Taupo, Rotorua, Auckland
Trip Start Oct 08, 2005
71Trip End Oct 06, 2006
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Then from there it was the short journey to Rotorua, home to lots of geothermal parks and therefore smelling quite badly of rotten eggs
On my other day in Rotorua I went caving at Waitomo Caves, about 2 hours away. Now I'm not a big fan of caves usually, but in the spirit of overcoming my fears that seems to be prevailing on this trip, I thought I would do the full 5-hour underground experience that was on offer. About 9 of us got kitted up in fleece, wetsuit, booties, jacket, shorts (over the wetsuit, such a good look!) and caving helmet complete with headlight, and headed off on a guided tour of the caves. However it wasn't easy - getting into the cave involved abseiling down a 35-foot drop through a tunnel barely wide enough for me (especially after last night's dinner!); then we had to pick our way along narrow damp ledges to a zip wire that we had to shoot down; and then jump into absolutely freezing water attached to a rubber ring
And now I'm in Auckland, on my last day in NZ. Since I have been here I've walked around the city a bit; been out to Devonport, one of the lovely suburbs, for a good view back over the city across the harbour; and last night I met up with Charles from my India trip. He lives here, and he took me out to a fabulous dinner, then drove me round a bit to see the city at night, and up the city's Skytower, which was great. Its a bit strange being in a bustling city again though, Auckland is loud and busy and is full of people and cars, and I'm just not used to that after 3 weeks of peace and quiet and nothing but beautiful scenery
So, highlights of NZ: erm, everything. I can't really pick one thing or place that I liked best as its all been amazing. I guess Franz Josef, Wanaka and my bungys stick in my mind the most, but its all been fantastic, and definitely my favourite country visited so far. Can't imagine anything is going to beat it really.
For the next 2 weeks I'm off to Fiji for some R&R and lots of diving. Think its going to be a bit isolated (no net, phones, power) so if I disappear for a while, don't worry! Will be flying to Canada on 10th June (day of England's first World Cup match, good planning Smith, not...) so will be back in civilisation around then. So get in touch you lot cos I've not heard from some of you in ages!! :-)