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Finally we all had to admit that it was time to make a mad dash for Auckland.

 

Step one:  catch the ferry in Picton for Wellington. 

  These guys were on our ferry too!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Step 2:   "Let's go Daddy, speed up a little bit, speed up a little bit, speed up a little bit, let's go Daddy speed up a little bit, only 685 km to go."

 

 

Waitomo

Okay, we had to stop somewhere, it may as well be where there is some black water rafting to do!  They call it black water.  We are not actually certain of the color of the water, as the cave was pitch dark!  The only thing we could really see was the glow worms, well Arachnocampa luminosa, to be exact.  These are photos taken by our guide, Rodney.

 

First, you need to put on your wetsuit, pre-wetted for your convenience.  This includes legs with bibs, a jacket and booties.  Then you'll need boots to protect your feet.  "My boots have huge holes in the toes."  That's okay, at least that way the water can drain out.  Then choose a helmet and synch it tight.  Now you drive for 10 minutes to a farmers field.  Here you pick up an inner tube, choose a good one!  (No idea what constitutes a good one, but don't let Anika choose for you - the one she chose sprung a leak.  "Put a finger in it,"  says Rodney.  You could hear it hissing insistently.  By the time we had floated along to a place where she could trade with Rodney, hers was a floppy piece of rubber!)  Next it is time for a little hike - 20 minutes over the hills and through the fields, then through the cave.  We were ready for a little water when we finally found it! 

 

Practicing our positions.                                                              Hiking

down she comes into the cave

The glow worm pearls                                                                    Those are not my feet - I have no future in the circus.

 

 

After Waitomo, we drove up to Auckland, dropping our friends off at the Auckland Airport.  We had two more nights in New Zealand, and these we spent in Auckland.  As it was the last day of our trip in an English-speaking country, we did a little book shopping.  Two days later we headed to the airport ourselves and flew off to Papeete, Tahiti in French Polynesia

 

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Last modified: 06/13/08