And for all the adrenalin junkies...

Trip Start Mar 07, 2006
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Trip End Jun 30, 2006


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, March 16, 2006

For all you adrenalin junkies, I highly recommend a trip to NZ - the country invented specifically for you. I'm here in Taupo, which borders on beautiful Lake Taupo. In true Kiwi fashion, simply looking at or admiring the lake isn't enough. It is necessary to kayak on it, jetboat around it, bungee jump into it, or a whole host of other similar activities.

But I digress.

I last left you in Rotorua, town of sulphur and thermal mud. Unfortunately I picked up a throat infection and spent a day or so just taking it easy and getting over it. I did attend a Maori "cultural experience" (read: made for tourists) that had song, dance, and what's called a Hangi for dinner. A Hangi is when all the food - meats, vegetables, etcetera - is buried in a hole underground and steamed for about six hours using volcanic rocks to heat it. Let's just say I haven't had such a good meal in ages... and even writing about it is making me hungry.

Yesterday, I visited the Agrodome, which is a huge agricultural complex with plenty of cows, ostriches, and of course, sheep. They also have an adventure park, and that's where I went zorbing. It's hard to describe the zorb without explaining that the Kiwis seem to have an endless imagination for inventing ridiculous-sounding activities. Zorbing consists of entering a giant plastic inflated ball, along with a whole bunch of water, and rolling down a hill. They refer to this as the "wash cycle". Felt quite like it, I must say.

Last night I visited the Polynesian Spas, which are essentially pools of thermally-heated hot springs water. Yes, they smell like sulphur, but it was really relaxing.

This morning I boarded the Magic Bus for a whirlwind day that had about a half-dozen stops en route from Rotorua to Taupo. First, we went to the thermal mud pools and saw a geyser erupt. From there we went to a ropes course adventure park, where I went swinging off a giant tower. Picture Tarzan but with a harness instead of jungle vines. Actually jumping off the platform was incredibly scary, but after that, it was a real rush! After that, as if I hadn't had enough for one day, I went on a jetboat ride to Huka Falls, which are the waterfalls in the Taupo area. The purpose of the jetboat ride seemed to be to get all riders as drenched as possible by doing 360-degree turns and such.

Now I'm in Taupo and will shortly be joining the group at a pub. I miss all of you and hope everything's going well back in Montreal. Keep the e-mails coming - whether you post here or e-mail me directly, I may not be able to answer all of them individually but I still love receiving them. Till next time!
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Comments

demiurge
demiurge on

Zorbing?!?
Can you get us some pictures of Zorbing? That's the funniest activity I've ever heard of. I'll be sure to try it when I visit that part of the world.

My last experience with a Kiwi was in the Eiffel tower, where she was going 'oh shit! oh shit!' as the elevator was bringing us to the top--she was afraid of heights. So obviously she was not the proto-typical hard-as-nails Kiwi.

Ciao,

Jonathan

demiurge
demiurge on

Wow! Great pictures!
Hey Sari,

Zorbing looks so awesome. I pictured it as just rolling down a flat hill--but it looks like an obstacle course straight out of a video game! Sooooo cool.

I really must try that for myself. :) You look like you had a really fun time in the picture afterward.

Sincerely,

Jon

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