We came through the sounds this morning and arrived into Picton at 8am. To be honest, it’s a hop, skip and a jump from Wellington to Picton and I think we just sat out in the channel between the north and South Island for the night and choofed in this morning.
We had arranged to meet Dave in his white mini van at iSite (the information centre) in Picton at 9.45am. Well, if you can imagine a parking lot full of white mini vans, that is what we walked into at 9.45. We eventually found Kevin, who was filling in for Dave that day and didn’t make the process of locating “Dave” terribly straight forward. Anyway, we jumped in and headed off the Marlborough.
We arrived at our bike pick up to meet Jo, who swung open the door of the van and yelled “finally, we meet. I feel like I know you already”...and so began our lovely friendship. Jo talked us into trying the tandem bike and then gave us a map of all the wineries in the area. When she was finished, we asked her to show us which ones had the best cheese platters. Well, Jo, my dear friend, had a poster on her wall of all the wineries and the ranking of their cheese platters. We headed off! First stop was Forresters where they gave us a wine sample of 6 wines. Now, that’s a big Friday night for me, so we decided to share them. We sat in bean bags under the trees and tasted all the wines on offer. One in particular was delish, so we bought a bottle and popped it in the saddle bag on our bike which had pockets for bottles of wine. We headed off down the bike path and past grape vines to the next winery. We’ll call it, winery number 2. We sat at a tall table on stools and a lovely lady told us about the wine and poured us four glasses of wine to try. I was not going well by then. We left there and wobbled down the road to the next winery. We didn’t like their cheese platter selections and so didn’t grace them with our presence for a wine tasting. Onward we travelled to the next winery we called, winery no 4. It was a lovely winery but Jo had given us her tips, so after a quick stop we hopped on our bike and pedaled on to Franksomething. I can’t recall the name but I just remember yelling out FrankaFrankaFrankaaaahhhh as we pedalled towards it. Now Jo, in her wisdom and perhaps experience with bikes and wineries, had tracked us down to Frankensomethings and said she was just checking in to make sure we were going ok. We said we were, and she took the bottle of wine we bought and said she’d save us carrying it around. (I told her not to swap it out for Aldi wine 😉). Into Frankensomethings we went for some wine and a cheese platter. Jo was a woman of her word, and we had a great selection of cheeses, biscuits, salami, chutney, fig paste and baguettes to choose from. (We were like pigs sniffing out truffles). We put together a nice little selection (read all of the above) and after tasting a couple of wines, bought some to have in their beautiful garden with our cheese platter.
We had an amazing afternoon sitting around Frankensomethings nibbling our cheese platter and sloshing back wine ...but decided to head back to Forresters before returning to Jo and Steve’s place. So, off we wobbled again, down the road, across another road and then back onto the bike tracks that wound through grape vines. We came across Forresters and Matt grabbed a couple of cold drinks that weren’t wine (good decision), which we enjoyed sitting under the trees in the shade. We finished our drinks at Forresters and rode back to the farm. I even rode some of the way without holding on. Matt thought I was very clever.
We returned our bike and plopped down in the bean bags under the tree to chat to Jo and wait for Dave to pick us up.
Now, we’re back in our cabin. Matt is having a snooze and we’re looking forward to a quiet day in Akaroa tomorrow.