Heading South

Trip Start Jun 30, 2004
Trip End Feb 14, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, October 7, 2004

Hi All

The way back down was quick. We stopped and did a lot of hiking through rainforest to see the Kauri trees. They only grow in New Zealand, and think they have been there since the year of Jesus. The tree's are not too tall, but the trunks were massive in diameter. It looked like a building. Seriously.

Went back to Auckland for the night. Ulli put "Operation Pikey" into effect as she steals much needed cutlery from her old hostel. Suzanne has washed all of our clothes for free with a cunning trick she learnt to rig a washing machine. Mark and me are using the showers. Its all very sneaking past the guards and waiting until 8pm to make a move etc. Went out for a slap up steak, before I spent 12hrs on the Internet from 11pm to 10am, doing dorky stuff, researching (i did a lot of research) and other randomness. Only cost me $14 (about 4 quid). Bargain!! The next day was off again travelling south. Ulli and I spent all day in the back of the van sleeping. The weather is pretty much crappy and 'England' like all the time.


Now we seeing some interesting stuff. We went to Rotorua. Its a pretty cool looking little town. Kinda like all the others in that its small and everyone knows everyone. This is also where they have the famous Geysers, bubbling mud pools and natural hot springs. Being as there is a lot of volcanic activity, there are a lot of natural hot springs. These are everywhere, in peoples gardens, up in the mountains etc. I was looking at a drain in the street and you can hear the water boiling underneath the road. So the steam from the water, is all over the town. Unfortunately, the whole town stinks of rotten eggs, due to the sulphur being carried up from the volcano's (there are a lot of volcano's in NZ). Now this is okay for novelty value, but after a while I hated getting out of the van, just so I didn't have to breath it all in. Seriously, its been the worst part of my whole trip. Does the whole town, not realise that they live in Stinkyville?

Spent an afternoon in some hot springs, which is awesome. The water is pumped from the nearest hot spring into the pools and the rest is controlled by temperature (the amount of cold water they put in). It was kinda cool, but dipping your head under the water would leave you smelling eggs for ages. Also went to a Mauri night, in some hotel in town. Yours truly was called from the audience of us four and a heard of noisy Japanese, to start of the show. I just had to pick up some leaf. The girl that pulled me from the audience had this massive Mauri tattoo going right across her chest, which was wicked to look at. Ha Ha. So they did some love story, loads of poi spinning and a Haka (the dance the all blacks so before playing rugby). I got called out of the audience again (Seriously, I'm sitting at the back next time) and tried to do some sorry excuse for a Haka on stage, with the hot tattooed chest girl watching the whole time. Blew my chances there!!!

Also went to see a famous Geyser in a national park. It was cool (still smelling of eggs though) and spraying water everywhere. There were some pretty cool mud pools as well. I had always wanted to see these. They rock, but the smell is annoying........and I saw a Kiwi bird. They're a bit of an endangered species, so the one's in the sanctuary, were the only ones available for viewing. I must have missed the 'DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF THESE BIRDS' sign, as I have one on my camera.

Living in the van is still as interesting as ever. Mark argues with everyone (except me - he knows what's best for him) and has an explosive temper. He thinks he's always right and speaks to the girls like a piece of shit. I'm just waiting for him to start on me. It makes things interesting at least.


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