43. Picton

Saturday, March 25: Overcast with drizzle in the morning, lighter rain developing in the course of the afternoon & evening

Jugglers’ Rest

Very quiet the whole night and morning. I was up around 8:30 expecting there to be a rush for breakfast but apart from an obviously set breakfast table, nothing else was stirring. I had the end three pieces of bread as vegemite on toast, some fruit juice & coffee.

Preparations for the Queen Charlotte Track sea kayak tour were beginning to take priority. Since neither toothpaste nor coffee will be enough for five days, replacements had to be bought from Four Square. Had sent off emails to one of the attendees of Skeptics in the Pub who is a biology teacher, and there was some interest from her for a class of 14-year-olds. Also sent a message to Gold about the Cosmic Shambles performance (will also have to message Dell). Got an OK for a place to stay near Birkenhead and back-calculated the time from the airport to there at 1½ hours and gave the hostess an ETA, which was appreciated.

Also checked at the “Post Office” i.e. a section of Fresh Choice that had a few postal items that I could get a small box for $2 and then add postage, tracking and a courier to return the emergency equipment to Michael.

By now it was lunchtime – two rounds of toasted cheese sandwiches & a bunch of ubiquitous grapes from the establishment, after which the preparations continued. First nearly 300 g of butter was pressed into the 250 mL container (!) by fitting more or less geometric shapes into it. Then eight eggs had to be prepared by the Traynor-Lopéz method (using cold water instead of ice), and nine minutes of high temperature (sub boiling) for the second stage. Two eggs are a bit broken, but that was about it for the damage. Finally two lists were made – one for meal planning, and the other for cash. Which took things up to 4:00.

Started down the road to meet Christelle at Marlborough Sounds Adventures and collect some cash on the way. Cash worked out OK, but Christelle failed to appear, so I asked briefly whether MSA wanted to be put in the loop in respect of the spot; they said they would if it could be done by email, and then I returned to the Jugglers.

Had a look at facebook to see whether I could find out what Christelle was up to and there was a message that she was in Blenheim @ 4:30, and @ 5:30 there was a loud knock on the door & there she was, a little out of breath. I suggested meeting at her hostel (Atlantis) @ 7:00 and sent her on her way. I went out to the Tavern on the Green, 15 Nelson Square, Picton 7220 for a Buster Burger (one with all, $18) and a handle of Speights for $6.8. Quite a bundle, very tasty, and will be put to useful work tomorrow. The pub’s selling point was “Picton’s last pub” but I don’t see why they just don’t call it the “Crow Bar”.

Went straight down to the Atlantis and was there just on 7:00. The meal negotiations were completed without much horsing around and we marched from one product to the next in the supermarket, and were finished within an hour for just under $50. Shopping was dumped at Christelle’s hostel, as it is only a stone’s throw from the kayak place. At which point I returned to my place to try to get everything else sorted.

Fire had been lit here and the kitchen was a busy hive of activity. Currently the woofer table is debating whether the grape glut can be turned into wine and how this could be best accomplished.