Rebecca, Anna and I just hung out in the morning until it was time to leave. Anna and I were getting picked up at the hostel by our new stray bus at 11 and Rebecca was headed in the same direction but had a pass for Naked Bus, so after swapping numbers she headed off to find her pick up point. Soon enough our bus came swinging around the corner with a male driver with long hair waving frantically and signalling he'd be back in 5 mins. He soon returned after picking a few others up from the ferry and introduced himself as Mambo. We threw our bags into the trailer and headed on board to introduce ourselves. There were two guys Rob and Will travelling together from Holland, another Dutch girl called Jenny, a Canadian girl named Erin and Claudia from Germany. Mambo went through the usual bus introductions and safety procedures yadayadayada and then asked a series of questions in order for us all to get chatting and to know oneanother.
After a little while we made a short stop at a vineyard where for $2 you could try 5 different glasses of wine. Next door we also managed to bag a couple free taster shots of butterscotch, mint and chocolate liquors and then headed next door again to taste fudge yum. After here we headed off again and made a short stop at a supermarket to buy supplies as we were staying at Abel Tasman National Park for 2 nights and were doing a communal dinner that night.
We reached the national park just after sunset and we were staying at Old Macdonalds Farm! We dumped our stuff and got settled in our rooms (5 girls in one room and 3 guys in another) before heading to the kitchens to cook sausages and mash, fish, mushroom burgers and mussels (curtesy of stray). I completely surprised myself because I decided to try to the mussels.. another first in 11 years. They were alright, just kind of chewy so only ate a couple. Because we were staying at this place for 2 nights and it was a new group, Anna and I had decided to buy a couple bottles of wine with the idea of drinking them over two days. As IF that was going to happen! We just ended up really drunk within about 30 mins of being there and because no one else apart from the boys were drinking we felt really conscious about it and spent the whole evening trying our hardest to act sober which made it all the more funnier! After dinner and getting to know everyone most people headed off to bed apart from Rob, Will, Anna and I, so we stayed up a while longer drinking and playing card games. I barely remember going back to the cabin but have vague recollections of eating carrots and hummus outside with Anna and being convinced I saw a shooting star ha.
We had all agreed to get up at 8.30 for a walk in the National Park and come 9 o'clock there was a bang on the door from Janny asking if we wanted to come. Erin, Anna and I were all in bed feeling sorry for ourselves and groaned a no thanks in unison. But 2 mins later I made myself get up, shouted after Janny to wait and threw a bizarre mix of clothing on before running after them. Although Erin and Anna said they would follow on later and do a walk by themselves, I knew that if I went back to sleep I'd just feel like crap and kick myself for wasting the one day we had at Abel Tasman. I caught up with Janny, Rob, Will, Mumbo and a new guy who'd joined us - Kyle, where I found them taking pictures of llamas (or Shamals - a cross between a sheep and a camel). We walked for about 20 mins before Mumbo took one look at the sky ahead and declared that it would piss it down in 5 mins and because he didn't have a waterproof jacket with him and he had paperwork to complete that he would head back and see us later. The 4 of us continued on walking through the National Park which was beautiful and we saw lots of coves as beaches. After 2 hours the guys wanted to head back and so I came with them while Kyle and Janny carried on. It was a good time to get to know everyone and I found out that Janny was a trainee medical student, Will a physio and Rob had been travelling a similar route to me for the past year but had also worked in OZ. On the way back we came across Erin and Anna and luckily we timed it so that we made it back to base literally 2 mins before it absolutely chucked it down. The 3 of us settled in a room with a tv for a while until Anna and Erin came back (completely drenched), and as the rest of the day was pretty much a write off because the weather was SO bad so we all either slept or played card games. And maybe drank beer...