goodbye marlborough

Folks. I said “goodbye” to one of the most beautiful areas of NZ yesterday. My time in Marlborough was incredible; from preaching and rural ministry to pighunting to goat containment, every moment was memorable. Thanks to all the wonderful people who welcomed me into their homes and lives during these past two months.

And I didn’t leave empty-handed. After a debate-laden cuppa with Hamish and Annie, I set off to have Tex-Mex with Rob and Sabine, carrying a dozen free-range eggs from the household chooks. Then I went to visit my friend Russell out in Canvastown.

Russell is one of my favorite people I’ve met here. He’s a tall, lanky Glaswegian motorcycle enthusiast, living the single man’s pioneer dream in a small converted chicken coop. There are lovely neighbors close enough nearby, but most of Russell’s days are filled with sitting by the serene Wakamarina River and tending his garden. We shared a beef curry (Scotland’s national dish) and couple of gin and tonics, then set off up the river to kayak back down to Russell’s beach with the local motorcamp owner’s son, James. The kayaking was exhilarating, but the river cold, and we all took hot showers and huddled in front of the wood stove, eating chocolate and orange slices until James’ mother came to pick him up.

I left Russell’s the next morning with a bagful of greens from his garden–and a handle of gin. Isn’t it funny how other’s generosity actually makes us more generous? I hope I can pass along Russell’s goodnatured hospitality to some other traveler someday…

Now I’m in Nelson, at the public library. I’m headed to Takaka tonight, then on to Onekaka to check out my New Year’s destination: The Mussel Inn. Supposedly you get a free pint for every opossum tail you bring in; we’ll see how much roadkill I’m willing to pick up.

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