Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The underground caverns, the booby traps, the skeletons, the monster, the lost treasure

New Zealand is one of the premier places for adventure. Bungee jumping, sky diving, rock climbing, hiking, all are things associated with the Land of the Kiwi. Kiwi as in the bird, not the fruit, though this suggests otherwise.

Food prep, New Zealand style

I'm not much of an adventure person or even an outdoors person (shocking, I know), but I have been looking forward to the Waitomo black water rafting experience since my brother told me about it. You get in a wetsuit and helmet (not a small feat for me, either of those), sit down in an inflatable tube and then spend about an hour going through Ruakuri cave, both on foot and gliding across the water. It was an incredible experience.

Like I said, I'm not much of an adventure person. The Beard prefers quiet nights at home to jumping out of airplanes or skiing down slopes or mountain biking. I see why other people might find it interesting, but I'm not an adrenaline junkie and besides, you can get some exercise from doing those things. The horror.

So even though I was looking forward to it, I was a bit nervous. Turned out I had nothing to worry about, though the trek through the caves involved a bit more adventure than we had thought. At a few points we got to stand on cliff edges, backs facing out from the cliffs, tube around our asses, and then jumping off to land in the water two meters or so down. Exhilirating, but doable. The only scary bit was when we had to go through a really low passage.

Promo pic, but it gives you an idea. Nothing for claustrophobics

The best part was slowly guiding through the caves, headlights off, looking up at glow worms on the ceiling, which made it seem like we were floating underneath a starlit sky. Very solemn and mysterious. So much in fact that I couldn't stop myself from whistling the X-Files theme. Geeky, I know, but it had to be done.

In all, a magnificent experience, and if you go down here and don't have a real problem with darkness or confined spaces, you should definitely do it.

This is before the descent. Note the horror behind the smiles

Today, we fly down to Wellington for three days of sightseeing, rugby (All Blacks! Haka!) and visiting Weta. Not sure if the BnB where we're staying will have wireless, so I might not post anything here for a few days.

1 comment:

Steve Eriksson said...

Såg jäkligt kul ut. Jag skulle dock förmodligen balla ur vid de trånga passagerna . Inte ett fan av trånga utrymmen.