Hey hey hey,
Right, well we've almost made it down to the south island of new zealand, have been from Auckland, up to the bay of islands and cape regina, back down to mercury bay, onto Rotorua, then stopped at Waitoma, Lake Taupo, River Valley and are now at Wellingon - going to cross over to the south island tomorrow to nelson. Its been pretty hectic......
Tom and I have done a fair few activities since we've been over - canyoning (soooo cool), sand boarding (down an 85ft dune), white water rafting twice (first time down a 7 metre water fall - highest in the world and second in river valley), black water rafting (like caving - was wicked. saw all the glow worms), a bungy swoop (soo scary!! your in a sleeping bag hurtling at 160km an hour to the ground when you suddenly swoop back up!), zorbing (rolling down the hill in a giant rubber ball like a hamster), luge riding (you get on a tray and wizz around some kick arse tracks - only minor injuries were sustained...), visited 2 maori villages, did a 7 hour hike (beautiful but tough), went mountain biking and have swam in about 3 water falls and lakes.
At one of the Maori villages, Tom was made a chief! He had the hacka performed in his face, which was pretty scary and had to lead his 'tribe' (aka the bus) around the villages and to the dances and feast. He got a really cool necklace thingy and we sang songs at the front of the bus to entertain his minions! He subsequently got recognised all the time with people shouting "chief!!" from all directions - it was really funny and fully made his day, however when he started saying things like "do as the cheif tells you" and "the cheif has spoken" I drew the line!
We also met up with our mate Al from Oz for st paddy's - now that was a bloody good night! Lots of guiness was had and I managed almost 5 pints and could jig along with the best of them. Tom had alot more guiness (aparently I'm a light weight) and Al won best male in the Irish jigging competition and we ended up in the lounge of a hostel that was not ours and trotted back to bed at six am, not feeling too clever. Good times. I got told I was an excellent jigger (as if it was ever in question) and Tom got told politely to never dance for Ireland again.
The country is absolutely stunning - its amazing really, so so so beautiful, cannot wait for the south Island! We love this country! Well thats about it!!! hope you're all ok and lovely! lots of kisses from rachal and tom x x x x x x x x x x x x