So this week’s activities have mainly involved water! First, black water rafting in Waitomo-which was excellent!! Abseiled down into a deep dark cave, couldn’t see the bottom and freaked out a bit, but did it in the end! Then crawled along the cave a bit until we got hooked up to a zip line and hurled further into the darkness, whizzed past loads of glow worms, that looked like constellations of stars. Then we got given inner tubes and we had to jump off a high rock into them and then paddle ourselves along the stream in the cave, looking at more glow worms-or rather we were admiring their poo, as that is what glows in the dark! After some more wading and swimming through the caves, we got to a waterfall which we climbed up to get out. It was such a great experience, I was really glad that I did it.
Next stop was Taupo and I decided to do the Tongariro crossing- a long walk through the mountains and volcanoes. I’m sure on a good day it would have been lovely, and the changing landscapes were pretty impressive, but (following this week’s theme) it was pissing down with rain and was really windy. So when we got to the top with the supposedly great views of craters, we couldn’t see a thing because of all the cloud, and the rain was going horizontally into our eyes, and we were struggling not to slip off the side because the wind was blowing us really hard!! We couldn’t see “Mount Doom” at all. The mist cleared slightly for us to catch a glimpse of the emerald lakes, but we had at least 6 hours of plodding through miserable weather, and then 2 hours of sunshine once we were almost down!! I had more admiration for Jon and Tanya doing 3 day hikes in bad weather in Vietnam. After that I stayed in Taupo for an extra day to recover and see a bit of the town, and joined the self proclaimed “fun bus” to Wellington. They had a rule, if someone said the word ‘mine’ they had to do 10 press ups, I was caught out after only 5 minutes and in total in the 2 days with them I did 60 press ups (good for the arm muscles I wanted at least)!
We stopped overnight at river valley, a lovely little lodge in the middle of nowhere, beautiful setting. I then went white water rafting-on grade 5 rapids. I was initially quite nervous, but just concentrated on what the guide was telling us to do and enjoyed it! Only afterwards when I saw the video of what we had done did it sink in that actually the drops were pretty steep and full on.
I’ve taken another couple of days out from the bus in Wellington and, after some hard partying, have relaxed and seen the sights in the lovely sunshine.
Tomorrow I’m off on the ferry to the south island with a completely new crowd.