Day 5: Rotorua to Taupo

Trip Start Aug 04, 2012
Trip End Aug 20, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Thursday, August 9, 2012

Apparently today was one of the best included breakfasts. I don't actually remember what it was, but my journal says it was awesome, so I guess it was awesome (Edit: Jessie informs me that there were pancakes involved, so that explains it, haha).

Today, we made our way to Taupo. The first place we stopped on the way was a place called "Craters of the Moon," where we could see some of the geothermal activity that goes on in this part of New Zealand. We saw a bunch of steam coming out of the ground, and there were some hot pools of mud and things like that. It was pretty cool.

The next place we stopped was Huka Falls. The water here was flowing really fast and it was such a pretty blue! Bridget ran out into the woods while we were here and came back with a silver fern that she passed around the bus. The silver fern is a symbol of New Zealand (and their rugby team, the All Blacks).

Once we got close to Taupo, we dropped off the people doing the Rock'n Ropes course. Apparently we were only two people away from setting a record for the most Contiki people to do it, but no one else on the bus was willing to spend $65 just to break a record. Gilbert was mad that we wouldn't do it.

Those of us who didn't do it got dropped off in town for about four hours. Lisa, Jenn, Louise, Jo, and I went to a cafe where I got my first french toast of the trip. It was awesome and even had banana slices with it. We sat and talked there for a long time, and then we went costume shopping for the people who were going on the cruise later. The theme was "What I want to be when I grow up," and Louise chose a pilot, Lisa was a construction worker, Jo was an old lady, and Jenn was "on vacation."

Once everybody was settled with their costumes, we went for frozen yogurt. I got "all berry" because I couldn't decide on a flavor, and it ended up being really good. Then, at the last minute before we had to be back on the bus, Jo decided that we needed to run down to the grocery store for some apples. We had so much time to kill that it was funny how she waited until the last 15 minutes to decide she neeeeeded apples. We still made it back to the bus on time, though, so it was fine.

Most people did the cruise tonight, and Jessie was the only other person I knew who wasn't doing it. She needed to do laundry and stuff, so I just watched TV in my room (I was sharing with Steph and Erin, who were both on the cruise) until she was done, and then we went to dinner. We ate at the hotel restaurant. Neither of us was super hungry, so Jessie just ordered garlic bread, and I ordered fettuccine off the kids menu. We had no idea if we were supposed to tip or not, so we did, and then we found out later that apparently they don't tip in New Zealand??? But it wasn't a lot of money anyway, so whatever. At least the waiter was nice, so he deserved it, haha. Then Erin and I went to bed nice and early so we could be well rested for Wellingtonnnn~
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