(Sugar + exercise = weekend) + The Mount = a GREAT weekend

Working shifts comes with pro’s and con’s like any working pattern. However, when your contract states you must work just two weekend shifts in a calendar month, it appears that the pro’s do in fact outweigh the con’s. Especially when I rostered myself off for a weekend that just so happened to remind the people of New Zealand that sunshine, blue skies and non jersey wearing required weather does exist.

Back in June I treated my significant other to a number of birthday gifts, one being our upgraded tent. We now own a duplex. We’re basically owning the property market right now…the property market of the winter camp sites that is. This weekend, with both of us off work and no other engagements to attend, we decided to put the new duplex to use, and head off to my fave place of the North Island. After 20 months I finally got to return to the beautiful Mount.  It was s-t-u-n-n-i-n-g. We didn’t hit traffic, we had beautiful weather, we got in two walks/climbs at the mount, we enjoyed some tasty as food, a great night’s sleep and made some more great memories.

Saturday morning, we woke up leisurely, got some laundry done and pulled out the camping essentials, loaded up the car and headed off to South Auckland to grab some brunch. Melba treated our taste buds well, with me opting for an organic turmeric and coconut milk latte, to warm up the cockles before diving in to scrambled egg on toast with a side of bacon and halloumi. Yum. The service was sadly a bit slap dash, I mean no cutlery served with our food and the non arrival of our requested second jug of water, but the food was good and final transaction ran smoothly. Also, the venue is clean and very swish. We grabbed a sweet treat from the cabinet each too, to keep us tied over on the journey to the Bay of Plenty. Although it basically kept us occupied whilst we just got out of the car park. It was that yummy.

We had a great run of traffic. A few eejits on the road not realising it wasn’t Sunday and also not aware of the real speed limits, but with some cracking 80s singalong songs blaring out (thanks Spotify!), we found entertainment in the smaller things.

My smile expanded even more as we arrived in Bethlehem, with Tauranga centre just a mere few kms away, followed very closely by Mount Maunganui. It didn’t let me down, it was as stunning as I remembered.

Setting up the new holiday abode began with a giggle, when we realised just the pole bag weighed more than our entire previous tent, we knew we had upgraded with a bang. There was the odd snap, purely because boys don’t listen to instructions, but for the majority of the build, it went well, and we loved our new build. Furnishings were applied (the bed, sleeping bag, table and chairs. Not a Kmart item in site) and my request to walk around the mount before sunset, was enjoyed. A quick costume change as the temperature was dropping, we went for a walk around the small town to find somewhere suitable for dinner.

A popular venue got our vote, Lattitude, and the menu didn’t disappoint. Selecting our drinks, I opted for my first alcoholic containing beverage in two months. Three years ago, I’d have been on the booze train all day, but my gosh, I’ve changed, and I’m proud of that too. That one drink was more than enough, and enjoying it with a tasty meal was how it should be enjoyed. Starting with some shared scallops in squid ink risotto, we were very impressed. My partner was over the moon when he saw that the pork belly was gluten free. He didn’t need an extra second to peruse the menu, he was sold. Me, I went for the glazed beef cheeks, and we shared a side of greens (I can’t explain how much I love my green veggies!). Daaaang, it was all so good.

We departed with very full tums, so obviously that meant the boy needed some french-fries, and we both needed a visit to the dairy to get some evening sweet treats. Getting back to the tent with a terrible single use plastic bag full of liquorice for me, sour straws for him, and Chocolate Buttons and Eskimo’s to share, we were ready to dive in to the sleeping bag, warm up the bones and munch our way through the sugar fest to fuel our climb up the mount in the morning.

Realising it was around 7pm, we decided to use the mass amount of data we had to watch the previous Mission Impossible movie. I think I lasted an hour before crashing and burning. It’s fantastic what the fresh air can do for ones zzzz bank. I had a great sleep!

Waking at 6.15am, I could hear the crash of the ocean, the squad of the seagulls, and the early morning rays trying to break through. In a nutshell, it was a perfect morning.

Shamefully enjoying my Instagram fix for a wee bit, and the chap finishing off Mission Impossible, we took our time to unzip the duplex, let the rays in, before popping on the active wear and heading UP the mount. Now, I gym daily, I cycle daily, and I eat pretty darn well (bar the aforementioned bag of sugar) but there is something that provides a struggle, and that my dear readers is my breathing. I’ve no idea what it is. I hold my breath, I take shallow breathes when I do let go and the anxiety brings on the sweats. Surely it’s the sweat and the awkward breathing, I’m not THAT unfit. Confirmed by the fact it indicates it’s a 45 minute walk to the summit, and we completed it in just under 20. A small break to get some Kodak’s in, then we opted to run down. Exercise, it felt darn good I tell ya!

The demolishing of the duplex brought just the one snap, again, the male of the team not following instructions, but all in all, once again, it was a joy to work as a team and pack up our weekend crash pad. Packing up the car was followed by yet another meal, another brunch, and some good coffee. Jumping in the auto, to head back to Auckland, I bid a sad farewell to my dream location, and know it won’t be another 20 months before I’m back.

Thanks BoP, you not only delivered, you blew it out the park. Giant thanks xxx

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