Nat and Beck Go Large!
We arrived back in Taupo on Friday afternoon, determined (ish for Becky) to do a skydive. Went back to Tiki Lodge (cos it's great), booked ourselves in to jump at 9am the next day and went to Woolies to purchase much chicken and pink winage (in a bottle, goon hasn't caught on over here..give it time). However, the bottle was a screw-top, so don't think we splashed out fellow backpackers. We were sharing a room with a Japanese girl who never spoke and two English girls, Claire and Harriet. Claire was a fellow competitive snorer, however the competition must have put too much pressure on Becky...both girls were strangely silent that night (Claire was in a drunken coma though). Harriet told us about the Backpacker's guide to settling back in at home...it involved a large number of bunk beds in a confined space, people generally making lots of noise at different times of day and night, labelling your 2 minute noodles and generally being a minger. One of the recommendations was to wrap everything in plastic carrier bags and get someone to come in and rustle them at the crack of dawn...lo and behold, the next morning, the Japanese girl got up at 6 and started rustling through her carrier bags in her backpack...this seems to be a common trend amongst the Asian contingent backpacking through Oceania. We woke up to a cloudy day...skydive off. We rebooked for 2pm, and got strangely hyper when we realised the sky was quite clear around the 1pm mark..however, it was then "too windy". We booked in again for the next morning and took ourselves off to Matamata aka Hobbiton for the afternoon. Imagine how gutted we were when we got back to the hostel that evening and Harriet told us the wind had dropped enough by 3pm for people to do their skydives. For some reason, the whole hostel decided to wash their clothes last night. As there was only one washing machine and one dryer, this proved to be a bit of a problem. We spent most of the evening camped in the laundry room waiting for the cycles to finish so we could cut in line and get our washing done! We met a girl from Tasmania who had the same idea and spent an hour discussing the life of a backpacker over the rumble of the washer. As soon as the dryer was finished, we lashed someone's clean washing out onto the ironing board in a lovely pile, and shoved ours in before the Scandinavian shot-putter who had been hanging round could get hers in...we then legged it and hid in the bathroom for 10 minutes so she wouldn't know it was us! The lure of LOTR in the tv room coaxed us out though - seemed only right after our trip to the Shire that day. This morning, the Japanese girl had the carrier bags out again...luckily, we had already been woken by the sound of torrential rain...that's right, no skydive. We have to be back in Auckland by tomorrow to take Georgie back, so we can't really wait any longer to do it...gutted! Oh well, looks like we'll be back on the backpacker trail sooner rather than never! Speaking of Georgie, we had a right shocker this morning...he had a big dent in his bumper, which almost meant a big dent in our bank accounts...we had a $750 excess on the car! Luckily for us, the lad who had done it came back and seeing as Georgie is only made of plastic, managed to pop the dent back out and gave us his details in case Georgie's rentals noticed and made us pay for a facelift. Think it may have been karma for jumping the washing queue last night! Seeing as it's still chucking it down, we're going back to Auckland today. Plans were to go to a beach in the north, but what's the point in lying on a beach when it's teeming down? We can do that on Ainsdale Beach at home! Lots of love, Nat and Beck (still in one piece cos we couldn't jump out of a plane). xxxx