The point that we have always thought of as ‘sooooo far away’ has finally come.
A VERY happy birthday to my fave! She’s the yin to my yang, the tim to my tam. She’s been the best travel buddy anyone could ask for and I cannot imagine sharing this experience with anyone else! So much love ❤️
Another year older and wiser, Flo’s first grown up decision was that she would wear a coat today…
The day started with a Skype sesh from Flo’s parents and the homemade birthday cake complete with candelabra.
Meanwhile, trying desperately to up last nights Nutella rice cake from Tim; Sam and I serenaded in the (slightly squashed) cake that had journeyed all the way from Auckland and filled the room with balloons.
We really do spoil her.
Today Chris had invited us back to theirs for a tour of the area. We packed up the cake and the balloons into the car and set off.
We arrived to an amazing breakfast of croissants and homemade cinnamon rolls. Chris left these unattended. Dangerous. Chris makes an exquisite cinnamon roll. Five later I felt hideously sick but it was so worth it.
Chris then well and truly out did us when he placed a beautifully wrapped present, ribbon and all in front of Flo. Out of the wrapping came a beautiful locally handmade bowl, slightly outdoing the plastic Hawaiian necklace I got her. I stand by my word still, it is the thought that counts.
After breakfast we quickly stopped off at the hostel to check our washing, stuff it into plastic bags and head on to the waterfall.
Chris had well and truly down played the waterfall saying that it was pretty nice but probably nothing compared to what we had already seen. He had failed to mention the amazing walk through near tropical forest to get there.
Having been promised by Chris that the the walk was pretty much flat I continued in my flip flops and the only clothes I had that weren’t in the wash. It was only when we reached the first incline that Chris admitted this had been a lie.
The views from what we thought was the top were pretty amazing. The waterfall was not, as I had been expecting, a little dribble of water, but comparable to something in a Jurassic Park scene.
We found a poor unsuspecting kiwi couple who took MANY photos of us in front of the waterfall and then off we set again.
After what can only be described as a walk highly unsuitable to be done in flip flops we found ourselves at the bottom of the waterfall. Here we were faced with a small pool of water and a plank of wood acting as a bridge. While Sam and Chris crossed it without hesitation, Flo and I thought we’d be sensible and not risk the very high possibility of slipping and drenching ourselves in ice cold water.
We stood by this plan for a while before we realised that the way back was on the other side, and that children were in fact swimming in the pool and we looked more than pathetic.
The journey back down was all downhill through the forest again, hopping over rocks to cross streams.
We got back to Chris’ just in time for lunch. While we had been away Charlotte’s sister in law had arrived and so with a super full house Flo’s ‘birthday party’ was in full swing. Cake, candles, and singing, what more could a girl ask for. How about a beautiful beach metres from the front door?
We spent the rest of our time in Piha playing like children on the beach, the actual children behaving in a far more civilised manner.
Then it was time to say our final goodbyes and head back to Auckland for the last time. A huge thank you to Chris, Charlotte, Owen and Daniel who have put up with us on many occasions. We had such a wonderful time in Piha and thank you yet again for your hospitality.
When we got back to Auckland we were faced with the dilemma of not being able to park the car because of Auckland ridiculous parking fares. So Sam chucked us out in front of our hostel and went to drop the car off alone. Bless him.
It seems I have never fully appreciated how many bags we have collectively until we were stranded on the kerb with oh so many bags. Thankfully at this point Mike came out and took pity us and helped haul them inside.
A slight mix up with the rooms meant that I had been put in an all German, all male dorm… So, in his absence, and with absolutely no choice in the matter Sam very kindly swapped with me.
Another night spent in the Fort St Union bar of course, joined by Mike and James. It was a lovely surprise to see Inge, Elisabeth and Weeman as they popped in for a quick birthday drink.
Hope you had a fab day Flo! Happy happy birthday, I hope 24 is one to remember.