From the 25th of July to the 26th, Karalyn, Emma, Christina, Kevin and I took a little overnight excursion to the region of Martinborough. Martinborough is mainly known for the many vineyards that populate the area, but we actually went to see much more than that.

A great budget adventure, we rented a car and drove to the area, staying the night at a backpacker’s place. We headed off early Saturday morning, driving and weaving our way through hill after hill- it reminded me a lot of driving in Northern California. Which, I should add, is not the most pleasant experience when sitting in the middle of the backseat of a station wagon. I woke up in the middle of the night a few days later after having a dream about that drive feeling incredibly naseous– I had to go open a window and sit breathing the cool air. But back to the main story…

A few dizzying hours later, we arrived at Cape Palliser after pulling off the road once hitting the coast for a prime photo opportunity. We saw a few seals before heading up, and then parked in a gravel lot to climb to the lighthouse. Below is a picture of the lighthouse from afar, and then of the stairs- might I add, there were 250 of them?

The ascent was entirely worth it… here’s the view from the top.

And here’s our traveling group on the top! Look, we did it!

And here is the climb down… needless to say, I grasped the rail rather tightly the whole way. My fear of heights did not serve me well that day.

We walked back down, but before heading to our next destination, a hike, we stopped for a picnic lunch, and found hundreds of seals. They were everywhere– on the rocks, in the water, and we watched them play and got within ten feet of them.

Our next stop was a hiking (or tramping, as they call it here) expedition at the Pinnacles. Supposedly part of Lord of the Rings was filmed there. The tramping was a bit difficult because it wasn’t a set path, so it was hard to get a good grip. That kicked in my fear of heights prematurely, and I wasn’t able to hike as far as others because I was too nervous. But here’s a picture of the rock formations.

After an afternoon of hiking, we headed back to Martinborough and checked into Kate’s Place, a backpacker’s lodge in the small town. The girls headed into one room, with two bunk beds, and Kevin bunked in another room with a few other guys who were staying there as well. We drove/ walked into town for dinner, and ended up waiting for ages, but finally getting some warm food. I ate a baked cheese dish and some pumpkin soup. After a brief (and failed) excursion to find s’mores supplies, we ended up back at Kate’s Place and showered and curled up to chat in bed– kind of like girl scout camp or a slumber party all over again.

The next morning we grabbed breakfast at a cafe in town, warm drinks and hot food. I got scrambled eggs ON toast (that’s a big thing here) and a hot cocoa (see below). I love how all the drinks here are so elegant and cute… and hot cocoa is always made with milk! MMM!

On the way home, we stopped at a vineyard to do a little wine tasting– the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is renowned, and the one we tasted was quite good, although perhaps not the best. Here we are tasting some red wine.

But by far, the best photo op of the weekend…

Us three Texan girls… perfect! Much love from Martinborough!


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