Published: November 1st 2009October 31st 2009
Its Marie and Mike here, how are you all doing? Well I hope? As I type. It would seem that Spring has well and truly sprung...although its still seems really bizarre to me to see blossom on the trees and little duckling’s waddling about as we head into November!
We’ve had a brilliant couple of weeks, and after working hard on some events at the Zoo we both decided we needed a break so we headed to Lake Taupo. Lake Taupo is an amazing region in the North Island, the lake itself was formed after a massive volcano eruption and truth be told it looks more like a sea then a lake, the only way that you would know your not on a shore is when you see a swan swimming past! There is more to Lake Taupo then the lake, you also have amazing views of Mount Ruapehu (better known to most as Mount Doon from Lord of the Rings) The Taupo region is also rich in geothermal hot spots, so it’s not uncommon to see steam rising from the ground and mud bubbling away. In fact, some parts of the streams are so hot you
can just get in and its like sitting in a hot bath outside in the open air - heavenly.....well apart from the smell (its not unlike rotten eggs)... and the algae!
On our first night we managed to hike up to the Steam pools and sit in them as the sun was setting, which was absolutely amazing and definitely what we need after having to drag our backpacks around and it was then that we planned what we was going to do with our weekend...we toyed with the idea of bungee jumping but bravely decided against it and ran away! we decided we would go on a jet boat instead!
The Jet boat ride was brilliant; we zoomed up the Huka River to a geothermal reserve where you can see geysers shooting out from the ground. (one of them was called Diamond Geyser which made me wonder if it had been named by someone from Essex) it was really interesting but a bit scary to see this boiling hot water rushing out of the ground, apparently the earths crust is only 6 inches thick instead of 66. It makes you wonder when the whole thing is going to
Huka Jet, dont let its appearence fool you, it went fast!
blow; the kiwis don’t seem to worry though...mind you its hard to imagine anyone from NZ getting stressed about anything.... On the way back on the boat we had a lot of fun as the driver made loads of 360 degree turns and near missies, scared the crap out us! Once we got back (and had stopped shaking we went to see the might Huka falls. As you can see from the pictures the water is really blue, this is because the water is so clear and it’s falling a such a speed it reflects the blue light much more then any other color, just amazing!
On our second day we went horse riding. I prayed to the god of all things horsy that I wouldn’t get another "Gluestick" and it would appear that my prayers were answered in the form of Roma, a half crazed stocky little Bay who seemed to eye me with contempt. I was feeling a little nervous as we saddled up and trotted out of the stable. We had trouble leaving as Paddy, (Mikes horse) had to stop for a bite to eat, and then a snack, then a mouthful of flowers (in fact
Can I come too?
Paddy wasn’t to unlike Mike in the food department) but after a few minutes our fears evaporates as we had a slow walk under the tree canopies with our guides little jack russel nipping in out of the horses hooves and running on ahead. We rode out to the craters of the moon, (another geothermal hot spot, which looks a lot like the name suggests, but with more steam and eggy smells!) Then we learnt to trot and then to Canter which was the best! Its was so much fun, I have never been more scared, I seemed to be aware that I could fall off my crazed little horsy at any moment and yet strangely I couldn’t care less! Must have been all the adrenaline! Mike had a great time too and Paddy managed to snatch a meal to go by grabbing mouthfuls of grass as he ran along! Just brilliant! We were feeling pretty achy by the time we came back so we took a hike to the river and jumped in the river with the locals, the water was amazingly warm and it was pretty heavenly.
So, after a few amazing days away we are back
in Auckland and back to work. I’ve just had my first big event at the Zoo, aptly named Boo at the Zoo for Halloween. The event was a great success, there was lots stilt walkers and actors scaring the kids as well as a band and sponge bob square pants walking about. The kids looked fab all dressed up as they played trick or treat around the Zoo. It made all the stress of the previous week worth it. Fingers crossed we have made quite a lot of money for the Conservation fund. Mike was there and was a brilliant help, I really couldn’t have done it without him!
Right, I have rambled on for long enough! So I will sign off now, I miss you all and love you very much!
Marie and Mike
There are more photos below