Batt and Robin

Batt and Robin are Teachers, Scientists, Artists, Authors and Travelers


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Food, Glorious Food

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Food, Glorious Food is the title of a song in the musical “Oliver Twist”. It encapsulates our five-week journey in Australia and New Zealand. Both countries have their own blend or style of the presentation of meals that is unique. Not Fusion, nor French, but an amalgam of the sights, sounds and smells of the beaches of New Zealand or the outback of Australia. We had a variety of different meals, including “bush tucker.” Meals were presented in an elegant setting, by confident and competent servers. What stands out it us are two meals, very different from each other and equally memorable. Both were at Uluru, Ayers Rock, in the middle of Australia.

The first evening in the Ayers Rock Resort complex, Rick, was our chef, was in charge of cooking our meat selections. Robin took care of the salads. What was our meat selection? Rick had kangaroo, crocodile, barramundi and emu. I stuck with the emu sausages. We used an outdoor bar-b-que and with other diners and cooked our meat. We sat family style and enjoyed a rare opportunity to fix our own food.

The next evening, began with a camel ride to the site of our outdoor sunset meal. We were greeted with champagne, and caused a flurry of photographs as we arrived and were helped off our camels. We sat family style. Our table included a ship pilot from Hong Kong and a family from Singapore. Our buffet meal consisted of bush tucker and a variety of more familiar items. As the sun set, we were entertained with Aboriginal dances, and then a star party. We all saw the southern cross and were invited to look at planets through a telescope.

As much as we love traveling, sometimes the constant need to find a place to eat becomes trying. Robin is a diabetic with accompanying dietary restrictions. We managed: we did our own breakfasts – from foraging for appropriate foods, to thinking up alternatives to plates and bowls. Lunch and dinner where enjoyed as we found places, often in the lobby of our hotel, or a search for goodies along the way. Sometimes we were surprised at our meal, sometimes not. Yet always, the service was always stellar.

What was the fall out – or weight gain – about 20 pounds between us.


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New Zealand: Sunday May 25, 2014. A drive to Taumata….

Taumata with arrow

This small hill in the southeastern part of New Zealand’s North Island bears the longest place name in the world. Even though the New Zealand map commission shortened it a bit for maps, it is still best known by the 85-letter name you still see on the sign at the site (there is an even longer version with over 100 letters). The name is: Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu.

It refers to a Maori chief whose name includes some of his numerous impressive physical attributes, who fought a battle in this area during which his brother was killed; so every morning he would climb to the top of this hill and play the nose-flute in lamentation for his brother. Please watch our video. What Rick didn’t mention is that it took us most of one morning to find the roadside sign and the hill.