What a couple of days.
Action packed is probably a nice way to describe it!
Yesterday, after a further brush with Maori culture, which we will discuss at a later date - more important things to do now - we headed to the Waitomo Caves to do some Black Water Rafting.
Hands up in the air if you know what that is??
I'm sure most of you have heard of White Water Rafting - paddling like idiots down some rapids on an inflatable raft, praying to God you don't fall in! Black Water Rafting is pretty different.
Alot different in fact.
No rafts, no rapids, and no fear of falling in - in fact it's pretty essential. You are donned up in a wesuit and a helmet with a torch, and given a car innertube, and sent into the caves to drift around in the underwater rivers through the mountains.
Oh, and did I mention it was in the complete darkness (hence the torches!) It was a surprisingly calming experience, with just the water and the occassional scream the only noises you could hear, and the way was lit up by the glowworms on the ceiling, looking like green stars, leading us through the dark abyss to get out the other side, just like the sailors used astrology to navigate in the good old days of exploration!
I felt like Captain Cook - if he wore an enormous condom like suit and circumnavigated the world in a tyre.
A particular highlight was getting out in the pitch black - no torches allowed. A guy in front of me led us into a dead end, and we tried to force our way through for a few seconds before we finally were pulled back, told how stupid we were, and pushed in the right direction.
This adrenalin fuelled couple of days was completed just over an hour ago - with a15,000ft skydive over Lake Taupo, one of the largest lakes in the world (apparently big enough to fit Singapore into it!) It was the best thing I have ever, ever, ever, ever done, and having been down a while now, and the rush is running out, I want to do it again.
It's not as scary as I thought it might have been - in fact I was pretty smiley the whole way it seems looking at the video. Sitting in the door ready to go, looking at the ground, it didn't seem that high up. If we hadn't been above the clouds I might not have even believed it.
Falling through the air though with nothing to stop you was quite literally, breathtaking. I was screaming the whole way, (with excitement obviously, not fear. I'm a big boy!!), and the wind moulding your face into all sorts of shapes made me look a little bit like Wallace! (Of Wallace and Gromit - come on guys.) It's not until the parachute opens you realise how fast you were actually going, and when it does finally open, (thankfully) you can look around and really appreciate the stunning view.
This is a truly beautiful country, and what better way to see it than plummeting from a plane down to Earth??