2 birthdays + 2 surprises = 22 birthday surprise!
Trip Start Nov 22, 2010
53Trip End May 20, 2011
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We drove through the familiar town of Motueka, but instead of turning east towards Kaiteriteri, we turned west and drove up a very winding highway that eventually overlooked Kahurangi National Park.
After an eventful stop overlooking the beautiful valley before us (which involved the explosion of Vanilla Coke, the Pajero, and 4 innocent bystanders- ask us for details sometime, a great story), we drove towards a very unique hike hidden away near the Inland Track of the Abel Tasman National Park
Next we did a short hike to Gorge Creek Lookout. The views were spectacular, we figured comparable to the Routeburn! Of course we couldn't just sit there nicely and enjoy the views... Derek had to drop his sunglasses between a tight, deep crevice in the marble stone. Being the good mechanic that he is, he forced himself through a tight space, got on his stomach, and stretched his "Go-Go Neustaeter Arms" and saved his aviators!
We soaked up the 35 degree day (absolutely THE hottest birthday Kaitlyn has ever experienced...), and journeyed onward to Collingwood. Along the way, we found candles and a big piece of yummy chocolate cake- to which Derek sang his best version of Happy Birthday in a Kiwi accent
The next morning, we drove even further north to Derek's main birthday gift for Kaitlyn- a Horse Trek to Wharikiki Beach- the most rugged and beautiful beach we have ever seen! We were the only ones in our group giving a lot of time for interaction, and enjoying the company of our guide. Wharikiki is a far northwestern beach of NZ's south island, right close to Farewell Spit. The views were spectacular the entire horse ride... minus the woman who decided to do Tai-Chi on the beach free from clothing...yikes!
Afterwards we walked along the Farewell Spit where for the past few days, 82 whales have beached. They have been able to rescue most, while some remain to be disoriented and keep beaching. Farewell Spit in the most Northern point on the South Island, so we can now say we have been as far south and as far north on the South Island! Woo-hoo!
Aside from Kaitlyn's immune system continuing it's internal alarm to turn off every February (no matter where she is in the world!)-thus resulting in an annoying head cold- her 22nd birthday was a major success! Derek is looking forward to gloating in the fact that she is now older than him for another 2 months....