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Published: November 7th 2005
The Taupo Group
This photo was taken in front of the Bach, right before we all said "see you soon".
from left to rght, Christian, Tonja, Me, Rachel, Corrina, Ngaire, and Liz.
The week after exams was bittersweet, it was tons of fun seeing all my friends in NZ but saying goodbye was difficult. For a 'final hoorah', a bunch of us (Rachel, Liz, Ngaire, Tonja, Corrina, Christian, and me) all went to Lake Taupo to stay at Liz's bach (pronounced batch...it’s a kiwi version of a 'lake house') The Lake is about a fiver hour drive north of Wellington. I hopped into Christian's new car, named "Hektor", and enjoyed the ride. We stopped for lunch at a little cafe, called soul food somewhere in between Welly and Taupo. We passed through the Tongariro National Park and stopped to take pictures of Mt. Ruapehu, Mt. Tongariro, and Mt. Ngahroe (spelling?). This area was "Mt. Doom" in Lord of the Rings. The area is one of the most volcanically active areas of the world. NZ lies smack dab on a few tectonic plates and has a multitude of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Lake Taupo is NZ's largest lake, and it is actually the water filled crater of an ancient volcanic eruption. The eruption occurred around 180 AD, and it is recorded to have been felt and the ash was seen in
a.ka Mt. Doom in "Lord of the Rings"
both China and the Vatican. The Lake is HUGE, about 650 feet deep and miles and miles in length and width. Apparently, it can be seen from space
,and Singapore can fit inside the lake and boats could still float around the country.
Once we reached the bach it was dark, and we were all ready for some dinner! Everyone settled into the bach, and Christian started up the barbeque. I made some veggie burgers, and Liz/Tonja made a great salad. We drank bubbles and Tui beer, and wine. This became a theme of the weekend. Every night we would settle down to a nice meal cooked on the BBQ, and sit on the porch with the stars above us, and laughed around the candlelight.
After dinner, we watched "The Office", a funny British television show, courtesy of Christian, and laughed our heads off. That show is so funny, kind of like "Best in Show" and "Spinal Tap".
The very next morning we did something crazy (jumped out a plane). But I feel that this event deserves an entire blog to itself, so I will just have to explain that later!
After jumping out a plane I was on an adrenaline
rush- so we decided to just keep going, and to enjoy the day. Rachel, Christian, and I took a sailing trip to the other side of Lake Taupo, to see some Contemporary Maori Rock carvings. They were really cool, and quite intricate, but my favorite part was the boat ride itself. I just soaked up hanging out with Christian and Rachel, some of my two favorite people! The boat ride was really exciting when Rachel got to feed the ducks that flew by the boat...but my personal favorite was eating all of Christian’s yummy cookies!
over the course of the rest of the trip we all spent our time enjoying the sunshine, and the sights of Lake Taupo. The weather was superb, and the water was so clear and so blue that we all wanted to have a go at kayaking. We hired some kayaks and out we went! Corrina and I had to battle our way through the Lake in order to get away from Liz and Christian- they apparently like to splash us with cold lake water. 😉
Corrinna is a studying to be a geo-ecologist, and she is really knowledgeable of the environment and
NZ's natural life. So she acted as an 'unofficial' tour guide and she led us all to the "The Craters of the Moon"...no we didn’t fly to the real moon...got ya didn’t I? instead we visited this natural wonderland, of (boiling hot) mud pools, geysers, and thermal springs. It kind of felt more like a dessert with lots of hot water, rather than the moon...but you can be the judge!
We also stopped by the Huka Falls, a really strong and fast moving water fall around the Lake. The water is so blue, as you can see from the photo.
The Last night we all went to the thermal hot pools, and enjoyed a really warm soak in naturally heated Jacuzzis...and Rachel and I performed our own rendition of "The Little Mermaid" for everyone, hey...there were good acoustics in the pool room!
The next morning was the hard part of the trip. Saying goodbye. We woke up and made breakfast and packed our things, everyone kind of ignoring the fact we'd be splitting up soon. It was especially difficult to say goodbye to Christian, my flat mate of the century, and my favorite German in the
world! not to mention my chocolate dealer😊 He has been with me from square one, from the beginning of Wellington and all my adventures. It was pretty hard seeing him leave! But, I've already decided I’m visiting him in Germany! I have to practice my German somewhere, right??
Liz was such a sweetheart for letting us all stay there, and for being such a great spirit. She even drove Rachel and I to a hostel in town and helped us with our (massive) Luggage. I will miss her energy and great smile!
I felt a big pang of sadness and homesickness when Christian, Ngaire(even though I'm seeing her in a week!), and Liz were gone. It was like seeing your family leave you! I realized that they were more than my friends, they had become my NZ family-my comfort zone -on the other side of the world. I miss them like crazy! At least we have this final hoorah to always remember- I'm so lucky to have made such amazing friends, who I will always care about!
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