Steve's longest birthday
Trip Start Nov 29, 2011
99Trip End Mar 01, 2012
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Luckily the rain and wind had blew themselves out over night and left us with a blue sky and light white clouds this morning. The room that we were staying in backed onto the sea and therefore it was quite a noisy night for all of us
Steve headed for an early walk on the beach for his birthday and said there was a lot of drift wood on the beach, which me and Jayne had noticed yesterday when we took a walk down there. None of us are quite sure where all this wood comes from, however Steve did have a bit of a theory in that it may have been washed up by the tsunami in 2004 – who knows???
After a gourmet breakfast for the birthday boy prepared by Jayne – porridge and toasted banana bread – we hit the road for our next stop in Maruia Springs. The roads here are so easy to follow they are marked out in different "routes" that take you around the island. There are only about 7 main roads on the island and today we only met a few other cars along the way. Scenery as always was lovely – huge vast wooded areas with the sun filtering in
The journey seemed really quick today – a couple of hours. Maruia Springs is a Japanese spa resort with hot thermal pools. Jayne had booked us the indulgence package each and with this we got full access to the hot thermal rock pools, which were indeed hot. Today they were averaging 38 degrees, which is really warm when the sun is shining too! There were 4 rock pools, all with varying temperatures. Floating in the water was black algae which apparently is made as a consequence of the thermal nature of the pools and is really good for the skin! Didn’t notice this too much when it attached itself to all of Steve’s body hair.......... Also next to these pools, were two sit down showers, which constantly poured warm water. Lovely, but boy when the wind blew did you feel a chill!
Also within the package was a half hour body massage and a private spa session. The massage was fab! Me and Steve went in together and were greeted by a Japanese man and a Japanese young lady. Much to Steve’s disgust, they massage the same gender......It was very nice and for a young girl she had some muscles behind her. Very chilled when we finished however! We then went for our private spa, which was bliss. You get the key to your own unit and in there is a changing area, fully carpeted and the floor is so hot – it is gorgeous. Open a sliding door into your own thermal Jacuzzi and shower area. The water in there was 41 degrees and really too hot! You are allowed 45 minutes and we made the most of it......was very nice.
Earlier in the afternoon we all went into the Japanese baths – but we had to be segregated into sexes in the true Japanese style. We could understand why when 3 young Japanese girls came in naked. Apparently it is traditional
By the end of all this we were all nearly horizontal, de-stressed and chilled. Just time to get ready for our 3 course all inclusive evening meal. Well it was amazing. We started off with a mild chilli crusted tuna steak with a rocked salad. Surprised us all when it came out as the tuna was still raw in the middle and seared around the edges. OMG it was fantastic! The flavour was amazing – great choice. Steve & Dave had deep fried chicken for mains, Jayne had risotto and I had steak. Mine was just brilliant – but I have to confess it beat me, I was stuffed. Puddings again were brilliant, although I think I only managed a couple of mouthfuls. When we checked in today Jayne told them it was Steve’s birthday, so they put a lighted candle in his puds when they bought it over and we all sang Happy Birthday. A bit of a strange Birthday for him really, as we are 13 hours ahead he was making it last from midnight here until midnight on 21<sup>st</sup> in the UK. When we wake up the day after his birthday, he actually wouldn’t have been born yet in the UK!
Retired to bed, thoroughly relaxed and having had a great day. It is our last full day in NZ tomorrow as we fly out on Sunday to Hawaii via Sydney. We have had a blast in this fantastic country – just one word of warning for anyone coming out to the West Coast – the sandflies are little beggars and bite you like crazy, even with insect repellent on!!!! Takes more than them to put us explorers off though........