it was back to the front of the shop while I hunted down some of that wonderful blue cheese, a piece of the lovely squidgy brie, a lovely bright yellow one just because I liked the colour, and I just couldn’t leave without some iconic Blackball black pudding.
After a quick cuppa back at Anne and Les’s home, it was time to say our goodbyes and head back over the hill for the long drive home. The trip went smoothly till we drove over the Haywards Hill and read the traffic warning on the electronic message board. “Serious accident on SH1 – expect delays”. A long stream of traffic driving around the Pauatahanui Inlet then turned into the Paekakariki Hill Road, so we joined them. This is not a road we often use as it is so narrow and windy – we would never tow the caravan this way. Car after car was was driving southwards towards us – we had never seen so much traffic on this road. We found out later that there had been a crash between Pukerua Bay and Paekakariki and both north and south bound traffic had been diverted over the Paekakariki Hill Road. The cars drove carefully along, round corner after corner, with no one speeding or taking risks.
It was a long drive home with the diversion in place, but a whole lot better than being stuck in traffic which wasn’t moving. But at least we made it home safely, not like the poor souls caught up in the accident that closed busy SH1.