Caving, Toobing and doing the Haka!
Trip Start Jun 11, 2008
349Trip End May 14, 2009
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Here we decided to do the Tumu Tumu Toobing. This involved going down into a dark cave and crawling, swimming and tubing through it.
Firstly we had to walk to the hole, that you drop down through, into the cave. However, this also meant passing by a dead sheep that had been there for two days! It stunk awful and had flies all over it. Apparently the farmer will come and move it "soon". Funny thing was, it was lay on it's back with it's legs wide open - and rigormortis has kicked in! I know for a fact that this would have been too much temptation for some people I know!! I, on the other hand, passed it by with no passionate urges, in case you were wondering!!
Anyway, after passing Shaun the Sheep, we got to a small crack in the ground which was supposed to be the entrance!! We all just managed to squeeze into the cave and then plummet southwards into the underground river. In our group there were 3 guides, me, Lorna and one of the drivers, Jimmy. It was like our own private caving expedition.
The first part of the trip involved wading through waist high water, crawling over rocks and avoiding being impaled by stalagmites and stalactites. We then arrived at an area of deep water that we had to tube across. Thing was, we had to jump from a 10ft high ledge and on our inner tube in the water - we had our tubes with us, so had to position them over our ass and jump backwards!! Mental! We were all successful in our quest though.
We then floated through the caves, along the underground river taking in the scenery. We then turned off our helmet lights which sent the cave into complete darkness - and I mean pitch black. Then as we floated round the corner, the cave walls were covered in glow worms! This almost lit the whole cave up!
Apparently, the reason they glow is because they have no bum hole and have to burn off their excrement. The glow is actually lime green! Yes, the same colour that I was poohing a week ago! I must have mutated into a glow worm!!
We took a break on a large flat rock that our guide called Hard Rock Café. We had hot lemon & barley and a bar of choccy.
After passing the glow worms we dumped our tubes and waded on through the cave. We then came to a really deep part of the river, so we had to swim and float down in for about 50 metres. Then, after climbing over and under some more rocks, we jumped back onto our tubes and floated on down the river into the cave.
We then came to a small opening in the side of the cave which we had to go through, so we dumped our tubes again. We had to lie on our backs and the rapids in the water shoot you about 10 metres through the crack. Thing was, there was only about 4 or 5 inches between the top of the water and the roof of the cave! Squeaky bum time! We finally crawled our way through some more rocks and emerged at the surface, safe and sound. This has been a great 4 hour experience.
After the caving we nipped into a barn that was shearing Angora Rabbits. It was just like shearing sheep - that's shearing sheep not sharing sheep you perverts!! It looked really cruel as they stretched the rabbit out on the table before trimming it. Although it looked like they were skinning it not trimming it!! I got my hands on the trimmers but was stopped just before I could attack the rabbit - oh well - it was all a bit hare raising!!
We then jumped back on the bus and headed off to Maketu. We arrived at Uncle Boy's Place which was a traditionally built Maori lodge. Here we had a traditionally cooked Maori meal and chatted to the people. After dinner we watched them perform traditional Maori dancing, singing and poems.....and then they performed The Haka which was awesome! I was then selected as the chief of our tribe and one of the Maori warriors performed the challenge to me. This was absolutely amazing, and very intimidating as the warriors constantly kept eye contact with me!! Stupidly I accepted the challenge and the show rolled on.
The men and women were then split up and the women had to practice a Poi Dance, whilst the men had to learn part of The Haka! I had to shout out the words for The Haka and perform it as well - it was a fantastic experience. Then, the women had to perform for the men. Lorna was the lead women and started them all off with the Poi Dance. This was done using Poi Balls (see photo's). It was really good and entertaining. Finally, we had to perform for the women and it was brilliant fun. (see photo's and video). We both have thoroughly enjoyed this amazing experience.
In the kitchen there is a tv with ESPN, so we might be able to catch the first half of the England match tomorrow morning.
All 11 of us then crashed on mattresses in the Maori hut. Tonight we had 5 English, 2 South African girls, 2 Scottish girls and 2 German girls. There was only me and Craig of the male variety! Unbelievably there was a girl called Laura who is from Kirby in Ashfield who used to swim with Lorna when they were younger - small World or what!!
Today has been yet another great day on our travels.