We've been neglecting the blog for the last few days, so have finally got around to updating it. In all honesty, it shouldn't be too long of an update anyway since we've been doing things we've already done, so we'll just briefly re-cap. Also, we were only able to upload a few of the photos for the previous entry - there are still quite a few more photos to still upload for those days, plus the ones for this entry. We will try and get all of the photos on when we can, but the internet is being pretty rubbish so they may have to wait until we get more decent internet, hopefully once we get to Miami on Tuesday.
So on Thursday, as we had already said, we had a relaxing day of pretty much doing nothing. We didn't get up at a specific time, probably ended up actually having breakfast in bed at about 9:00am. We spent the rest of the morning lazing around, watching TV and trying our best to use the retardedly slow/non-working internet here. Come dinner time, we got washed and dressed and made our way out for something to eat. Since Emma was in
the market for a swimming costume (she didn't trust her bikinis on the waterslides at Aquatica the following day), we decided to go to a swimsuit outlet to look for one. We first went to Dairy Queen for some food, with Craig having a BBQ pork sandwich and Emma a chilli dog, then we got onto the I-ride trolley down to the outlets on International Drive. We had a look around a few of the shops before finding the swimsuit outlet store, where Emma soon found a nice swimming costume that was 50% off the original retail price! Happy with her purchase, we caught the bus back to the room, where we had a relaxing afternoon/evening, popping out at one point to get some snacks for our tea (including a christmas-themed Mickey Mouse cookie - just because!). We also took this opportunity to do some washing (hopefully the last lot that we'll need to do out here) and spent the rest of the night watching TV and attempting to get onto the internet!
The following morning, we were up at around 8am for our day at Seaworld's waterpark; Aquatica. We got washed/dressed, had some breakfast and packed our swimsuits/towels
before setting out at around 9:30am to catch the I-ride trolley down to the park. We arrived just as the park opened at 10am, and we first rented a locker for the day in which to keep our stuff. We got changed into our swimwear and put our dry clothes and bag into the locker, before finding a map on a board (obviously there would be no point in carrying one around as it would just get wet!).
We headed first towards the lazy river to test out the water, which we assumed would be fairly warm if it was anything like the water at Discovery Cove (which is owned by the same company). As we walked over, we noticed a pool, which a couple of the slide tubes go through, which contained several black and white Commerson's dolphins. We watched for a little while as they swam around (at pretty high speeds - apparently they are more energetic than other types of dolphin), then continued on our way to the lazy river. Once there, we dipped our toes in and were pleased to find that the water was lovely and warm. We grabbed a large, inflatable double-ring/tube thing
(everyone in the lazy river had to be in/on one) and spent the next few minutes floating around the river, which was fairly slow-moving! We passed through the tropical surroundings, under waterfalls and past an aquarium of fish at one point! It was quite cloudy outside this morning, so it wasn't particularly warm once we were wet and outside the water (and on top of the tube) with the breeze on us. After a couple of laps of the river, we got out at an exit point by the entrance to a couple of slides called 'Tassie's Twisters'.
We walked up the steps with our tube to the slides, both of which were empty so we didn't have to wait at all to go on them. We both got onto the tube and slid down the tunnel, emerging into a large bowl, where we then slid around in a circle, spiralling down until we dropped into another tunnel in the centre of the bowl (if you've ever dropped a coin into one of those charity spiral coin box things, you'll know what we mean). Once in the second tunnel, we slid down further before finally reaching the pool at
the end of the slide. It was pretty fun, so we went straight back around for another go, this time on the other slide to see if it was any different (it wasn't really, although this time we did go through the middle of the bowl backwards). We then grabbed a single tube each to have a go on our own, although it turned out that we actually went a bit slower on our own, as we didn't have our combined weight to make the tube go faster down the first slide!
We next went to the 'Dolphin Plunge' slides, which are the slides which pass through the dolphin pool (hence the name, duh). We didn't need a tube for these ones, so we left these in the lazy river before walking up the steps to the top of the slide. There were two slides, so we went down at the same time, meeting at the pool at the end. The slide was pretty fast, but it kind of hurt our backs/shoulder blades as it went over the ridges of the slide, and we didn't actually see any dolphins as we went through the pool as we went so
fast - it also didn't help that we had water splashing in our faces most of the way down!
Once off the slides, we followed some signs to 'Roa's Rapids'. We got into the entrance pool and noticed the fast water current going past - it was basically like a giant lazy river, but much more fast-moving (a not-so-lazy river?)! Once in the river, we were pulled around by the current, under waterfalls, through 'speed zones' (areas with jets under the surface making the water current a lot faster) and through geiser's splashing water everywhere. It's quite nice to actually float around being directed by the current for a change, and the water level was low enough that we could almost stand (in a crouched position, a bit like when you water-ski) and be "walked" around the entire river by the water - or just sliding around on our heels, which was quite fun! After a few laps of the river, we were ready to go on a few more water slides, so headed over towards some.
The first one that we came to was 'Whanau Way', which was a large tunnel slide which we rode together on
one of the double tubes. We emerged at the bottom into the pool and went back up the same steps to the slide next door, called 'Omaka Rocka' (this time with a single tube each - double ones were not allowed on this one). This one was quite fun, as there were large funnels as you went down the slide, which you temporarily stopped at and rocked around before continuing down the slide.
Once off the slides, we noticed a beach area next to a large wave pool. The waves were on, so we waded into the water and then swam into the deeper end to bob around on the large waves. We only got to be on the waves for a couple of minutes before they turned off, so we stayed in the pool for a bit until the wave machine came on again. We stayed in the deeper end for most of the wave cycle, then allowed the waves to take us in towards the beach, where we eventually got to the point at which they were breaking in the shallow end, attempting to ride them in as if on an invisible bodyboard, which didn't really work.
We were then ready to go on the last few slides, so we headed over to some that we could see on the other side of the park. We first went on 'Walhalla Wave', where we got into a big, round raft, and sat opposite each other cross-legged as we shot down the open slide, which was fairly straight but had lots of bumps on the way down. We then went up the steps again to the slide next door, called 'HooRoo Run'. Again, we got into a large raft, and went spinning down a long winding tunnel slide before splashing into the pool at the bottom.
The last slides that we had not experienced were the 'Taumata Racer' slides, which seemed to be just next to the slides that we had just been on, but up some different steps. After following a path, we found the steps and ascended up them, only to be told at the top that we should have picked up a mat to slide down on! Craig went back down to pick up a couple (it turned out that we hadn't missed them - the path that we took didn't go past
the mats and there weren't really any clear signs telling you that you needed them!) and we were eventually able to ride. These slides consisted of several tunnels which led to a big, straight bumpy part running next to each other, and riders were meant to race against each other to reach the finish. We shot down head-first on our mats and enjoyed it so much that we ran straight back around for another go!
We then went back to 'Roas Rapids' for a while, being pulled around by the current for a few laps before going to the wave pool again. It was approaching 2pm, and we were getting pretty hungry, so we decided to dry off and get something to eat. We went back to the locker and grabbed our towels, before heading to one of the eateries for some food. Once we had eaten, we had pretty much dried off, and couldn't really be bothered to go back into the water and have to go through the whole drying process again, plus we had already done everything in the park (most of it several times). We decided that we would call it a day, so we
got changed into our dry clothes, and headed towards the exit, taking a few photos of the park and some of the slides as we went. We caught the I-Ride trolley back to our hotel and spent the evening just chilling out, watching TV and playing games on the DS/netbook, before falling asleep at around 11:30pm.
Today we got up early to get the shuttle bus to Seaworld (Emma's alarm waking us up at the correct time this time). We quickly had breakfast and got washed/dressed and were outside bright and early when it arrived at 8:35am. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, so we assumed it would be a nice hot day, so we were pretty happy with day's outlook. Our bus arrived at Seaworld shortly after the park officially opened, and we walked immediately to 'Manta' to have a ride on the flying coaster. We were happy to see that there was literally no queue for the main seats on the ride, and only 4 people in line for the front row. We opted to wait for the front row, as this is always the best view on flying-type rollercoasters.
After Manta, we made our
way to the other rollercoaster at Seaworld - Kraken. We were again happy to see no queue, and waited for the front row. We went around on the coaster and were ready to exit off it at the end, but noticed that there was still no queue for the rest of the ride, and asked the staff if we could re-ride (rather than walk all the way back around) on the back row - they said yes so off we went around again!
We won't go into too much detail about the rest of the day - it was almost identical to last time - making time to watch the 'Pets Ahoy!' show, the dolphin show and the killer whale show, taking a few photos and videos of them. We walked around looking at a few of the animal enclosures, and ended up leaving at about 3pm, getting the I-Ride Trolley back to the hotel about half an hour later. Come tea time, we went next door to 7-Eleven to get something to eat, Emma had some peach slices and Craig had a buffalo chicken roller, and we both had a slice of pizza each. For the rest of
the night we've been watching The Big Bang Theory on TV and basically chilling out!
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