Rachie and Joey's Round The World Adventure!
Kia Ora! Greetings from the North Island of New Zealand! We've done so much in a short space of time I'll warn you that this is a bit of a Rachie essay! Feel free to skim read :) hehe! Well our first stop here was Auckland, and boy did we notice a temperature drop to Fiji! First things first we headed into Auckland City to buy some warm clothes! Plenty of long sleeve t-shirts and a cosy fleece, but no doubt i'll still be cold with numerous layers on :) Here we managed to rent outselves a lovely little car to get us around New Zealand, it was such a bargain! We got ourselves a little Nissan Sunny which we called Lilly :) Shes a bit of a tank but shes got us from A to B which is the main thing :) From Auckland we made our way up to the Bay of Islands - Paihai - what a gorgeous place! Really reminded me of Cornwall at home. The scenery was just stunning! We stayed in a lovely cosy hostel called Pipi Patch. Whilst we were here we took a trip with Awesome adventures up to Cape Reinga (tip of the North Island). Along the way we visited Puketi Kauri Forest, Cape Reinga itself (where the maori spirit departs) and took a crazy drive along 90 mile beach. We were darting in and out of the smallish waves the whole time, and couldnt risk stopping incase we sunk in the sand! We even saw a submerged car that had done just that...whoops! Glad we didnt drive up there (not that our insurance company would have let us anyway!) :) On our trip we also did some sandboarding, it was so much fun! The only not-so-fun part was when Auto insisted on telling us about all the poor toutists who had hurt themselves doing this activity...and he decided to tell us this all before we'd even got off the coach to do it! People ripping the skin of their faces....broken ribs....you name it, he told us the worst horror stories! All of us did get off the bus though and it was so worth it! The hardest part was actually getting to the top of the sand dune, it was so steep! But once at the top we got ourselves into position, gripping for dear life to the front of the board and away we went! The harder we dug our feet into the sand the slower we went, but wheres the fun in that eh? hehe... I did pick up a fair bit of speed but 2/3 times i did it I felt my board slipping away from me which slightly freaked me out :) Was awesome all the same! Another day in Paihai we went dolphin watching! It was absolutely freezing but so wicked! It took us a while to find the dolphins but in that time we got to check out the Bay of Islands. We did eventually find quite a large group of dolphins though and I was so just so in excited! (i love dolphins for those that didnt know!). We sat right at the front of the boat and they were right under the boat and jumping in front of us, you could actually hear them calling each other in the water! We nearly got to swim with them but unfortunately they had a few babies with them, but the babies were so much fun to watch as they were jumping all over the show! My camera skills werent quite up to scratch but i did manage to get a few splashes :) After a few days in the Bay of Islands we headed to Waitomo Caves for some black water rafting! What an experience :) Nice and early we were putting on freezing cold and wet wetsuits (that was the hardest part i think!). Got ourselves completely kitted up and drove up to the caves. We had a nutty instructor called Snappy (you could see where she got her nickname from) who firstly got us to jump backwards in our rubber rings off a ledge into a river. I thought this might be optional...but then she said 'you might as well do it out here in the daylight as you'll be doing this inside the cave in the dark shortly' *gulp* :) We watched a guy do it first, and i've never seen a grown man look so petrified..he freaked us right out! Eventually it was my turn, and i did slightly curse as I jumped and the shock of the cold water took my breath away, but it was quite fun! We then headed to the caves and when Snappy said 'right guys, here we go' I did wonder where on earth we were meant to be going, until I saw a tiny gap that we all had to go through! The guys we were with were so polite and insisted all the way through the trip that we went first (they were a bunch of wimps!!), so off me and Jo trotted! Inside the caves was amazing. You totally forget how cold you are as you're wading your way through the dark, jumping off mini waterfalls backwards and gliding on your rubber ring through the current. We did see some glow worms too (maggots with shiny poo as Snappy described them). They were quite cool! By the time we got out of the caves were were really buzzing, it was so much fun! Definately deserved our hot shower, soup and bagel after all that :) From Waitomo we headed to Rotorua (we were warned it was smelly due to the sulphurous smell of the geysers). The best part here was zorbing! Basically we were put into a giant soft hamster ball filled with warm water, and we then rolled down a fairly steep hill! For all those that had hamsters and put them in hamster balls and pushed them around for fun, this was what it felt like im sure! Me and Jo havent laughed so much in ages! The guys told us to stand up all the way down, what a laugh! We stood up for all of 3 seconds as we toppled over the hill and then we were flat on our bums sliding down this hill getting absolutely soaked! (wish i'd taken my shampoo and conditioner now, was lovely and warm!). By the time we got the bottom we were still laughing, the pictures tell the story! It was over so quickly but well worth the laughs :) From Rotorua we headed to Lake Taupo. We had a visit to Huka Falls on the way which were pretty stunning! The drive into Taupo was gorgeous as we were greeted by snow capped mountains! Taupo was awesome as it was here we did our skydive!! Oh my god what an adrenalin rush! We were put off for a few hours due to the bad weather, and as soon as we thought we'd be put off again they said 'we'll be with you in 5'...argh! When you start to think about what you're actually about to do, lots of silly questions that you dont want to the answers to start to pop into your head! One girl decided to ask all these questions out loud on the bus there, like 'how are the parachutes tested' to which the respose was 'when tourists like you jump out of our planes, thats when we know if they work or not'... our nerves were starting to show slightly at that point. Anyways, we were assigned our own buddy! I had Grant, really nice bloke although he had a sick sense of humour. Decided to tell me this was his 13th jump, he couldnt swim so if we did land in the lake then i'd need to sort us out :) After getting all our kit on and having the briefest instructions on what we were about to do, we got onto the tiniest plane ever, i think this was the worst part! You felt every bump and rise as we headed to 12000 feet. I was sooooo excited!! The doors opened and one by one people started to disapear, I thought it would be a slow process but before I knew it I was dangling outside of the plane! I didnt even have time to tuck my feet under the plane, I was just hanging there! My dvd says it all, my face was an absolute picture! hehe....so off we went, flying through the air. I was screaming my head off and doing the odd 'woohoo' all the way down, being filmed the whole time. It was such an amazing feeling just flying through the air, taking in the scenery of all the mountains and lake taupo! Before I knew it the 45 seconds of free fall was over and we were just happily gliding...Grant shook my hand and congratulated me on doing it! If anyones thinking 'I couldnt do that'... you could trust me! :) We had a few drinks that night to celebrate our success at sky diving! I didnt tell anyone at home that we were doing it, I just text them after to say i'd done it and I was alive! :)) From Lake Taupo we headed to Wellington for a well earned rest! We booked into a Base Hostel and into a room called the sanctuary. We had fluffly towels, feather pillows, our own room, shampoo and conditioner, and free champagne for an hour! Bliss!! In Wellington we did visit the Te PaPa Museum which was pretty cool, although I spent most of my time playing on the kiddies activities :) So much fun! Whist enjoying our champagne the night before we left, we met some guys from Locksheath! We realised what a small world it was when I realised that I'd worked with one of the guys best mates at B&Q, and one of the lads knew Guy! Spooky :) Well Ive wrote an essay, apologies! But we have just done sooooooooo much stuff!! New Zealand is fantastic and Im really looking forward to the South Island now!! To Be Continued...