Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Tuesday 20th June
On our way to Taupo we decided to pay a visit to the Buried Village - not the Berry Village. This is where the volcano near Rotorua exploded and wiped out a lot of the surrounding area. This site has been dug out and you can see some of the buildings under metres of earth that were covered up in the lava and ash etc. It was really interesting walking around and looking at it all. Also it was nice to get out and walk about for a while instead of just sitting in a car.
We took a few pictures and paid a visit to the gift shop and we're on our way again. Though just before we got back out on to the road we saw the Blue and Green Lakes.
On the way to Taupo I successfully managed to put our next adventure to the far depths of my mind. When we got there we checked into the hostel and ignored Kate making her phone call. Then we got some food and then there was no putting it off, our limo had arrived and we had to leave. Luckily though Sarah was allowed to come watch. Though hugs and arrangements were made in case the worst happened. If you are wondering what the flibber I'm on about today was SKY DIVING DAY!!!!!
Oh Dear Alan!
It was quite cool getting in the limo driving around. We all got chatting to the other people in the car. We were all a little nervous, a common interest.
We arrived and I was still thinking I could back out at any time. We all had to watch a video first and I felt a little anxious. I ended up curled up in the seat next to Kate. I'm not sure how that was going to save me in any way but at the time it helped. Most of us said that we wanted the DVD so we had to write out which songs we wanted from the list. I chose Butterfly for the opening and the assent. Smells like Teen Spirit for my free fall and Porcelain for the desent and final bit. Yep still thinking I could get out of it until I heard a voice saying "So which one of you is Becki?" After struggling to say me loud enough for him to hear he said "Hi I'm Roy and I'll be flying with you today so if you'd like to come this way I'll get you ready to go" OH CRAP!
I was in my gear and Roy was going through what would happen and what I had to do before falling out the stupid plane at 12000ft in the stupid air! I wasn't really listening so I had to get him to say it again. This is where the nerves really kicked in and being the girl I am a few tears were shed. I was so scared. For anyone that knows me well enough they know how much I hate to fly. Don't get me wrong I love being up high but as my balance is rubbish I've always have had a fear of falling from these heights. Probably not the best mixture of fears to go sky diving with. I explained this to Roy.
Then it was doing the start of the DVD and a few photos before climbing into the plane.
What on earth am I doing.
There were only 7 of us in this tiny plane. Me and Roy, Kate and her guy and another girl Ruth with the guy she was going with, also the all important man, the pilot. We were all quite squished into this plane.
The views were amazing going up. We were really luckly as it was such a clear day and it had been snowing in the last few days and the mountians were all covered in snow.
I think I went into numb state as it wasn't until we were about 4000ft in the air and I'm thinking this is pretty high that I started to get a little nervous again. Only 1 third of the way up.
When the door opened and Ruth went it all happened so fast. We scooted over to the edge of the plane, legs back, head back and in seconds we were gone from the plane.
I'm actually getting goose bumps remembering it. It was FANTASTIC! Possibly one of the best experiences of my life. I forgot all about dying and that malarcky and after a few screams I took it all in and it was awesome. It's so hard to describe but you've got the wind rushing in your ears and this astoundingly beautiful scenery around you and it's... I really can't put it into words.
The freefall was for 45 seconds and then before I knew it the parachute was up. Man was I glad that went up without any problems. After all I've heard about clauses you have to sign. I was a happy bunny.
After that I just looked around and then I could see Sarah not far below waving to me and we landed. I almost ran as soon as we landed as I wanted to talk to someone about it but we had to finish the video. In my excitement I almost fell over running towards Kate.
I couldn't stop smiling.
We sat and watched all the dvds and they were so cool. We paid up. Looked at our photos and got our free t shirt. We only waited about for a short while before they took us back in the limo and we watched the dvds again.
Sadly Sarah didn't do the Sky Dive. Think this might be a regret but we are trying to persuade her to do it either here or somewhere else in New Zealand. Think me and Kate are quite tempted to go again ourselves.
I phoned mum and dad in the evening. I hadn't said to them when I was doing it, only that I might in New Zealand. Think they might be glad to know it's out of the way now so they don't have to worry about me.
That night we had to do something as we couldn't just stay in again so we went to the cinema to watch X Men 3. Probably not the usual way to celebrate but it was a good film. Just need to watch the Break Up now.
Wednesday 21st June.
Today we had a bit of a lie in. We did some shopping and bought a few presents before hitting Pak N Save for 99 cents week.
When we got back to the hostel we watched Dumb and Dumber as Sarah hadn't seen it before. That film is still funny.
In the evening after tea we stayed in again and played Monoply. I think it was Sarah that won. I think I lost, not as badly as I thought.
Thursday 22nd June.
We still didn't get much of a lie in and headed out to the shops again. We watched Anchorman in the afternoon - v funny. The weather wasn't too great.
In the evening it was the Hostel's xmas party. There was free food and beverages and all being huge lovers of xmas we went along to take advantage.
The food was ok but is wasn't that great. There was a santa though which was cool. He looked a little bit younger than I remember him being!!!
We didn't stay too long. There wasn't even xmas music playing. Possibly the worst xmas party. So we decided to play the game of life. Yes Sarah won again. She seems to have a lot of luck playing games. Yes it is luck Sarah, nothing to do with skill!!!! Hee hee!
Friday 23rd June.
We got up with the intention of leaving early to get going on the way to Wellington. Yeah well that was the plan but the weather has gotten really icy and a lot of the roads were closed. But instead of waiting around we decided to give it a go and take a longer route.
Lucikly one of the roads we needed to get down opened up and it very icy and snowy. It was so cool and then suddenly it was clear again. Most odd!
We arrived in Wellington early evening and eventually found our way around the one way system and found somewhere to stay. After watching the end of a movie it was off to bed. Sarah and Kate had to share a bunk bed as somehow Kate managed to break the single bed by jumping on Sarah trying to attack her and steal her bed!!!! Kate!!! What did you do?!! How did you manage to break a whole bed with your bum?!!!
Sleepy time now. Good night!
Location: Cormanel Peninsula, New Zealand
Thursday 15th June
We drove to Cormandel Peninsula and checked into a hostel which was actually a house and as there was no one else there we had the run of it ourselves. It was so cute, there was a full kitchen, dinning table and lounge area. We were sure to make full use of it.
Once we got settled we headed to Hot Water Beach. This beach is a natural hot spring. I didn't realise before but NZ has quite a few volcanoes, thankfully none have erupted in the last 100 years. The last was in 1886 and the highest was something like 26,500 years ago and the lava rose up to 50kms high. Luckily it was before NZ was inhabitited but apparently you could see the glow of it from China and Rome! How awesome is that?!
Anyway, we went down to the beach, spade in hand to dig us a hole. We had to go through the coldest stream to get there and when we did it was shoes off. Some guys gave us their hole so we didn't even have to dig it ourselves in the end. It was so warm. None of us had our bathers on so we rolled up our jeans and stuck our feet in. It was so nice. Everyone else was just led about in their own holes and you could see the steam rising from the sand. It was so cool.
We sat around for a while, then realised we had the wettest bums and headed back to our lovely house to warm up.
As we had the place to ourselves, and there was no where else to go, we stayed in. Cooked our tea and then settled in front of the tv. We did try to do a puzzel until we realised some of the pieces were missing. End of that idea. Bed time and a little snooze before another early morning.
Friday 16th June.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY t'CHRIS, STEVE AND TOM!!!! Hope you all had a great bday.
Today we are driving to Waitomo. It poured and poured and poured with rain. Think it has possibly rained everyday we've been here so far. But the cool thing is is that we've also seen a rainbow everyday as well. I've never seen so many.
We eventually got to the hostel and thought it looked pretty quiet and was kinda hoping to have the run of it again until we got in and realised we checked into the "Naughty Camp". There were kids of all ages running around the halls, playing up, smoking, drinking! Oh JOY!
Well we did more food shopping, had our tea and then went to bed. Needless to say we are doing a lot more reading these days.
Saturday 17th June
Up early for Black Water Rafting. We weren't too sure about this especially as Kate doesn't like confined spaces. Also as it hadn't stopped raining we weren't sure if we could still go. But we went on anyway and tried our luck. The place where we had booked into couldn't do the trip we'd asked for as the water level was too high and none of us was willing to do the abseiling, especially me. So they reccommended us to go to the one down the road which was shorter but cheaper. We went there and they could get us in. We chilled for an hour before we had to strip down to our bikini's (still freezing cold by the way) and put on some sexy, cold, wet, wetsuits. My jacket was too big and was a little cold underneath, forgot to swap it! Silly me.
The trip was amazing. We had a few photos on the way then it was climbing down into the cave to get adjusted to the lights. This Black Water Rafting trip isn't at all like White Water Rafting as you are sat in a rubber tube and we had a slow float to see some glo worms. They were really cool and so was the water. Cos my jacket was so big it kept filling up with water. We all drifted along in a line for a while untill we came to a bit where we had to stand facing the way we'd come, holding the tube on our bums and falling backwards. It was only 1.5m's but it was so dark it was a little scary. So fun once we'd done it though. I was then at the front and the guy dragged us all along by my feet. It was so dark and a little tight at times. We just looked up and stared at the lights. Apparently if you make noise the glo worms shine brighter so we all sang songs. We sang a xmas song - of course. At one point it was really tight and Kate was getting a little anxious but we got through ok untill she realised that she'd popped her tube!!!
Next fun bit was going down the slide but sadly this meant we were coming to the end of the trip.
We quicklyy showered under the lovely hot water, changed and there was hot soup waiting for us. We decided to get the photos of the trip.
Then it was a nice long drive back to Auckland as the girls were going to watch an All Blacks game against Ireland.
I decided to stay in and treat myself to a pizza, good alternative I feel.
Sunday 18th June.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD!!!!
Was up early. Thought we were going to the Auckland Museum as we'd missed it out last time and it was something I wanted to do as they girls were going to the game but we didn't have time if we wanted to do the rest of what was planned for the day. So sadly I missed out on that and I was a little disappointed but hopefully the rest of the day will be fun.
We drove on to Rotorua. We got there in plently of time so went to treat ourselves to a hot spa and mud pool.
First impressions of Rotorua - IT SMELLS! As I'd said before it was a volcanic area and this place was full of geysers and hot springs and smelt very strongly of sulphur. So bad in fact that it'll turn all your silver jewlery black.
We got to Hell's Gate and paid for our spa. First we got into the mud pool and covered ourselves in mud. It was so funny but the guy took some pics for us. It was really hot in there and apparently the hot mud is really good for your skin. Only down side is that you have to have a cold shower after to get it all off and close your pores. It was numbingly cold. We quickly ran to the hot spa to warm up again. We didn't stay in there too long as it was too hot and making us really restless.
We treated ourselves to a mini roast dinner and it was lovely, not as good as home though. Then if you hadn't guessed it we stayed in.
Monday 19th June.
This was a brave day for all of us. We went White Water Rafting with Raft and Sledge. The guys that took us were great. Few bad jokes like Graham and Eggs. Tumble weed rolled past on that one.
I've never been rafting before so I was a little nervous as to what would happen. But they went through it all and said that before they went down the cliffe they would stop again and go through it all.
This is why we're brave it was a 7m drop down some rapids. We were all a little nervous on that one and probably a little scared too as we'd been told the night before by some guy that they can flip you on purpose. Kate made it abuntantly clear to them that she wouldn't be happy if they tipped it! Hee hee
It was a really cool trip and a great experience. We practised going over the cliffe as we went down but I don't think any of us were ready to go but there we were at the top and no turning back.
It ... was... awesome!! We loved it and WE DIDN"T TIP!!! It was such a result. It all happened so fast though. In a matter of seconds we were down it and cheering, posing for the camera. It was such a thrill!
Again it all happened really fast! I loved it. Again we bought all the photos. We couldn't believe it that we actually went right under the water, none of us remembered that, though that may have had something to do with our eyes being shut!!!!!!! Ha ha
We were meant to go to a Polnesian Spa in the afternoon but we all decided to stay in and chill out instead. We did walk around the geysers which were quite amazing but again smelly.
In the evening we went to a Maori Concert. We were all looking forward to this. We went to the office after being picked up and watched a short film about Maori's and how the founders started up the concert. We were told that as they'd had a black out some of the concert couldnt be done. We got to the centre and the lights were still out so they decided we'd have our meal straight away. We were on table one and got to get our food first. It was yum. There was chicken and lamb and lots of veg! We filled our plates as all backpackers do with free food. It was so lovely. With all the lights out as well and gas lamps around it made a really lovely setting.
After they'd cleared up there was a man walking around singing to each table, at our table he sang a lovely bunch of cocnuts in our honour!!!
Then the performance began. It was fantastic. They were so great. I think I sat there the entire time with a smiley grin on my face. I took lots of pics and a few films of it. I really loved it. Another thing that was over too quick.
New Zealand is defintely proving itself to be pretty amazing with non stop gorgeous scenery and amazing places to visit. What more could a tourist ask for!!!