Having already ridden up the Wairau valley from Picton to St. Arnaud last week, I decided to take a shuttle and make it a rest day. It could not have worked out better! The rain and wind were strong, and when I tried to get a bed at the Old Yellow House backpacker place, the reception folks said they were full up and offered a motel room for $60. I told them that would blow my budget and got ready to head over to the Alpine Inn again, although the bus driver told me there had been a tragic accident and a young woman who tended bar there had crashed her car and dies (“what a waste of fanny” was, I believe, his actual words!). Anyway, I was reluctant to go as I reckoned the mood would be quite dour – today was their memorial service. But….just as I was about to leave, they offered the motel room for $26 and told me they would make it a dorm (i.e. if another person showed up looking for only a bed, they would have them join me). Well, no one showed up, so I got to chill out, get online to handle some more logistics and talk to home, watch a little TV (mythbusters!), make a nice dinner, have a beer, and have a very restful night. Exactly what I needed before heading out onto the Rainbow Road through the high country. More on that tomorrow….