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Published: April 3rd 2011
Day 17 – Wednesday the 30th of March
Wednesday was once again much of a relaxing (mostly... I’ll get to this shortly) day of driving from the lake to Blenheim. Perfectly straight and very long roads all the way... perfect for Renee to sink her teeth in to the driving ways of the beast.
We can’t remember exactly the distance between the lake and Blenheim but we do know NOW that we did not have enough gas to make it! We had been watching the gas light with interest for quite some time (the beast has a countdown showing how many k’s left in the tank) and comparing this to the Navman. It was roughly 200km between the two and we got within 10km of Renwick, on the outer skirts of Blenheim... right in the heart of wine country... when the beast putted out and we were forced to manhandle the beast to the side of the road.
Now what to do!?! We had been contemplating hitch-hiking, walking, even trying to push the massive behemoth that the beast is. But fortunately we got married only 3 weeks ago and were granted what may be called “Honeymooner’s Luck”.
While the beast had been threatening to go down for some 15-20kms, it happened to give out directly across the road from a vineyard packed with grape pickers. No people, we were not going to wait for the grapes to ferment and try to use this as fuel. No, we had much more luck. We approached one of the pickers who directed to another young fellow. We requested of him that perhaps someone could siphon off a few litres of diesel for us and we would pay them for their efforts. Just enough to make it to Renwick where we knew there was a gas station. But no, there was even better!!! The young fellow we were talking to just so happened to have a portable diesel tank attached to the back of his truck, just like a trailer. He was more than willing to assist and within no time at all we were on our way! Talk about flukey luck!!
After filling up completely to the brim at the gas station in Renwick we were safely on our way, certain not to make the same mistake again.
Into Blenheim we went to check out the local campsites.
The Top 10 should surely be renamed a Bottom 10, we were not staying at this stark looking place sitting right next to the noisy highway. The only other option was Springs Creek – miles north of Blenheim. As we were to be doing our self-guided bike tour of the wineries the next day, we weren’t sure if this would be on the pick-up route. So we called the Wine Tours by Bike company to find out. Whilst booking our tour we happened to mention our predicament to the lovely lady on the other end of the phone. She advised that for a much cheaper price we could simply park up on their paddock, mere footsteps away from the bike shed. We liked this option as it meant we could safely drink our way around the vineyards and not worry about any driving to be done after. Added bonus... we were the only people using the paddock. Privacy plus!! Just what newly-weds need!
As we still had time to spare, we decided to head along for a late lunch and some wine tastings. We settled on one of our favourite wines, Wither Hills, whose vineyards and cellar door were
mere metres from our secluded paddock. Perfect! The weather was cloudless, the food fantastic and the wine exquisite! Relaxing on the beanbags, the atmosphere was very chilled and could not have been a better introduction to Renee’s Heaven! We also got a bit daring and tried “Wild Goat” for the first time; it was cooked medium-rare and was quite scrummy! We would definitely eat it again.
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