Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Xmas Holidays...

It's been a while since my last update... Oops.

We had a pretty sweet holiday on the South Island for Christmas and windsurfing was not the focus, but I squeeked in a few days on the stick. Did some incredible hiking up in the mountains of Nelson Lakes and Hanmer Springs and enjoyed the remote beaches of Golden Bay. One particular hike up Mt. Isobel in Hanmer Springs comes to mind. Cheryl kindly shuttled me around the base of the mountain so I could gain access from the remote north-side via a pole-marked ridge route. The weather was all over the map - I shlogged up the steep incline deeper and deeper into the fog. Many times, I could not see the next marker until I ventured out past the last one... making it a bit difficult to find the way up the ridge with any degree of confidence. Weather went from drizzle, to driving hail, to snow, then to sun!! This short day hike reminded me how much I love hiking, and especially more challenging, off-the-beaten path routes... the elements almost make it even more fun!

Another One of the highlights was exploring the Whanganui Inlet in Golden Bay with Cheryl. It was a long dusty gravel road in but at the end was a jewel remote beach at the outlet of the Putarau river. Stunning views of the ocean, white beach and towering cliffs were everywhere. I couldn't help but think about how incredible it would be to pull up and camp there for several weeks, enjoying the remoteness and natural beauty. You could climb new routes there for weeks and never do the same climb twice... there was so much quality rock there, not to mention big-ass waves for sailing. It was somewhat windy there on the day, and I gave it a shot in the big waves... Unfortunately, it was not enough for the lone 5-0 pole-boarder and I had to leave the fun to the collection of tea-baggers who had invaded the spot on this day.

On the kid front - thankfully no premature labour on this trip! We happily remain a two-person family unit for now. We are at 35wks+1day and the signals of pending dad/mom-hood are getting a bit more frequent. Despite gaining a few notches towards hardcore status last weekend, a we little stomach bug had caused Cheryl some contractions last night and I feel the grip of Daiperdad-mania creeping in. Our first sleepless night of many to come... but all is good and things have somewhat settled. The next ultrasound is next week... if we make it that far. As of last night, every single neo-natal bed in NZ is occupied. Hold 'em in there Charla!

Pics to be added shortly...

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