Two types of cave and an Angoran shave
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
371Trip End Feb 26, 2011
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Where I stayed
Tongariro Base Camp Holiday Park
We started the tour at 10am and our guide seemed a bit flighty. We walked down in to the cave in the pitch black I could barely see where I was going and stumbled a few times I don’t know how the disabled women went on who was walking on crutches but the guide didn’t seem too bothered as he told us to wait on the jetty for the boat, don’t fall in I just have to make a phone call
I checked back in at the i-sight as earlier on we had forgotten to check the weather forecast for the next few days as we hoped to be able to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing back in Taupo if the weather had improved. The lady gave us the thumbs up so we got back in the van to travel the 130km back to Taupo. On the way, not 5 minutes in to our drive we just had to stop at the free admission to the Angoran Rabbit Shearing demonstration. We walked in to find in the centre of a deep crowd of people a huge white rabbit strapped to a table with its paws tied up being sheared, apparently it doesn’t hurt them at all and if they weren’t sheared that often they would die from being too hot – bless
As we neared Taupo for what seemed like the zillionth time I decided that I really wanted to see Orakei Korako, the thermal hidden valley before we left. Andrew showed absolutely no interest whatsoever but agreed to drive me there so I could go in on my own while he would stay in the car park and watch a film. The only stipulation was that I used my free coffee voucher on the way out so we could share it – done deal. I took a boat over Lake Ohakuri and started to explore the area, it was so hot I was sweating almost immediately, big tip, wear a t-shirt not a big fleecy hoodie. Anyway I saw the Emerald Terrace cascading in to the lake and the Golden Fleece Terrace (known as Te Kapua or the cloud by the Maori people) which was stunning and looked like snow, the view from the Artist’s Palette lookout lived up to its moniker displaying a myriad of colours. Finally I saw Ruatapu Cave, one of only two geothermal caves in the world (the other is in Southern Italy) the water in the bottom of the cave is able to clean jewellery – seeing as I left all mine at home I couldn’t give it a try. Another interesting fact is that 20 million litres of hot water runs over the silica terraces here – A DAY! It was a beautiful area and so different to the others that we have seen in Rotorua and far more beautiful.
I grabbed my free coffee and went to meet Andrew back at the van
We checked in and made tea in the camp kitchen – lots of pasta in preparation for tomorrows tramp and made lunch for the next day, again pasta satay. We had a very early night as it was going to be an early start but packed up our day pack with the thermals and rain coats before watching ‘The Book of Eli’ with Denzel Washington in the van. It’s great now that we have the in-van charger, we are saving a fortune on McDonalds soft serve cones and are able to watch films to our hearts content.