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Published: November 14th 2013
I had an early morning start, leaving Rotorua for Waitomo at 7.45am. I had a coach change in a city called Hamilton, and arrived in Waitomo at 11am. Dejavou of being back in Fox glacier or Arthurs Pass appeared as the ‘town’ had one café which doubled as the general store, the i-site (information centre) and then the hostel cum hotel/café/bar/pizzeria where I was staying.
Although I booked a 4 bed dorm room, they put me in a twin (bonus) and its ready, so I go and put my stuff in. I guess it is only 11am, and it’s great my room is ready, but the rest of the hostel isn’t. I put my stuff it the fridge in the kitchen, and the place is a sea of litter, dirty pans and flies everywhere….nice. The other notable thing about this place, which I have seen in any other place in the WHOLE of my travelling experience, is that you have to pay a $10 deposit for a dining set – a cup, bowl, plate, and cutlery, as they don’t keep any in the hostel. It felt almost like being in prison, being issued with a tray of utensils! Needless to say I didn’t rent one.
As it is still the morning I have a few hours to kill before being picked up at 1.30pm for my next big adventure. I think Saturday night is catching up on me so I take the opportunity to have a little snooze and catch up on some sleep.
At 1pm I am have some lunch which I had brought with me, when my roommate for the evening enters – Jamie, from the USA. It turns out Jamie is also heading on the same trip as I….unsurprising as it’s the only reason people come here. So at 1.30pm we are picked up, and head off to go caving. We are in a group with 4 others, a german boy, and a Dutch family. We have the most amazing afternoon, and it is kicked off with getting kitted out in some very attractive attire and then a 27m abseil into the cave! I am the first down, and staring down into the cave you realise just how far 27m is! But it is great fun. The next 4 hours are filled with wading through waist high running water, deep into the darkness of the cave, being surrounded by the beautiful glow worms, squeezing through some rather narrow holes in the caves, and sitting on a rubber tube being carried by the water flow through the cave. And after all of that, just in case you weren’t too tired, you have to rock climb out of the cave. Fabulous!
Jamie and I get back to the hostel about 7.30pm and I had already decided to treat myself to pizza at the pizzeria section of the hostel, and Jamie fancied joining me. So we had a lovely evening chatting and sharing a pizza before crashing out. My bed was super soft, not very good way, with a with metal ridge in it, but it didn’t matter, I was so tired I slept like a log!
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