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Published: July 16th 2008
I finally have found the time to get on this thing!
Well I am currently sitting in Santiago airport, Chile. After a looooong 11 hour flight, with Nick in Sinus agony, we have a glorious (hear my sarcasm) 8 hour layover waiting for our flight to Lima, Peru.
So we have decided to spoil ourselves and pay 30 USD to sit in the VIP lounge and get some sleep without the risk of our bags getting stolen. We also get free internet, food, booze (oh yeah) and a shower.
Anyway I will start from the beginning....
We arrived into Auckland at midnight and made our way to our hostel called the Brown Kiwi in Ponsonby. Ponsonby in like a cross between Freo and Leederville. Very hip and wicked food. We found this awesome little cafe for breaky called Cezannes. Apparently Princess Annes daughter has had coffee there - who cares?!? Not I - I was just staring at the plaque on the wall for ages.
We then found our way to pick up our Campervan which we found out was called ´Flo´. It had a wicked art design on it with Hibiscuses on it - I will soon load photos when I find somewhere to do it. This was now our home for 6 days.
Our plan was to head to Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Tongariro National Park, Waitomo and Raglan.
Rotorua smells like cabbages and rotten eggs. But it wasn´t that bad. Everyone had warned me that it was horrid and I wouldn´t be able to stand the smell. However it was only heavy in certain parts of town. Nick and I booked ourselves on a Hangi witha performance and a Zorb for the following day.
We went to the Mitai Experience for the Hangi. They put on a great show of singing and dancing and lots of the Haka. They also showed us the preparation of the Hangi which had been cooking for 4 hours. There were a billion chooks, lamb, potato, Kumara (sweet potato) and stuffing (very english!!). It such a wicked feed!!! Will defo seek it out again!!
We then parked up somewhere with near a lake and crashed in a van for the night. We figured we´d get a wash when we went zorbing the next morning!!
After break in a truly beautiful spot, we decided to take on the zorb. It was soo cold and wet that morning so we figured we´d get wet anyway! Donning our bathers and a tshirt we decided to do the wet zorb called Zydro and go individually. For those (like my mum) who don´t know what a Zorb is, its a big beach ball that you sit in and they throw in some warm water, zip it up and roll you down a hill! It is like a big water slide! I could not stop laughing all the way down. The only downside is that it finishes in a couple of seconds. But good fun!
After pottering around a few of the sulphur lakes we headed to Taupo. On the way we stopped at a Thermal pool called Kerosene Creek. Apparently a week before we arrived this part of NZ had a cold snap and places that hadn´t received snow in 40 years got covered! So the water in the springs wasn´t has hot as I expected. It was kind of luke warm. So it definately wasn´t worth the freezing run down to the creek in the rain in our bathers. And it was most definately not work the run back in the freezing rain in our wet bathers. Now I smelt like cabbage.
Onto Taupo. This is where Nick was adament on doing a Bunjy!! We found a caravan park to stay in to dry out the van as we had wet clothes and a very damp van. They gave us a heater in the van - so we were definately using it!!
The caravan park was awesome!! It had a HUGE water park in it with 3 temperature thermal pools and a huge waterslide and also private spas. We soaked ourselves in the pools for a couple of hours. It was really nice being able to cook in the kitchen on the grounds and have a warm shower. We also watched the All Blacks get taken down by the Springboks with some unhappy Kiwis in the room.
The next day we headed off around the Lake Taupo on the way Tongariro National Park. But first of all Nick decided he wanted to jump off a perfectly stable platform into the Waikato River! From here onwards the weather was absolutely superb and the skies were extremely clear. We could see the mountains from Taupo. Our aim was Mt Ruapehu where the ski fields were. The drive was absolutely stunning with the mountains all snow capped. These roads were closed 5 days prior due to the cold snap earlier. So our timing was fabulous.
We were both so excited when we go to the top. We bought ourselves some ski lift passes to the top to play in the snow and enjoy the views. The place was absolutely chockas with the school holidays. We enjoyed a drink at the top of the mountain and headed down again to hire ourselves a sledge!! YAY! This was so much fun - even the crashes! We also built a snowman named Frank - which I will load pics up of eventually!!
The next day we headed to Waitomo to do some Black Water Rafting in the Glow Worm caves! I was really nervous but everything I read and everyone I spoke to said it was so tame - you just sit in a tyre and float down a river in a cave checking out the glow worms. But the cave had been flooded for 5 days cos they had huge rain there. Then they opened it the afternoon I got there. So when we went down the water inside was pumping - we had to scale all the rocks with rushing water that was like bloody freezing. Then half way through it they said the water had risen so we had to take a different way out and had to swim under ledges and stuff which is bloody ridiculous cos it was freezing temperatures. Full on but awesome in hindsight. Such hard work!!!
Our last day was in a little town called Raglan. This is what Dunsborough used to be like! A Sleepy surfy town. This is the place where parts of the Endless Summer was filled - in a place called Manu Bay. Absolutely gorgeous and so lovely to see the ocean! Nick and I just chilled out and did some washing. We also spoiled ourselves by going out for dinner.
The next morning we back to Auckland. Dropped off our van and headed for the airport! Our week in NZ in a nutshell!! This brings me up to now - the start of our next adventure. It honestly feels like I have had so long off work! And I have 9 weeks to go!! Sheesh!!
Anyway please keep in touch! I don´t know if I told all of you our email address. It´s email@example.com
nick n jacs xxxx
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