We had a lovely time with David and Helen at their place, Tananui, visiting Palmerston North on Monday evening for dinner, exploring the hills in the Pohangina valley, seeing Sarah and the twins and afternoon tea in Fielding where David's surgery is based. We left on Wednesday(5th)morning to drive to Martinborough. The gorge was still closed form an accident the day before so we had a detour round to route 2 at Pahiatua, then headed down to the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre. This specialises in endangered native birds so we had our best view of kiwis here, and also saw kaka, kokako and takahe. We reached the small but beautifully formed ( in the shape of a union jack) town of Martinborough mid afternoon and took the site owners advice and booked dinner at the Tirohana Estate winery. This is owned by a brit, Raymond Thompson who played in several(middle of the road) bands in the 60's and 70's and made his money as a TV writer for series such as Squadron and Howards Way. The winery is run by the family, one of whom picked us up from and returned us to the campsite, Ray met us for pre-dinner drinks and the food was great, washed down by their prize-winning 2006 Pinot Noir! Thursday was a fine day so we decided to drive to Cape Palliser, the most southerly point on the northern island and home to a large colony of fur seals. Great scenery driving down and the cape itself is quite a wild isolated spot, the only sign of life being the small fishing village of Ngawi , where an odd assortment of bulldozers grind out their last days hauling rickety fishing boats up the gravel beach. The fur seal colony is right next to the gravel road and we spent a very enjoyable hour or so within a few feet of the seals. We drove back via Lake Ferry and partook of the famous fish and chips at the Lake Ferry Hotel for lunch, still allowing us to fit in a spot of fishing on the Ruamahanga river from Martinborough bridge. Two small trout were hooked !