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Published: February 4th 2011
Saturday 27th November 2010 (Taupo – Turangi – River Valley)
Leaving Taupo we all picked up some lunch for a relaxed hike to Taranaki Falls in Turangi, stopping for a picnic on the river near a small waterfall, however it wasn’t till we left that we discovered the large waterfall from LOTR that our guide had been talking about.
An exceptionally windy journey took us to River Valley, basically the middle of nowhere, slightly delayed after hitting a New Zealand traffic jam (a flock of sheep being herded down the middle of the road).
We had a good laugh jumping into the river from a large wooden board that rolled out from the bank to the deep side of the river where you could jump off and swim back to start all over again!
After dinner we spent the evening chatting to Katherine, with whom Joanne skydived and Debbie who sympathised with Richard’s cowardice! Sunday 28th November 2010 (River Valley – Wellington)
Richard was up early to watch the All Blacks beat the Welsh, although it was on a weak projector in a barn with skylights and no sound – Joanne preferred the comfort of
her bed! Today we were white water rafting on an alleged grade 5 river, although we would say that it was a 4 at best. Split into 2 groups of 4, we were paired with laurel and hardy who just couldn’t manage to keep a stroke pattern or talk and paddle at the same time. The guide got us all to stand for a thin stretch of the river where we all lost our balance and Richard fell in under Joanne’s weight (although he has been telling everyone since Joanne pushed him in - probably trying to claim on the life insurance!). Redeeming herself, Joanne hauled him back into the boat shortly after.
Eventually we switched to the front of the raft and things went a lot smoother with team Lewis leading the way. Unfortunately, after a pretty tame (aka lame) rafting experience, We were bitterly disappointed that River Valley charged for the photos ‘per raft’ rather than per person and wouldn’t split the cost of the photos unless everyone in the boat bought them, leaving us to pay $75 if we wanted them which was a rip off and spoilt the experience (especially considering the rafting cost an
extortionate $300 to start with) – lose/lose the way we saw it, we didn’t get photos and they didn’t get any money.
Moving on, the rest of the day was taken up with a very long tiring drive to Wellington and a few drinks with everyone in the bar that night as a warm up for Rita’s Birthday drinks the following day.
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