Kate,Jo and Bronagh Get Around
Hey everyone, hope you are all well, Last time we spoke to you we were in Rotorua. Not much else happened there except visiting some stivking mud-pools and completing a Where's Wally jigsaw (1,500 pieces and 4 hours of good, clean fun). So we decided to move on to Waitomo to see the caves. We had booked a tour from Rotorua already so it was up early the next morning for some glow-worming action. However it had been raining so heavily that by the time we got to Waitomo the tour had been postponed until the next day because the water levels in the caves were dangerously high. We tried to tell them that 'Danger' was our middle name but they saw our passports so they knew that we were lying. What followed were probably the most boring 12 hours of our entire lives. Ever. We had checked into a holiday park where noone else was staying and whats worse is that the rain from before had turned into a full scale thunderstorm and powercut. So there we were with no T.V., radio or way to cook. So a lot of coards games were played (and won by Kate) and a lot of magazines from 1998 were read (by the way did you know that Alma from Corronation Street is actually a lesbian in real life?!). But it wasn't so bad. That evening 3 Isreali guys checked in and asked us to have dinner with them. They were really interesting - 2 had fought in the Gaza Strip and the other had gotten out of it by pretending he had a mental condition (his mum was a psychiatrist and had asked one of her colleagues to write him a false diagnosis). They said that after all they had seen they wanted to enjoy life and make the most of it so thats why they were travelling. We liked them. The next day the rain had stopped but we were secretly hoping that the tour would be cancelled anyway cos it was freezing. But no. We put on our already wet from the day before wetsuits and complained the whole way to the caves. When we got there we abseiled down 40ft - "So you have all abseiled before. Oh, you to havn't? Well just jump and you figure it out" - and black water rafted to find some glow-worms. It was beautiful down there. There was no sunlight at all so when we turned off our headtorches all we could see were thousands of specks of light all over the ceiling, it was like looking at the sky but from really close up. After that we rock climbed back up 40ft - "So you have all rock climbed before. Oh, you two havn't? Well just start climbing and you figure it out." And that was us done with Waitomo. We wanted to get to Auckland that same day so we decided to be a bit adventurous and try hitch-hiking. Well if we had known it was as easy as it was we would have done it from the start. The first people to pick us up were two old women. We hadn't even been thumbing a lift and they just pulled over and asked if we wanted a ride. The second time we were only waiting for about 10minutes before a buisness man picked us up. And the last time we were thumbing for about 20minutes when an Indian man driving a big truck pulled over and agreed to take us the rest of the way to Auckland. We ended up going back to his house to meet his family and have something to eat. We think it was when we were each handed an onion baji and a glass of coke and then then the family started talking to eachother in Hindi while we were sitting there that we realised how random the whole situation was and we had to laugh. Thats what backpackings about. So that was us safe in Auckland. The next day we just took it easy and went window shopping, with window being the key word there as we are broke. When we were on our way back to the hostel we noticed a lot of commotion going on at the other side of the road so we went over to investigate. Running up and down the main road in a tight leotard and holding a fog horn was a huge, muscly man. We were just thinking "What the hell is going on?" when we heard the thick Irish accents and realised that it was the entire Irish Rugby team. It was about then that Brian (of the O'Driscolls) came up to us and asked us if we would mind taking a photo with him. Eventually we oblidged and after the photo he asked us to come and cheer him on at the rugby on Saturday so went and bought some tickets. Before the match though we went and spent the night at the Dennys, were Kate stayed when she first got to New Zealand. It was really good seeing them all again. Gerry (Daddy Denny) is a bit mad and seemed to enjoy making fun of Bronagh. Shes only just starting to recover from his taunting. The girls were all up early the next morning for an Irish Dancing competition so we didn't see much of them, but it was great going back and catching up. So on Saturday afternoon we got all geared up for the match. The tricolor and the Antrim shirt went on, along with some fetching shamrocks on our cheeks, and we were set. It was absolutely brilliant - such a way to spend our last night in NZ. We got absolutely soaked though as our seats were very definately not covered. But we cheered our little hearts out. We lost, but it was a great game (so we're told, to be honest we really didn't have a clue what was going on!) and the atmosphere was great. The whole way home on the train everyone was singing Irish songs, "We're not Brazil we're Northern Ireland x3, Its just like watching Brazil!!" Its better when you sing it, we'll re-inact it when we get back. We had to be at the airport for 4am the next morning, so we decided to just not go to bed. Big mistake. Kate Skehin is apparently not a morning person, and our friendship nearly ended when "THIS VENDING MACHINE KEEPS TAKING MY MONEY AND NOT GIVING ME ANY COKE". A lesson for everyone at home, never laugh at angry Kate. So we were off to Bali, but we'll wait until we put the photos up to tell you about that one. Ooooo bit of a cliffhanger..........