The next drive was to River Valley where we would stay the night. The drive was very long and like many jouneys on the Kiwi bus the driver will take you to different places or attractions i.e Lakes, waterfalls, rivers and forst walks. On this particular journey the driver took us to a place called Taranaki Falls which is in the volcanic region. we took a nice walk here and admired the scenery , it was explained to us that this area is where alot of scenes from 'Lord Of The Rings' took place, including 'Mount Doom'. it was very interesting. The driver then took us to another waterfall which was spectacular in its surroundings, it looked like postcard material. we had the option to jump off into the water, a few of us decided against it as it was a huge drop and the water was icy cold. if i was brave enough i would have done it because all the others seemed to happy they had done it, but it was worth watching. i was suprised sam didnt do this after her skydive. (I suppose its completely different).
When we eventually arrived at River Valley we walked down a steep path as though we were going deep into the forest. (which very much reminded me of the jungle trek in Chang mai). The hostel was so pretty it looked like an old lodge with the forest surrounding it. inside was all wood and looked very homely, the rooms were slightly strange though as we had 4 huge bunkbeds with 4 single matresses top and bottom, so i guess if the bus is very packed you all kind of sleep alongside one another, luckily Sam and I had a whole bunk to ourselves.That evening we all sat around and played poker, i gave up as i was very confused, Sam won which was so good because she hadnt played before.
The following day we all got ready for the White Water Rafting. we were so looking forward to this as it is something we both wanted to do. River Valley is the only place that has grade 5 rapids so it was perfect and again the scenery was stunning, so green and the river was amazingly pretty. we all had to get intio out wetsuits which was very funny because the guy gave me mine and i told him it would be too big even before id put it on. he said'no it wont' so i took his word and sure enough it was huge, so i had a fight with myself to get out of it. The second one was fine altho i had trouble getting in it, so two guys came eitherside of me and lifted me up in the air so i fell into it.
we took a minibus to the place we would start and we were all put into teams of 4. Sam and I were put at the front of the boat when we were in the river, we started at a slow steady pace. the lady who was guiding us was training so we had another guy in the boat who was very witty, he was a good laugh. the rafting was so fun and the rapids were huge, it was so funny when Sam fell out of the boat and we all got her in head first. we all came out unscathed although i did hit my face on the paddle when we turned the boat upside down so we are under it, i thought id knocked a tooth out. We spent 3-4 hours on the water and it was well worth it.
When we got back we all showered got ready and left for the next stop, so as you can imagine it is non stop on the bus.