Once in Piction we met up with our new Stray bus: a minicoach this time, so everyone's luggage had to be loaded into the little trailer pulled behind. Our group consists of half a dozen people who have been travelling with this guide for a few days (her name is Nat), and another ten or so like me who are new. Our first stop was along New Zealand's Golden Mile in the Marlborough Region, world-reknowned for its vineyards and their resultant wines. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that the reason for our stop at Bouldevine's Wine Cellar was to do a wine tasting: for $2 we tasted four different wines (including a delicious sauvignon blanc), and were offered bottles of the wines for $10. Not being an enophile, I didn't buy any, but I do know enough about wine to know they were of a high quality.
Back onto the bus again we went, this time heading for our late lunch / afternoon tea stop at Pelorus Bridge. Before we got there, Nat had us break the ice by introducing ourselves with our names, where we are from, and our Jedi Knight name. For those interested in figuring out their own Jedi Knight name, follow these four steps:
1. First three letters of your last name
2. First two letters of your first name
3. The first two letters for your mother's maiden name
4. The first three letters of the town where you were born
Putting that all together, my Jedi Knight name is Tayca Wrmac.
We stopped in Nelson briefly to drop off a backpacker, and I got my first glimpse of the region where I may well end up living/WWOOFing/working in a month or so. We weren't there long enough for me to really formulate an opinion, but I was getting some good vibrations just the same.
Our final stop of the afternoon was Motueka, where we hit the local New World supermarket to buy supplies for tomorrow's lunch, breakfast, and dinner, and the ATM so we could pay for accommodation and our activities tomorrow. I'm going to be going for a half-day sail and then hike back through Able Tasman National Park.
Around 5:30pm we pulled into our home for the next two days: Old MacDonald's Farm (yes, ei-ei-o). I am currently situated in a three-bedroom bunkhouse in the middle of a field with chickens strutting past every now and then, and in the field in the distance I can see cows. It really is a farm!
Tonight after dinner we are going to have free mussel tasting around the fire... a New Zealand speciality, the green-lipped mussel. I'll let you know what I think.