Disclaimer - this is epically long so if you just want the basics, scroll down to the end where I summarised it for you. Look at the photos though if you're keen.
Monkey and I built our excitement to bursting point for the weekend away. Monkey packed at least two bags and suitcases for himself, double checked that Miaow didn't need a passport and asked if we needed snacks to go on our long LONG drive.
We woke to pouring rain. After a quick prayer to the Ra (no luck) we headed over the Rimutakas. For those of you who don't know NZ the Rimutaka Hill Road is renowned for being hilly, steep, curvy and quite treacherous. The barriers are resemble toothpicks strung together with dental floss more than something that could stop our swagger wagon or the truck coming down the hill around the blind corner in the wet...
But as always it was safe for us and we got over the top with only a little excitement due to the road work crew scraping the tarmac with a digger while we were driving on the road... Thank goodness the operator knew what he was doing!
After stopping at the Masterton Farmer's Market to pick up artisan bread, ripe brie, superb burgers and a decent cup of coffee (sadly our last for the weekend) we pulled up at the Solway Park Hotel. We checked in and Monkey charmed the socks of the lovely concierge and she made him promise to wave when he and Stud1 went swimming. He had to phone her before he left so that she could look at the security video feed.
We got to the room and he was in his costume/togs/bather before we had even had a good look around. (It was an apartment and was very servicable for the weekend but we would like to try adjoining rooms next time for more privacy). He phoned the front desk and Stud1 and he legged it down to the pool for the first of many swims!
|Look at me in the big bath (spa pool to you and me!)|
We ate lots of delicious food and relaxed in the hotel surrounds for the rest of the day. On Sunday we headed out to Pukaha Mount Bruce -Home to a rare white kiwi, some enchanting birds, rather freaky eels and tuataras amidst a rainforest. We had a great time finding the animals hidden in the trees and watching the interactive displays. We then went on the lookout walk. It was a four kilometre walk and it was tough going in the wet but Monkey was dry and Stud1 and I were determined to do it.
So with Monkey reciting most of the Gruffalo, We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Bear Feels Scared, we plodded through the forest and loved it! At one stage we were walking in the clouds and it felt like an elf could possibly step out from behind a tree. So surreal and beautiful... It was a hard slog, but I am stupidly proud of myself for doing it.
|First view point looking down to the road we came from.|
|Too tired to pose gracefully.|
|Lost ruined this view for me as I kept looking for shaking trees.|
When we got back to the hotel I booked myself a private spa pool and shared it with two fidgety boys. We had another delicious dinner and tucked a knackered Monkey in bed and had the luxury of eating decadent Chocolate Tiramisu with Espresso Icecream in bed while watching House.
|Forgot to take the photo before I ate the cherry on top. |
Poor quality photo due to the drooling and shaking hands :)
As well as all of that Stud1 and I had some heart to hearts and I left on Monday feeling like we are going to take on the world (or my insecurities) and WIN!
So watch this space peeps...
TL:DRIt was amazing. Many stresses melted away. Decisions were made. Delicious food. Life is good.