This may be a bit of a short and angry blog because I have been tempted by an internet cafe which only charges $2.50 an hour although I have now discovered that they are surely able to make their money by offering a sub-standard photo import service and keeping you here longer. I have just spent a sweaty half hour attempting to import photos onto this computer to add to my blog, but it seems to give up after importing on average about 6 and then pretend it can't see any more pictures. So no photos for you today I am afraid, I will try and do them tomorrow instead but I don't hold out a lot of hope!
So let's see, where was I up to? Well we picked up the bus in the morning in Rotorua after I last wrote, and we went to see the mud pools and geysers at a special site nearby. It was really amazing and I have taken a lot of pictures which hopefully you will be able to see at some point. We then progressed on to towards Waitomo, stopping randomly at a rabbit shearing shed. Imagine my surprise to be woken up by a bus driver to be told that we were now going to see some bunnies get all their hair shaven off! They are Angora rabbits and they haveto be shawn or they would die from the heat. They were the most massve fluffy things ever and it was extremely amusing to see them tied up by their hands and feet and be shaved!
We stayed the night in Waitomo which actually wouldn't even be a place at all were it not for the underground caves there. In the morning we went caving which basically involved sitting on rubber rings and floating through these freezing cold underground caves to see glowworms. Glowworms are not actually worms at all but fly lavae and the glowing bit is their crap which glows because of a chemical reaction in it. The water was freezing and rocky and we all looked very amusing in our wetsuits but it was a great exprience and the guide was very good.
On Friday afternoon we arived in Taupo. Lake Taupo is huge and is a volcano caldera - when the volcano erupted ancient Chinese and Roman writings describe the sky as turning red so it was clearly a bit of a big eruption! Having suspected we wouldn't be able to do a skydive due to bad weather they then abruptly changed their mind and within an hour we were on the plane! Being terrified of small planes and also the idea of falling through the air I expected to be a lot more scared by this but actually I was much calmer than I had anticipated.
We climbed to 15000 feet, so high we had to have oxygen masks in the plane and when we jumped you could see the curvature of the earth. We free fell for a minute which (if you count this out now) is quite a long time to be falling through the air at 120mph strapped so some stranger's stomach. When the parachute opened it was incredibly calm and peaceful and lake was beautifully blue. The guys are so skilled, they all get the parachutes to land us back on the airfield. I got 70 photos, a DVD and a t shirt as well as the skydive for 200GBP which I think you will agree is significantly cheaper than it would be at home! To anyone who is considering doing a skydive, I absolutely cannot recommend it enough!
We have spent the last couple of days in Taupo in a brand new hostel which is very nice; it's been good to not have to get up at 7.30 and pack our bags. Yesterday we went to watch the pre season warm up for 2 local rugby teams which are in the super 14s (which I believe is a bit like the premiership). I don't know much about rugby but it was great to watch and a very enjoyable afternoon.
Tomorrow we head out to the eastern cape for a few days which is bound to be amazing. I will try and add some photos soon. Please kep me updated on everything that is going on in England and I hope you are all ok!