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Published: October 22nd 2010
Friday 22nd October:
Well folks, we're developing a passion for wetsuits. Headed to Turangi to white water raft the Tongariro river. Oh my god, it was ace - we are so hard core. It took about 3 and a half hours and we travelled about 14 km. We went over rapids named "the Bitch" and "Pink Floyd" because it has a wall at the end! The scenery was stunning. At the start of the day I was really worried about the cold and even asked hem to heat the water before I ventured out. However, our 2 rafting partners were a gay wimpy bloke who worked on a gardening magazine (Dave nicknamed him the Queen of Essex) and a 4ft petite girl from Taiwan. As a result, Dave and I were putting in some serious efforts on the paddling and worked up quite a sweat. Consequently, when the guides asked if we wanted to take a leap into the water off the cliffs, we jumped at the chance (no pun intended). We had the option of the tame jump or the high jump and we all went for the top diving board which was at least 3000ft high (Dave has
informed me that it was only about 8m but it felt really high). To say that the water was cold is the understatement of the year - Dave's tan froze and fell off in one piece.
Suitably coolled off, it was back in the raft to tackle the inventively named rapids "Rapid 5, 6 and 7" as well as Grandad's Green Undies??? The rapids were grade 3+ which is ok, but Dario now wants to find some grade 5 rapids and has a serious rafting bug.
Back to base for hot chocolate, a beer and hot dogs as well as a hot shower. Brilliant day!
Back in the car for the final leg of our North island journey. We drove through Tongariro National Park past Mount Ruapehu and Mt Ngauruhoe which was used as Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings. It's all quite topical at the moment because NZ has made complaints about the pay and working conditions surrounding the filming of the Hobbit and Warner Brothers are flying out over the weekend with the plan to relocate the filming of the new movie somewhere other than NZ.
Once on the road it got a
bit boring turning every corner saying "OH MY GOD"...the scenery truly is stunning here and the pictures don't do it justice at all. So after filling up at the pitrol (petrol) station, keeping lift (left) in our rintal (rental) car, we started the 3 hours and sivin (seven) mins drive to Willington (Wellington).....you get the idea. It's a long weekend here, so there are police out in force with speed cameras. Once bitten, twice shy, so our ETA to Wellington was delayed by about half an hour because we had to keep to the speed limit!! We booked in at the Ibis hotel and, ever the salesman, Dave convinced them that they should include free breakfast in the rate. We may not be roughing it like backpackers, but we're still prepared to sniff out a bargain. Out for a few drinks at another Irish Bar with a band, then home to bed. Off to the South Island tomorrow, so will update again soon.
Missing you all. H & D xxx
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