I am slowly going through the thousands of photos we accumulated and it will be a while before I can fully realize the impact this holiday had on us.
We keep saying we want to go back. This is not acceptable. We just returned home!
Everything on this holiday seemed to have happened by magic, or it was just because we simply relaxed and got along with the flow.
One day while on our way to Christchurch I saw something happening with some sheep in a field by the road.
A very patient husband stopped the car to let me take some pics and - never underestimate the friendliness of Kiwis - on seeing me the owner invited me inside to have a better look.
It turned out they were crutching the ewes and they told me a lot of things about sheep husbandry, included stories about the famous black merino wool used by Loro Piana.
Unfortunately we didn't get to see those, but I was lucky to get the name and address of a special person who dealt with top quality fleeces.
And so we went.
It turned out this man was the first breeder who sent over to Italy ten merino rams of various colours in 1997. He and his wife were so kind to welcome us in their home and spend some time with us telling us stories about sheep and wool. And I walked away with some beautiful raw fleece to take home for spinning!
But as raw fleece can be very bulky - even if very light - he had the very good idea to vacuum pack it.
Who would have ever imagined that we would end up in the back room of the village butcher just before Christmas learning how to vacuum pack fleece while the butcher was busy preparing his orders for Xmas dinners?
I love New Zealand!