Blog by Betsy Carstairs

New Zealand, roads

March 17th, 2013
Taking the road up to Whistler BC is a piece of cake compared to these New Zealand roads. This is but 1 of many many hair pin turns on the South Islands road up from Nelson to Takkaka & the beautiful Golden Bay. Well worth the trip but was a bit of a "white knuckler". Thank goodness I picked up a hitch hiker who helped keep me keep on the LEFT side of the road. Going over the white line on th ...

Vietnam Honey

March 10th, 2013
Vietnam honey purchaseVietnam Honey coneVietnam honeyVietnam rooster When I am in Vietnam I love getting up at sunrise & biking through the rice fields. One stumbles across the most interesting things. Today we came across a woman on a motorcycle selling honey. Yes the bees nestcomplete with lots of the bees were in this large plastic bucket!!! Talk about fresh!!!!  We negotiated a purchase of the liquid gold stressing that we would prefer the honey without t ...

New Zealand, concerts

March 6th, 2013
Hawkes Bay Concert 3Hawkes Bay Concert 2Hawkes Bay Concert 1When I was in New Zealand last month I went to the Mission Hills WInery Music Festival  held once a year in the beautiful Art Deco city of Hawkes Bay in the North Island. Reluctantly  I pulled my self away from Golden Bay's gorgeous beaches & Nelson's music & sailing scene to head north to listen to Carole King...revisit my youth & the power of the songs she sang in the '60s. I stayed in a B& ...

New Zealand, wine country

February 4th, 2013
While in Nelson my friend took me for a wine tasting which was lots of fun. We drove for 30 minutes outside of Nelson to a beautiful area of rolling hills farms & vinyards. Neudorf & Woollaston were my favourites. I very much enjoyed the old word charm of the Neudorf winery. Juxtaposed with Neudorf's old school feel was Woollaston's hi teck wine making technique where they use gravity to let ...

New Zealand, North Island

February 4th, 2013
Having a good time in Nelson in the top part of the South Island in New Zealand. Arrived for the 2013 Nelson International Chamber Music Festival which happens but once every 2nd year. My timing with this was blind luck but lucky for sure to get to go to some of these concerts. Weather has been very pleasant & overmorrow I will head off to the wine country to taste some Nelson winesNZ Sail.

Kayaking,Indian Arm @ Deep Cove

May 16th, 2012
Deep COve
This morning I kayaked over to Deep Cove from Belcarra. We left the shores of Belcarra @ 7:00 & the water was like glass. Seagulls were pecking shells on the seashore & lots of Canada Geese nesting on the small islands. We reached North Vancouver's east point @ Deep Cove & trundled off for breakfast @ Honeys. En route to the restaurant there was a group of women doing exercise on the fore sho ...

Vietnam in February

March 4th, 2012
Bike bogenvilliaVietnam by boat
Vancouver's winter grey skies can be easily replaced with warm blue skies with a quick trip to Vietnam. This year I went to visit some friends in this beautiful country. I flew into Saigone & we spent 3 days in this city. The 1950's French architecture & gorgeous garden parks were truely stunning. I felt very safe here even if the traffic really is daunting. I opted for a pedicab & even that ...

New Zealand, North Island

January 25th, 2012
NZ Rotorua boatDSCF1542.JPG
New Zealand is one of my favourite places to get some sun in to my system during our  cold, wet Canadian winters. This year I returned to Auckland on a house exchange. I am staying in a lovely home in Point Chevalier ( a suburb in Auckland) & using it as a base camp to jump off from to explore the island. Last week I went up to the north of the island & visited Paihia, Waipu, Ahipara & Cape R ...