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A Day About Town


Travel is funny. Some days you just don’t accomplish much. Some days you feel like you did, but in the end all you did was tick things off of a list. And on some rare days, you don’t do anything you planned, yet somehow you feel most accomplished of all. Today was one of those days.

After a lovely continental breakfast (the Highbrae B&B just keeps getting better!), Dore and I went down to the local farmer’s market after hearing about it from Steven, the B&B owner. While we were there, we bought a really nice smoked cheese and heard an awesome band from Vanuatu. The weather was a bit cloudy and drizzly, which added to to overall feeling that this town really did deserve the description being a little Scotland.

After the farmer’s market, we had a few hours until we were going to go to a tour at the Speights brewery, so we decided to check into taking a tour of the Cadbury chocolate factory. As it so happened, however, the factory wasn’t open on the weekend, and we decided it would be kinda lame to see a factory when it wasn’t factorizing. So we went to plan B: figure something else out. But as luck would have it, my seat belt became jammed, and I couldn’t get it to extend, so we limped back to the B&B to see what we could do.

I went in to ask Steven if I could borrow a wrench to try to get the belt free, but he did me one better.

“The seat belt, you say? I actually just replaced the one in my van last week. Do you mind if I take a look?” he asked me.

I nodded, dumbfounded. I followed him out to the van, where he proceeded to open up the panel and readjust the entire mechanism (the seat belt assembly was mounted at an angle, which threw off the internal pendulum, causing it to jam). As he worked, Steven told us that he had actually gotten a mechanic’s certification, despite not really wanting a career in that field. You gotta love Kiwis. After the adjustment the seat belt worked perfectly.

The van now fixed, Dore and I went inside and got ready, then headed out for the brewery tour. It was, predictably, not that interesting. Beer making is, by and large, the same the world ’round. Yeast meets malt. Yeast eats malt. Yeast makes alcohol and carbon dioxide. Hops make a brief appearance. Tasty beer comes out the other side.

I did actually enjoy the heavy handed self-promotion that came in the repeated commercials that came throughout the tour, but most of all I liked the tasting room at the end of the tour. It was pretty cool to be able to pour our own tastes from the various taps. Dore and I also met a couple that had been traveling around for something like eight months! We ended up having another beer with them at the ale house that was connected to the brewery.

Nicely filled, we walked back up the hill (once again) to the B&B, where we relaxed a bit before dinner. We ate dinner at the Customs House, which was in the original harbor customs house — go figure. While a bit pricey, the meal was really good. Dore got a lamb steak, and I had venison. Both were really awesome. For dessert, we had a delicious brownie tiramisu.

Fully satisfied, we drove home and spent some time going over pictures, writing in our journals, updating our emails, and generally enjoying doing all of the little administrivia that comes with traveling. Finally we called it a night, and went to bed.

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