Old MacDonald's Farm
Abel Tasman Travel Blog› entry 68 of 206 › view all entries
Most people got up early to go kayaking or sailing today but since I have done both I was looking for something different. So I booked on an hour's horse-ride since I cannot remember ever getting on a horse. When I walked down to the trekking place I mentioned early that I didn't have much to do that day so the fella there started by putting on an old 45 of 'Waltzing Matilda' by Slim Dusty, and the tone and style of the music seems to set the atmosphere for riding a horse through the sunny mountain landscape. Brian was a little offbeat but was a nice enough bloke once you got talking to him, and after listening to a few old records and him presenting me with the Slim Dusty record sleeve as a token souvenier we got going. I was surprised at how unusual it felt to be sitting on and in control of such a large animal.
We clip-clopped down the road and onto the beach, the tide coming in fast. We only had a short time so he would normally have headed back then but as he knew I was in no hurry and he hadn't much to do either we trotted around the farm, meeting all the animals (sheep, lamas, hens, guinea fowl, peacocks, ducks with ducklings) and then through the sculpture garden, me trying hard to stop Star eating half the garden for lunch.
I napped for an hour or so in the peaceful sunshine before heading out to meet the Sky Scenic Tour people to go hand-gliding, something I have always longed to do. Here is the only place in New Zealand where you are towed up by a miniature aeroplane called the 'Dragonfly', rather than jumping off a cliff. After suiting up we towed the hang-glider out onto the air field with a quad bike and then clipped into the suspended cases, me above the tandem instructor. We then clipped onto the Dragonfly and watched the string be taken up as it pulled away from us, 5m.
Back at the hostel, my two bus companions Lukas and Tom were back and we set about making a group curry. Later we went down to the Park Cafe where they were holding an 'open mic' night which we had been assured would bring out all the weird ones from the hills. I stayed for a bit but left them there quite early to collapse into bed, tired and drunk.