Kate,Jo and Bronagh Get Around
Hello there, Well we've had a busy week and have loads to tell you so make yourselves comfortable. It started off in Kaikoura last Friday. Ricky, Murf and Patricia were all at work so we decided to hire bikes and see the town for ourselves. We cycled round to the seal colony and went for a bit of a walk, and nearly got stranded when the tide came in. But we were OK and managed to get done what we went there to do - write a message with stones on the grass and climb up onto a cliff to take photos of our masterpiece. On the way home from a healthy days exercise we decided we deserved some fish and chips (from Hines, the best chip shop ever), so we found a wee beach to sit happily and stuff our faces. On Saturday night we packed an overnight bag, stocked up the van with food and beers, got all the cooking gear together and made the long journey out to Rickys Back garden to set up camp for the night. It was scary out there - just the two of us, no electricity, temperatures plummeting and other scary things that are just too scary to tell you about. But we managed to overcome our fears and have a good night. Ricky and Murf even ventured out into the wilderness to join us for a while. And with the ingenious idea of home-made hot water bottles we were toasty warm in our beds. It was so comfy in fact that cake appears to have fallen asleep mid-chocolate bar. Well, we assume that's what happened. Bronagh awoke the next morning to Kate saying "Aw no, I've got chocolate on my face." See photos. After our night in the van we went stock car racing. Well, we didn't but we went and watched and it looked very dangerous. Lots of car crashes - good clean fun. It was freezing though so we headed home, but on the way we went for a walk to see a waterfall. When we got there, there were about 20 seal pups just playing in the water, doing all these flips. They were very cute. On Monday afternoon it was time to say goodbye to Kaikoura and Ricky. Bronagh was very emotional - Kate had to comfort her. But shes OK now. So, it was on to the North Island. Our first stop was Wellington were we became very cultured and visited Te Papa - a Big museum. It was very big though, so we only managed to get to a couple of exhibitions before we had to leave to go shopping. It was a pity as we had been enjoying it so much. All that geography - and history! Infotainment. After Wellington we signed up to do the Tongariro Crossing. It's a big hike through the National Park. It actually is really dangerous; lots of people have died doing it. The most recent was a woman 2 weeks ago. There are 3 volcanoes, still active, and the day before we did it a warning was put out about increased volcanic activity. But after all our camping in the van, we're well tough, so we donned our hiking boots and set off. It all started well, but one of the volcanoes erupted, and Kate lost a foot. But we just laughed and hobbled on. And then we reached the Devils Staircase. It was terrible, we both complained the whole way up it about how it was just not worth it. But when you're sitting on the edge of the crater of an active volcano, your bum nice and warm on the hot rocks, eating banana sandwiches, you start thinking it might just have been worth it. On the way down the other side, we passed the Emerald Lakes, which were Green (we don't know why but they were very pretty), walked over a huge sheet of ice and put up with a rotten egg smell from the steam coming out of all the rocks. It was brilliant. We stayed in National Park Village, were there was really nothing to do. But we made friends with a guy called Zeus. That's all really - we just wanted to get his name in. On Friday we headed further North to Lake Taupo where we had a big night out with some Irish people who were hoping to go see Ireland play the All Blacks in Auckland. Its on the day before we leave New Zealand so we're gonna try to get some tickets. On another note, everyone keeps asking us if we're twins. We had the whole bar convinced we were. Some girl even came up to us in the toilets and said "I wish I had a twin, you're so lucky". Its funny. Anyway, on Saturday, Bronagh went Skydiving. Kate would like to state, for the record, that she has already done one - just in case yous thought she was chicken (we'll not bring up the bungee...). Skydiving was brilliant, such a rush, and Ted Baker loved it. So, we're in Rotorua now, and it absolutely stinks. Literally. The whole place smells like rotten eggs. But its got lots of fun stuff, which we're going to do now. Cheerio.