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Published: March 24th 2008
Waitomo and the Caves
Today we are travelling to Rotorua, but first we have a stop of at Waitomo and the caves there famous for the glow worms.
Before i get into that, once again I was feeling like CRAP! Definetly gone down a few notches since the previous day. I think it was here that i really started feeling really ill and had lots of discomfort under my arm. However, like a brave soldier I found that inner stength and courage i battled on. Well Hard!
As i'd been doing for the previous few days now, i popped a few regular pain killers / paracetamol and they helped me get through the day.
At Waitomo caves there are several ways ou can experience the caves. For the old, sad and boring you can simply walk through the easy caves and keep dry or you can take a boat that floats through again keeping you dry and away from the elements. Then there is tubing - this is where you basically go treking through the caves in your wet suits and helmets and head light into the darkness and through fairly deep cold dirty water and
then half way through you jump into your rubber inflatable tube and navigate your way through the narrow water ways and have some fun on the way. For the more adventurous still you can absail down into the caves. I chose the tubing option!
I did the tubing with 2 other guys - Harry from Ireland and another guy from Norway, and of course the guide - a big giant Mauri bloke. Im suprised he didn't get stuck in the narrow passage ways he was that big (fat!). I thought we was going to have a heart attack walking up some of the steep hills on route to the caves and we were the ones looking after him.
It turned out to be really good fun walking, crawling & climbing your way through the caves and we saw 1000's of glow worms and all the amazing stalactites and slalagmites and the guide was a really cool guy! The water was freezing and when lights were off you could not see your nose in front of you - total blackness! Once in the water we got in our rings, floated and pulled ourself along the passage ways. We got
to a point where to stand on a ledge in the darkness facing backwards to the water. You place the ring behind you with your bottom in the hole of the tyre. You then just lean back and fall into the darkness and wait to hit the water at the bottom. It was pretty scarey stuff but so cool and good fun. Later there was a water slide too which could also be done in total darkness.
After the caving / tubing i remember been so so cold and shaking and feeling really ill. Paracetamol must obviously be wearing off.
We were told to meet a the bus at a certain time. We had a hot tomato soup and made it to the meeting point just in time. However the Magic bus had already left without us. Luckily there was another magic bus going somewhere else and they could contact our bus which had to turn around and collect us. The guy / driver was a bit of a cock and thick as 2 short planks. He also wasn't happy but then again he should learn to count or check that all passengers are on before leaving.
This is what the glow worms use to trap there prey.
We arrived in rotorua, again not the most inspiring & lively place in the world. Pace smelled like shit from all the volcanic thermal thermals but i didnt care to be honest i just wanted to hit the sack. That night i was in bed really early, aching shaking, feverish and under my arm was in very bad pain. That night i didn't sleep a wink due to pain and fever.
Next morning i just had to go to the medical center. I was worried about my arm cos i had massive swellings under my right arm and i really didn't know what it was so i was quite concerned! Got to see doctor immediately and he was like gobsmacked when he saw under my arm - it was a mess and he informed me i had at least 5 abcesses and they would need to be drained immediately. I feared the worse and kind of knew what that meant and my fears we confirmed when they told me they would ahve to be cut open. The nurse's were also shocked when they saw the state of my arm. I was given about 5 local antisphetics which was really
glow worm threads
painful enough. But this turned out to be a waste of time and anguish as they did not work in anyway due to the infection. The nurse made several incisions under my arm. Each incision i was in agony and seriously i thought i was ready to pass out. The nurse kept saying breath and understands this really hurts - trust me she doesnt know and child birth is nothing compared to this! When each incision was made i then had to have these little tube like things put in to stop the cut healing and so they could carry on draining - putting these tubes in was nearly as bad as the cutting. After over an hours of agony and $200 dollar light in my bank i went back to my hostel with my anti-biotics looking very pale and went back to bed.
That night i dragged myself out of bed and decided i would go to a mauri village tour. I really didn't feel like it though! We got there and was greeted by a traditional mauri welcome. It was pretty intimidating stuff as the Mauri warrior would do a kind of dance, wave his weapon around
The glow worms - its the light from the worm that attracts the insects
(no not his manhood lol) and make funny animal like noises and pull his tongue out as far as they could. After we were greeted we were allowed to walk around there village and see the locals doing day to day things that they would have been doing years and years ago. From there we had a big buffet. I had a morsel amount as i didn't really feel like eating. There were about 20 people per table and everyone must of thought i was a miserable sod cos i didn't really say a word because in all honesty i couldn't be arsed, didn't want to and didn't have the energy to. I just wanted to go back to bed. The village was a really good tour but its just unfortunate that i wasnt in a state to really appreciate it - the story of my North Island experience!
On the way back to the hostel on the coach the kiwi bus driver (who was actually a really nice friendly guy) tried to make the journey back a nice fun one. He diod this by getting each person to sing a traditional song from which ever country they were
from. After the day i'd had I didn't find it fun AT ALL!!!! An American guy was elected to distribute the mike. It came to my turn. This American guy came over and said its your turn and reached the mike out and put it in front of my face. I remember looking at him and telling him in probably a not so friendly way to get that out of my F'g face before i shove it where the sun don't shine. i think he got the message!!!! :-)
Time to move on tomoz to Taupo.
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