So this will be my last of things I’ve done on my adventure…
It’s currently Wednesday night and we literally have one full day left in Auckland. Friday we’ll be heading straight to the airport, ready to embark on our 36 hour journey home. So, to keep this as short and sweet as my blogs ever will be:
~ Got up early and went to hotel to start Contiki tour, met Bridget our guide and the rest of the Contiki group (3 starting with us, around 20 already on tour)
~ Drove to Taupo, signed up for all upcoming optional activities and snoozed xD
One does simply drive into Mordor… Though it’s too foggy to see Mount Doom!
~ Wandered around Taupo in the awful weather as some of the group did activities to extreme for me (Bungee jump etc.)
~ Most of the group went out for an Indian meal, I myself enjoying a buttered chicken =D
~ Drove to Rotorua, stopping at Huka Falls, a very, very fast flowing river and waterfall!
~ Stopped at ‘The Craters of the Moon’ an area with craters that look like those on the moon, and also a Geothermal place with natural heat underground with raising smoke. Bubbling mud too!
~ Started the early morning with a ride in a
washing machine, I uh, mean Zorbing! This was hilariously fun and I suggest it to you all! DO IT NOW!
~ Our second excursion was the Rotorua Skyline Gondola & Luge, which as my camera battery died I don’t have any photos right now, watch this space for phone camera pics though! =D
~ Next came the biggest activity of the day - White Water Rafting. I decided to give it a try and so glad I did! I was terrified to start, especially when me & Beck were sitting at the front of the raft, but once the adrenaline kicked in it was fantastic! We rafted the Kaituna River, which was amazingly fun, but it also had a 7 meter waterfall, which we rafted. Going down was fun, I realised as we tipped over the edge how scary it was, and then as we came into contact with the bottom, submerged and the landed upright (Yay! Often the raft tips and you all go swimming). It’s a good thing we didn’t tip, as we hit the water I got winded, heard several cracks and was in agony, struggling to breathe (would have been fun trying to keep afloat in that state) . Adrenaline kicked in once again and I was able to continue rafting, enjoying it, but even now a week later I’m still in agony with my ribs lol. (Pictures will be uploaded once I get home, They’re on CD)
~ We finished the night with the whole group attending a traditional Moari Hangi, A meal cooked in the Moari way (Underground with hot stones) followed by a Moari Welcome, Poi Dance, Haka and farewell, which was all really awesome!
~ On our way to Waitomo, we stopped at Agrodome, where we watched a show on… Sheep! We got to see many different breeds of sheep and were told about their uses, and then was shown sheep shearing. It was pretty funny and well presented, and quite interesting :)
~ When we got to Waitomo, I decided to cancel my cave walk as my ribs were pretty bad and I felt I needed to take it easy. I did some laundry and chilled while Beck went Black Water Rafting through the caves, she said she enjoyed it, apart from a few mishaps in the water inhibiting her fun :(
~ We had another group meal (BBQ) before heading to the local/only bar (Waitomo has very few buildings xD and enjoyed a few good beverages while talking with a number of people in our group.
We got a little drunk, and I remember discussing the Wales v France Rugby World Cup match with the bar owner, showing Cassie that me and Beck really do take an hour playing pool when drunk (she didn’t believe us until we played) and stargazing as we stumbled back to our rooms ^,^
~ On our way to Bay of Islands, we stopped in Auckland for an hour as most of the current group were leaving and we were picking up a new group of people =D
~ Wandered around Paihai once we arrived, had a group meal with the new Contiki-ers (around 45 of us) and then had an early night
~ Woke up and wished Beck a Happy Birthday, and wandered to the confrence room to see if our planned activities had been cancelled due to the weather (It was cloudy but not raining/windy). They hadn’t, which was awesome, as we got to do the Dolphin Cruise & Lion NZ Sail Combo. The dolphin cruise was amazing, not long into the trip we found heaps of dolphins, just everywhere. There were young dolphins in the pod so the opportunity to swim with them was unavailable (I was kinda glad since I don’t think I could have swam with my bad ribs).
The boat took us out for a while, through the many islands that make the Bay of Islands, where we ‘met up’ with the Lion NZ boat. When we signed up for the Dolphin & Lion NZ combo, we didn’t realise Lion NZ was a sailing yacht, so upon seeing it, I started getting a bit panic-y and scared. My nerves settled once I was on board and had enjoyed some lunch, but when it got to sailing time the nerves returned.
Sailing wasn’t all that bad, the guys said that the weather made it ‘Extreme sailing conditions’ and that if it had been like that in the morning they would have cancelled the trip. So we started off, and sailing on the side was quite fun, everyone on board slipping and grasping onto anything as we pretty much turned on our sides xD Me and Beck got a pretty good position sitting on the floor, which became a good upright support when we were on the side (That doesn’t seem to make much sense xD). We ended up sailing through two clouds of rain, getting soaked, but it was really fun and a great experience ^,^
~ In the night a good few of the group all went for a meal at this harbour side restaurant called ‘35o (degrees) South’ which was really enjoyable and great for chocolate martini’s to celebrate Beck’s birthday!
I’m leaving it at that tonight, Hopefully I’ll get time/be in the mood to do the last few days of my trip tomoro night, otherwise I’ll be sure to get it done soon!