Those who know us, know that we have a hard time passing up a bakery or café. We woke up in the Fishermans Bend camp on the banks of Lake Waitaki on Friday morning to pissing down rain, and nearly freezing temperatures. The snow line was visible just a few 100 feet above us. We quickly took down the tent and packed up our gear in a short rainless window and ate a cold breakfast. We agreed to get tea in the next town.
We rolled into Kurow around 11 am and found ourselves drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea and eating yummy bacon, cheese and tomato omelets at the Valley Café and Restaurant. Taped to the window, near the door, was an article about the owner, a former New Zealand rugby international. We both guessed that the burly man walking back and forth from the attached butchers shop, the Game Keeper, to the café kitchen was the rugby dude.
We decided to get some of the fresh made sausages and to see if Janet could have her picture taken with the famous rugby player. Waiting in line at the meat counter, the rugby playing butcher was telling a customer about each of the sausages. Both of us swear he said the first ones, called merino rosemary sausages were made from hobbits. I swear that’s what he said. I even asked him if that was what he said… he laughed. In fact we all laughed. Then he told us that it was hogget – a juvenile sheep more than one year old. Or, perhaps, we now know what happened to the hobbits.
Steve introduced us to his wife, Sandy who is a rural P.R.I.M.E. (Primary Response in Medical Emergencies) Nurse Practitioner in the area. The PRIME program provides advance medical treatment in rural areas where access to emergent care is limited and transport times are long.
They are a fantastic and interesting couple.
We highly recommend the Valley Café and Restaurant for breakfast and baked goods (we had a lovely piece of carrot cake as well) and the Game Keeper for fresh, gluten and preservative free handmade sausages. You can’t go wrong. If you do stop by, please say hello to Sandy and Steve from Janet and Jay – the American bike tourists who asked about the hobbit sausages.