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Vanesa/ Nicole’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 25 Nov 2009

Location: Cooks Beach / Hahei, New Zealand

MapErrands done, sun shining, I think that is our Q to hit the beach for some rays. So there we are on our day off sitting on the beach, I-pod on, mind at ease, when all of the sudden we hear shouting from the distance. `Ashibatibooygygtg` is all we hear due to our blaring music, when we opened our eyes there stood Mike. `

`Hey Girls! I just stopped by to see if you wanted to go cave jumping.``

“Cave Jumping! That sounds like fun, let’s go!”

As we pull up to Cooks Beach we discover that we must climb this super steep mountain just to get to the cave. The mountain was rugged and so steep that we had to crawl our way up with the aid of branches and tree roots. After a torturous hike to the top we discover that we have to go down the same rugged terrain in order to get into the cave. Once we get to the base of the cliff we come to the realization that we are past the point of no return. We are now standing in this magnificent cave at the edge of a cliff, knees shaking, blood pumping, and heart pounding. Apparently we are now adrenaline junkies... well almost! Although the cliff did stand at 8 meters high, this may not seem like a lot, but when you are standing up there it seems a whole lot higher. I guess this would be nothing compared to what one of our co-workers did earlier that day. You know that rugged terrain we were talking about? Well did he not hike his sea kayak to the top of that cliff, sit in it, and ride it down the hill and off the cliff into the cave. Talk about crazy. Although while this may seem crazy to us, he has actually gone off waterfalls in his kayak, so this was nothing to him. I wonder if he came to Canada, if he would go in the barrel off Niagara Falls?

Well that was a random side note. Now back to our story...

“Mike you go first. Show us how it’s done Cooks Beach style.”

“Ok, see the white spot in the centre of all the rocks?”

“Yes.”

“Jump there. That is sand. Don’t worry though, you won’t hit the bottom.”

1, 2, 3, he’s off. SPLASH!

“See there’s nothing to it.”

“You make it look so easy.”

“After years of practice it will seem easy to you too.”

Alright, Nicole is up next. As she is standing at the edge of the cliff she continuously looks over the edge hesitating whether or not to jump. “Oh wait, I forgot there is no turning back now.” With adrenaline already pumping Nicole decides to commit to the jump. She takes one huge leap and she’s in. SPLASH!

“Woohoo! Nicole’s first ever dip in the Pacific Ocean.”

Next up... Vanesa you are lucky contestant number three. “Why am I so nervous, I have been cliff jumping plenty of times before? I think it is worse being able to see the bottom.” After a moment of contemplation... SPLASH!

Surprisingly the water was quite warm for this time of year. Little did we know that the shore was a 10 minute swim away from the cave, well we better start swimming. This was a nice refreshing swim after a tough hike, but I don’t think we will ever get use to the salt taste.

If you thought that this was the end of our day, you thought wrong. We have more adventures to tell you about. Our next adventure involves magical closets, four siblings, a talking lion, and mystical creatures. Have you guessed where we went yet? If you guessed Narnia, you are correct.

Apparently, our friend’s basketball couch owns this beautiful piece of land in Hahei. Wouldn’t you know that it turns out that a scene from the movie Narnia was actually filmed on his property? On our way to the film site in Mike’s new to the day, green, 1991 standard car we began to have some technical difficulties while going up steep gravel roads to Narnia. Half way up the 4th gravel hill, all of the sudden we start rolling backwards while in second gear. “Mike, we have a feeling we are going the wrong way.” We know, obvious statement, but we were trying to lighten the mood.

After 20 minutes of attempts, and looking at the car, we finally figured out what was wrong and continued our drive to Mike’s coach’s house. A 5 minute walk later we reached an opening that overlooked the ocean, with breathtaking scenery. While looking over the cliffs we discover a tour boat down below. In typical tourist fashion they decided to start snapping pictures of us. So we decided to go along with it and strike some poses for them.

Mike pointed to a patch of grass on a hilltop in the distance. That is where the film site was set up. After taking a closer look, Nicole’s reaction was “This is It?” Give her a break she hasn’t seen either of the movies. Although now I think they are the next movies on her to see list. Vanesa having seen the movies could picture the exact scene that was taking place at this location. While walking through the film site we wondered how they would ever find such a location to shoot the scene. It turns out the film crew took a helicopter ride across the country to scope out locations. They found this spot and thought it was perfect.

So it’s a good thing that we brought a first aid kit because it wouldn’t be a Nicole and Vanesa adventure without some minor injuries. While walking through tall grass Vanesa stepped on a stick that skinned the side of her foot. OUCH! Not even 2 minutes later while Nicole was walking down the path we hear buzz, buzz, buzz... “Nicole, stop swinging at it. It is going to sting you.” A loud AHHHHHHHHHHH later we discover that Nicole has been stung in the shoulder by a wasp. After leaving the ice on for too long, Nicole’s back went completely numb. “You know Vanesa, I know you are touching my shoulder, but I can’t feel it at all.” An ice pack and one big band aid later we are on the road again.

Man we sure like to do things the long complicated way, eh?