We're getting really daring now - we stayed ...

Trip Start Sep 19, 2002
1
9
129
Trip End Sep 22, 2003


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Wednesday, October 23, 2002

We're getting really daring now - we stayed another nite in an un-official site! The car park was the entry point to some caves and there is a walk you can do at night (which we did) to see some glo-worms so there were cars there quite late. However, when we woke up, there was only one other camper van besides us. Around 0800 we were thinking about getting up and we heard a car approach - NIGHTMARE - it was a Forestry Commission vehicle! The chap couldn't give a monkeys though and we breathed a sigh of relief, not that it would have mattered being moved on at that time.

We took a walk along the same route as the night before to see it in the daylight and wandered through a natural tunnel and entered a deep black wet cave from the safety of a walkway. It was then that I started to regret our decision to go on a caving adventure. This tour with Black Water Rafting advertised itself as a "soft adventure" involving floating through glo-worm caves on a rubber ring. Phil was keen to go for the second level tour involving abseiling and proper caving but the old hip wouldn't hold up to that sort of punishment (plus I was too scared of squeezing myself into little spaces). Loads of old people had done the tour and said how lovely it was so how hard could it be??

OH MY GOD! How I am alive to write this log I will never know! Squeezing ourselves into wet and cold wetsuits was just the start! We threw ourselves off a little jetty with our rubber rings firmly held to our backsides to check they fitted. This was a challenge in itself for me as I am scared of water but I managed OK. A short bush walk was followed by the entry to the cave proper. Basically carefully picking your way through slippy wobbly stones with water gushing around you and differing levels of water whilst trying to hold your ring (the rubber one) (the other one was tight enough as it was). Then we threw ourselves off more little waterfall type things and waded through various caves with me hyperventilating the whole time (my phobias include darkness, water, confined spaces etc etc etc). Eventually we did sit in the ring and float down the river for a bit getting stuck on rocks and bumping into each other along the way. Those bits I really enjoyed! Phil obviously loved the whole thing and didn't feel scared at all. For the last part we floated without lights and without holding each other which was really freaky as we knew the water was really deep and it was soooo dark but we just followed the trail of glo worms. When we saw the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel I felt a huge relief and sense of acheivement, so much so that we chose to get back in to the river in the daylight part to float down to the jetty where we got back in the bus and headed for base and hot showers and soup.

Hurrah we made it!

Off towards Wellington now for some cafe culture - much more my cup of tea (ho ho)!

Pip and Red
xx
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