WOW. Mark and I both just had the most incredible adventure of our lives! We left Auckland on Tuesday morning and headed south towards Waitomo to go on the Black Abyss Caving tour. In a nutshell it was AMAZING! We were greeted by two exceptional guides, Dan and Frasier, who took on an incredible adventure where we repelled 110 feet down into a black hole, ziplined 30 foot into the dark where the only thing we could see was the star-like twinkle of the glow worms all around us-, jumped off a 10 foot cliff into about 4 feet of water with our intertubes, tubbed down the caves inner depths until we reached a WATERFALL and and headed down face first like a penguin on ice (no worries, just a little man made slide), painted stories on each others faces like Maori tribesman, crawled through holes of the cave, scaled up 3 waterfalls and finally reached the top where there was another mini, but beautiful waterfall and pool waiting for us along with the most brilliant shades of green foilage. Simply Spectacular.
Night of day 5-TOGA PARTY!
Who would of thought that Mark and I would be going to a Toga party in New Zealand. Well, it’s true! We caught a ride with Dan to the Cave Hut where we borrowed some sheets/curtains and headed to the one and only local bar, Curlys. From there it was a night of people dressed in Togas, me playing bartendar, pool and lots of fun with new friends from around the world. Perfect end to a perfect day.
Day 6 and 7
Hung out in Waitomo and debated for hours if we should catch our already paid for bus to The Mount or if we should hang out with our new friends Dan and Christen and fire up a New Zealand BBQ. After much diliberation, we ended up catching the bus but regretted leaving the whole way there as hanging out with locals is by far a better experience than just seeing destination after destination. In the end it worked out okay as The Mount was an absolutely beautiful coastal city. We got in late the first night and just crashed, but got up early and climbed The Mount in the morning. There were beautiful views from the top. We spent the remainder of the day looking for a swimsuit for me (I left mine in Waitomo), laying on the beach and swimming in the thermal spa pools, which was really cool. We ended up camping about 20 feet from the beach and had the most beautiful night/early morning views of the ocean. Ahhh, New Zealand…I love you.
Day 8 & 9
Got into smelly Rotorua and Mark has basically been sleeping the past 2 days. At first he thought it was a cold, then tonsillitis but early this morning he determined it was an ear infection. He went to the doctor this morning and got some meds and is doing a lot better!
This morning for me on the otherhand was quite busy! My bunk mate Lee, from England, and I decided to go GRADE 5 white water rafting. There were 14 rapids and 3 waterfalls, the largest being 7 meters high (roughly 14 feet). Such a rush and you definitely couldn’t beat the scenery. Then we went to Hells Gate were we walked along side burning hot and bubbling thermal pools. The whole thing was like something out of a Halloween horror film. We then carved a Maori sign into a piece of wood and lacquered it. Afterwords we stuck our feet in the Sulfer foot baths, which is suppose to be amazing for the skin.
Now Mark and I are off to a Maori dinner and cultural dance event! PICTURES TO COME, promise. Just don’t want to make you all too jealous:-)