This morning we awoke to a bright sunrise and plenty of felines in Nelson. We ate up the last of our oatmeal and consolidated our bags for the ferry to the north island. After a quick stop for caffeine, we hit the road for Picton.
My wife can pass any camper van on the road, but because of the chickpeas and the absolute havoc they wrecked on my intestines last night, I couldn't pass a toilet. Just before Picton we stopped at a great little family winery called Saint Clair. Probably the best Sauvignon Blanc I've ever had. We got the "Collection of Marlborough", a huge platter of tasty local delicacies. Not usually a fan of mussels, but I really liked the NZ greenshells. Definitely some of the best food and wine we've had on the trip.
At the port in Picton we parked the trusty "Korando", got the luggage out of the back, double checked under the seats, and then dropped the keys through the slot at the Thrifty rental car office. We checked in for the ferry and were just about to check our baggage in when my wife asked me, "Where's your little black suitcase?" A pang of dread and chickpeas hit me. It was in the back seat of the locked rental! We had looked under the seats, but missed the bag on top of them. After running back and forth between the empty rental office and the parking lot. I finally thought to ask the Hertz (hence the plug for Hertz) office next door to call the lady from our rental agency who had promptly closed up shop right after directing us where to park. She came back; catastrophe averted.
After getting settled, we ate at Floriditas, a restaurant owned by the cousin of my fifth cousin. Very tasty!