The Glowworm Caves of Waitomo
Trip Start Aug 22, 2006
23Trip End Nov 19, 2006
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Ok - next stop was Waitomo. Checked into yet another 5* YHA hostel called KiwiPaka. My dorm room had 4 single beds (normally they have 4 bunk beds) so that was nice. Buzz then took us all to the Ruapahi Natural Walk - well I think it's called Ruapahi. It was like a scene out of Jurassic park - lush vegetation, caves with underground streams. Felicity, Emily and I mucked about for about an hour in the caves and then took a scenic walk along the Waitomo Walkway back to the hostel. Bits of it were SOOO Sound of Music, so naturally we burst into song! "The Hills are ALiiiiiive with the sound of Mooooouuuuusic!"
It was great!
That evening, I had a fright
The Internet machine had a CD burning facility, so uploaded my photos onto the computer and... here's the stupid bit... DELETED the pictures from my camera BEFORE I had burnt the CD. Imagine my horror when I found that actually several functions had been disabled and I had no access to my photos that were now on the computer! I almost cried. Wait a minute.. I did cry!
Felicity came and found me in this clearly distressed state. Fortunately, she is a software programmer and worked some magic on the computer (well anyone who can work a computer has got to be a Magician) and saved the day!!! So I've posted some photos of her on the site! Oh hail the great Flick!
Next day, we split into 3 groups to explore the glowworm caves. My group took the more sedate (cheaper) option of a guided tour through the limestone caves which ended with a boat tour in the darker sections. Our guide was called Garth - gorgeous Maori with a lovely broadcasters voice. He could be a film star. He said I was the first Ugandan he had ever met in the 15 years he's been working here. I felt special...
One of the sections of the tour was a huge Cathedral-like cave, called funnily enough "The Cathedral!" Garth explained that people get married here.
"I got married here"
The faces of all the females in the group (who had been fantasizing about a wedding to Garth in this exact same spot, simulataneously fell!
Maybe he is a widower?
Earlier in the day, Buzz had explained to us that 'Pekare' is the term Maoris use for white foreigners
So I guess that makes me Maori? SWEET AS!!!
The glowworms looked like a thousand stars. Beautiful! They aren't even worms you know. Just the larvae of some insect that I don't know the name of - something Latin - Arach...something.. because of the way they catch their prey. The light from the 'tails' attracts other insects which are then trapped by some sticky substance. They are drawn in and eaten by the 'worm'. The larvae stage lasts 9 months. The adult only lasts like 5 days - just long enough to reproduce and die!
Met a couple of the locals at the Waitomo tavern. They were VERY drunk. Conversation started out alright and then it disintegrated into the sizes of a particular part of the males anatomy. Kiwis were under the impression that theirs were quite grand, compared to their English cousins, and would I like to see them? I put on my best sneer (yes Ngonzi, that one) and pointed out to them that I'm hardly likely to be impressed as I was from Africa and there's wouldn't even come close to those of my Brothas! "Need I say more?"
And before I drag this blog even further into the gutter I'll stop here!