Our hopes of cruising the south island in style were dashed when we saw another Nissan Sunny waiting for us in Picton. But wait a minute…what is that noise I hear? Music? In English? Oh yes, this baby has FM radio and a tape deck. We took the scenic route along Marlborough Sound and while our eyes enjoyed the blue-green water our ears were treated to the musical mixings of DJ Molly.
We drove along the coast to Nelson, a city where the aroma from fancy restaurants wafts into the streets in such a way that makes three starving hobos want to gnaw their arms off. We feasted on peanut butter and jelly on a fork and tuna fish that my cat would have rejected. Clearly it was time for some free wine tasting. One such winery offered Kiwi fruit wine, which was delicious and we seriously pondered the logistics of sending glass bottles back home.
The next day we tested our kayaking skills in Abel Tasman national park. Our instructor regaled us with tales of unfortunate kayakers who met their untimely end in these waters. The water was actually rather tame and we were able to claim a private beach for ourselves and defend it from rouge kayakers from a rocky perch. On the way back we gave up the strain of serious paddling for the drifting high life of the American tourist at sea. So tell tale were our national signs that several kiwi kayak heros gave us a bit of a shower. We forgave them their mischief and continued to dangle our feet into the satin water. It was a classic New Zealand activity and our distance from home sunk in just a bit more.