I opted against biking the rest of the Queen Charlotte Track due to rainy conditions, and felt that I'd already gotten in a great day of biking with marvelous views. When I drove into Picton on Saturday night, I saw all the wineries and they definitely caught my attention since the Marlborough Region is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc.
St. Clair Winery
One of the locals directed me to St. Clair Winery, and boy was I in for a treat. It's one of those moments when you don't have a plan or expectations, you find yourself in an awesome situation. The winery was quiet and I'd arrived just in time before the kitchen closed for lunch. The sommeliers directed me to order something off the menu, then come to the tasting room.
Sounds like a REAL good plan!
I was craving a salad - and even better that it was all vegetables from the garden at the winery. Want to hear a twist?
I picked the crispy duck! I'd never had duck.
It was scrumptious. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that I've never had a more delicious salad.
Havelock, New Zealand
After a few hours (!!), I set out for the 2-3 hour drive across the northern part of the Island to Maharau, where Abel Tasman National Park is located.
I am now a PRO at driving on the left side of the road, but I still keep using the windshield wipers whenever I use the turn signals.
A FUN moment happens: I pass through a town called Havelock, New Zealand. My Camp Seafarer and Camp Sea Gull friends would get this; it's the same name as the town that we'd pass through as we went on time-off. So a flood of good camp memories flood my thoughts for a little while.
Green Lipped Mussels
Prior to arriving, I had heard about the 'Green Lipped Mussels' from this part of New Zealand. I made the point to order it off the menu for dinner at Punga Cove. Remember, "YOLO?"
They are much larger than the 'regular' mussels we are used to -- and in my opinion -- much tastier.
They also have the signature 'green color' along the tips of the shell.