Caving, Skydiving, Death Hike

Trip Start Feb 06, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Saturday, February 19, 2011

The last few days have been busy to say the least.  I went caving in Waitomo and saw heaps of glow worms while riding an inner tube through an underground network.  This is definitely not for anyone who gets claustrophobic easily!  We then spent the night in Maketu for a special Maori culural experience.  We got to stay in a whanau (family) marae (meeting house) and met some of the local people from the Arawa tribe.  The guys learned the Haka (what the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team chant before each game) and the girls learned this lame dance which involved the poi (a ball on a long string).  Good times! To top it off, we experienced communal sleeping.  All 30+ of us slept in the marae on mattresses.  I can't believe I even got any shuteye that night! The next morning, we stopped off in Rotorua and dropped off some people who were going to white water raft in the morning.  I opted to pass since I've done it before in Costa Rica and also because I signed up to go skydiving in the afternoon in Taupo.  Yes, you heard me right.  Trust me, this was not on my list of things to do in New Zealand!  One of the cheapest places in the world to skydive is NZ because it is cheaper to operate light aircraft here.  I'm not a big fan of freefall and I really don't know what possessed me to sign up but I'm sure glad I did!  I threw myself out of an airplane at 15,000 feet and loved every second of it (60 seconds to be exact)!  Only the initial fall was scary but the rest of it was amazing!  I even got a DVD with my "fall" so I'll be sending it home with Cynth in case any of you want to watch it!  It may not be the last time I skydive :)  After staying overnight in Taupo, we made our way to Tongariro National Park this morning.  I signed up to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is rated as one of the world's best one day walks.   I couldn't NOT do it!  The hike took about 8 hours and we walked all 19.4 km of it!  Freakin amazing but so so tired.  We got to see all the different spots where they filmed Lord of the Rings and the scenery was beyond spectacular.  Definitely one of the most amazing walks I've done!    Off to Wellington tomorrow.  Loving NZ so far!
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bter on

You so crazay!!! Happy to hear that you are making the most out of your adventuring, beautiful photos btw :) That hike looks amazing, gotta put that one down on the bucket list. Keep livin' it up ladyface!

Lisa on

Hooray!! You did the black water rafting AND a skydive. Make sure you save some energy for Aus! It's getting close and we can't WAIT to see you xx

Ah Sa on

Hi Clod! Thanks for allowing us to live vicariously through your adventures. Have you taken any pics with random Chinese people yet?
Judging from your photos, you're doing really well in accomplishing your "smile more" goal. :) Big thumbs up.
Happy travels!

Mr. Sparkle on

Good job! Nothing like deciding to sky dive on a whim. The moment when you peer over the ledge from the plane is such a rush! The Maori culture is so fascinating, wouldn't have wanted to meet those warriors in the olden times... never knew NZ was so cool. Thanks for updating.

Raf on

Whenever we ask Logan where Auntie Claudia is he tells us that you are traveling. Hope your having a blast!

Mr. Sparkle on

Whoa, just heard about Christchurch. You were in Wellington, right?

AC on

You've got fabulous pictures ... very impressed you did the sky diving! Good for you! very jealous of you right now but so happy that you are having the time of your life! keep us posted!

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