Beim Woollie gab's Krombacher & Thomas' bungee
Trip Start Sep 22, 2007
46Trip End Aug 16, 2008
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Thomas: We had been busy in outdoor activities right from the beginning so that we started to get layz after being in Dunedin. And then, the long distances we had to cover by car made us feel tired. We explored more and more the supermarkets and Rebecca did magic in the kitchen and pampered me with tasty German dishes.
R: Yes, we had a looong list of things we wanted to eat before going to Asia: cheese and wine (the foremer a real deception in a country so full of dairy industry), good bread (not easy to get either), lamb (delicious shanks!) and more.
Sightseeing somehow became less and less important. It hink, we had enough of the country.
T: To give you a picture of our route: We headed to Picton via the east coast and stayed there two nights in the sooo cosy Jugler's Rest before crossing Cook's Strait to the North Island
Though very crowded, it was a completely new experience to hike through the barren volcoanic scenery that had provided the Lord Of The Ring film set for Mordor.
R: What an eerie place! We set off amidst hills covered with little bushes and pink heather (Erika). Further uphill, it got rockier and with the low-hanging clouds, the different dark shades of rock, the little streams and sharp cliffs, the place indeed looked very much like Mordor. We reached Mt. Ngarouhoe for 2nd breakfast - had a sandwich in front of the symmetrical cone of Mt Doom, took a picture of my boyfriend posing on a rock in front of it (hunched, with a ring of tin foil in his hands hissing 'My precious!') and I walked on...
T: ..while I mounted the steep and rocky slopes of the very young volcano (c. 2500y), relieved of the backpack but carrying my burden, the Ring. Often, I stumbled and had to use my hands to cover a few meters due to the soft and loose sand and rocks. Finally, I made it to the crater, some 80-100m deep, where I stood on the rim and tried to take a picture with Ring on my hand. But the Ring had his own will and the wind blew it from my finger that it fell into the crater. I felt miserable for the pollution, honestly
R: I had been walking on, up a peak with a deep red canyon next to it. The colours were amazing, patches of all different kinds of red, grey and black froming this most stunning place. Downhill (on very loose sand) white-turquoise lakes appeared and smelly sulphur smoke blew into my face from white-yellow sulphur fields. I took my time so that Thomas could catch up and found us a nice spot for lunch where I waited for him.
T: After running and floating on the loose black rocks downyhill I walked on with short breaks to take pictures. I longed for the many sandwiches in Rebeccas's bag and there was no one whou could overtake me. After two hours I heard a familiar voice calling 'Thomas'.
R: We walked down together back into the clouds and then across hills covered with bushes and heather. It was a great day that we finished in the host Spa Pool in our hostel.
From Tongariro, we went North, for a dip in the caves of Waitomo: In spite of the cold, we went blackwater rafting, floating through the limestone caves on inner tubes. The best part, of course, was when we turned off our headlights in order to admire the ceilings full of glow worms.
T: The next day, we drove to the Taranaki Peninsula on the west of the North Island where wi pitcher our tent in the garden of the 'Wave Haven', a relaxed surfer hostel. It seemed to be the perfect place for beach walks and movie nights while the the surfers here seemed not to be satisfied with conditions so that I did notr try.
R: Because of the foul weather we went to a little village further south where we spent two relaxed days in a jurt decorated like in a 1001 nights fairytale
T: On our way to Taupo we came across a road sign advertising a bungee jump intioi a canyon, called gravity canyon. I was still a bit undecisive when I said: 'Let's have a look!' On the 15min drive I was making jokes abouth the stupid name, gravity canyon. Gravity is everywhere circa the same. Oh, but -as I had to discover soon- there is some truth abouth the name. You feel the force gravity when you stand on the edge of an 80m jump and you bloody feel the acceleration for the long 80 meters! Standing on the edge of the canyon the weight of the rope already pulled me towards the abyss. Though it should not have taken more than 3 sec until the rope stopped the fall I had time for 3 very different screams.
The first was a bit a suprise scream ('Wow, I am really jumping down this canyon!'), the second one was pure fear that this is not a normal dive into a swimming pool it is fucking much higher ('Is there really this rope? Ahhh!') until the third and relieved scream that there is some braking force and I can feel soo alive and start to enjoy the up and down.
R: I should have recorded the screams instead of trying the take pictures... Don't ask me, I would have never jumped down there, standing on the narrow iron grill of the bridge was more than enough for me
After a night in Taupo on a free campground by a beautiful river, we went to Coromandel Peninsula. We had been hoping for a few last days on the beach, but the weather had a different mind. It rained hard for days on!
T: After every night in rain we had always the impression the weahther would improve. So we spent 3 rainy nights in a tent suffering togethher with a friendly German couple in th e garden of our hostel.
R: It was with these two fabulous future Cologne people, Thomas & Sarah, that we went to Hot Water Beach. On another rainy day, that is!
T: It was very cold on Hot Water Beach! The girls kept their rain jackets on but we men had no fear of the strong winds that brought the rains to us.
R: Hot Water Beach basically is a normal beach, but in 2 spots close to the surf, hot thermal springs lie under the sand. They can only be reached at low tide, b ut on a windy day like ours, with high vawes, even at low ti de, the water was too high to dig a pool like people normall y do.
T: Amyway, you feel the hot water is there, below 10cm of sea water and your feet burn if you dig them another 10cm into the sand.
R: So, there we were on a cold and rainy day, doing the Twist in the shorebreak, along with another 10 people
Thomas & Sarah invited us for some coffes ("latte" as the Kiwis say), thanking us for driving them to their destination. We thank ed for the great company with generous drops of Chilenian Pi sco for the lattes.
T: We drank and talked, had another drink and talked until we realised that the rain was gone and we had t o leave to get to the place they recommended us in Coromande l town. There, the weather imporoved finally, so we could ta ke in the views we hoped for: Sun, bays with turquoise water and islands. Wednesday, we saw the old and mighty trunk of a Kauri tree. Some of them grwo to a diameter of 7m, a hieght of 50m and become over 1000 years old.
R: On Thursday, the day before our departure, we finally sold our camping gear. With Trade Me, the Kiwi version of Ebay, we got rid of the stuff at the desired price on the desired time. Unfortunately, we had to make a blong detour to meet the buyer and ened up arriveing in Auckland a t 10pm - with no bed booked. The whole district seemed to be booked out! After midnight, we decided to sleep in the car for the first tim.
T: It was a better night than had thought. While Rebecca slept on the rear seats I took the reclined front seat; lucky that we did not have that tiny Gollum car anymore. With our eyes covered with T-Shirts(me) or a sleeping mask, we did not realise that the sun was standing high when we woke up. Bu the constantly coming and leaving trucks stopping at the supermarket woke us up. Soon, we were back on the motor way, which I hated after the long driving the day before, dropped our car and arrived at the airport 2 1/2 hours earlier.