"" Writer's Wanderings: New Zealand Diary - A Wind Farm, Greytown and Martinborough

Friday, November 01, 2013

New Zealand Diary - A Wind Farm, Greytown and Martinborough

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Mon Logis will be one of the B and Bs we remember for breakfast. Our host is French and once owned a café. His homemade croissants are melt-in-the-mouth good. And he makes a mean omelet. But today we say good bye to the croissants and begin our trip to Martinborough.

There’s not a whole lot on our schedule for today. Just two stops. The first is another farm—a wind farm. We arrive as dark clouds look like they are moving in. There is no lack of wind here and as we exit the car, it buffets us and makes me even more pleased that I got my hair cut short before we left. I’d never get the tangles out of longer hair after this.

The parking lot circles one of the windmills. We had gotten close to a windmill in Australia once but never directly under one. It is amazing. You can hear the blades cut through the air. Nearly 200 years ago scientists discovered that they could generate electricity by moving a magnet inside a coiled wire. While I don’t understand all the science apparently when the turbine’s blades move in the wind, they turn a shaft that connects with a magnetic rotor inside the generator at the top of the windmill. The spinning of the magnets creates electricity.

Each windmill is about 210 feet tall and generates enough electricity to power 900 homes. They need at least 14 kilometer per hour winds to turn the blades and each is capable of swiveling 360 degrees to find the wind direction. This place was chosen for the wind farm because of its constant winds.

The chilled wind chases me back into the car but I get one last shot of a string of windmills that the sun has decided to kiss. Bob joins me shortly. He takes the time to read the signs I’ll read later from the pictures I’ve taken of them.
I don’t remember when the realization struck us but we suddenly realized being Sunday, the library at Greytown probably wasn’t open and that was where we were supposed to get the information for the historical walk on our itinerary. Seeing the time, we decide to make a stop before in Masterton before we reach Greytown and get some lunch. In need of a restroom by that time, we head for the golden arches we see near where we park the car. We wonder if the beef is any better at McD’s. It’s not. But the sauce tastes the same.
On a short stroll through the town to stretch our legs a bit, we find several places we should have eaten instead of indulging in fast food. Offers of homemade soup and some intriguing sandwiches make us promise to check more carefully next time.

Greytown, a little while later, we find is bustling on this Sunday afternoon. With plenty of time left in our day, we stop and check out the information center that is open. They have the same tour that Bob had seen advertised online at the library. Actually there are two self-guided walks you can take. One visits historical buildings and the other historical trees. The lady kindly explains that Greytown played a big part in establishing Arbor Day in New Zealand and some of the trees originally planted are still standing. She mentions Ann Arbor as if it is related somehow and says she has relatives there. We extend our sympathies and try to explain the friendly rivalry between University of Michigan and the Ohio State University. Sort of like comparing the two biggest rugby rivals. She doesn’t quite get it until then.

Tucking the guide maps in a back pocket we decide to just stroll the main street and enjoy the sunny afternoon. The buildings have character and some remind me of old Wild West towns in America. Greytown was settled in 1854 and was a planned community set to become the capital city of the district. Unfortunately severe flooding from the nearby river caused the railroad to make other plans and Greytown became more a place for orchards and market gardens. But it did leave Greytown with lovely Victorian buildings that lent to wonderful renovations in the early 1900s and histories that we enjoy exploring for a while.  
We arrive in Martinborough. It is smaller than I had imagined. We stop by The Old Manse, our bed and breakfast for the night but don’t get an answer to the doorbell. We are a bit early so we drive into town. Town is just a large treed square with a few shops and restaurants surrounding it. Down the main street, are a few more places including a Wine Center that has information about the local wineries. This is a big area for wine making. We visit a few that are still open and stop at one that has a small café and have a snack. We order chips and aioli dip forgetting that chips here means fries. We have had more fries this past week and a half than we would have in a month or more back home. Still, it’s a nice snack, a lovely place to sit overlooking the grape vineyards and taking in the fresh breeze.

Little did we know that fresh afternoon breeze would turn into gale force winds by the evening.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...