Activity Day

Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
Trip End Oct 01, 2008

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

As if the flat tire wasn't enough, my phone apparently reset itself last night and I'm awoken to "Don't worry about a 'ting" at what turns out to be 4am... but only realize that fact after getting all ready and heading to the lobby!  Grrr... I wake up a second time and realize that I have to deal with my flat tire to start the day!  I go to auto shop where they realize that the axle actually broke, or the brake snapped, or something much worse than a flat tire whatever it was... I was really lucky that I didn't hit anything when I veered off the road!!!  Lucky for me, it was a rental car and Budget meets me at the auto shop with a replacement car (a serious upgrade at that) in less than 10 minutes.  I'm back on the road in my sharp new red Ford by 8:30am!

First stop, the alpine luge.  I had done something similar to this in Canada as a kid, but this was way more extreme.  The luge goes as fast as you want it to and there are really sharp turns and not much in the way of protection.  I manage to avoid the tarmac despite having a most thrilling 3 rides down the mountain.

Next, I move on to the Agrodome where I meet two Irish girls (Anna and Nikki) at a ride called the Agrojet.  The Agrojet is basically a souped up jet boat that rides around like a go-kart in a small circuit with many different paths.  The only thing exciting about it is that it goes a good 80mph and then stops on a dime and heads the another direction in the snap of a finger!  The driver is amazing and never touches the narrow canal sides.

Moving on to the Swoop, the three of us are harnessed into sleeping bag type contraptions, laced together and then hoisted up to some ungodly height before it is my elected duty to pull a rip cord. 

I had no idea what I was doing when I pulled the cord, but we proceeded to fall towards the earth at a mere 180 kmph before "swooping" back up into the sky... not quite like a bungy jump, but scarily similar from what I deduce!  I reaffirm that I have no interest in bungy jumping...

Believe it or not, it is still just 10am and we are off to the Zorb... What great names, huh?  The zorb is a big plastic ball that you are zippered into the middle of after water is put in it and then you are hurled down a hill bouncing around like a shoe in a dryer.  I manage to get up a bit and propel the ball with my feet but am quickly tossed on my rear and lose all orientation quickly on the unfortunately short ride.  I really enjoy the thrill but wish it had lasted at least three times longer!

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, we are off to do some white water rafting and sledging (white water rafting on a boogie board essentially) on the Kaituna River.  The tour starts with an impromptu volleyball game at the office and my height comes into play as the Kiwi guides aren't used to anyone being remotely tall.  The white water is nothing but Class V including a 21 foot waterfall that submerses the entire raft and everyone on it before resurfacing further on down the river.  The rush of falling into the rapids when a fellow rafter inadvertently falls into me is only surpassed by the sheer beauty of the surrounding forests. 

As if I hadn't done enough yet, I decide that a hair cut and shave are in order as even my little sister is making comments about my scruffy mcscrufferson beard action.  I shave for the first time in over a month and head to a Polynesian spa to relax after a tough day.  The sulfur pools smell horrible but feel so good and I enjoy the naturally bubbling hot tubs for a good hour before heading back to the base to shower and get ready for the night's activities. 

Dinner is done after a Mauri (traditional Kiwis) culture show and hangi dinner.  Hangi is the term used for the traditional method of cooking in a hole in the ground.  The all-you can eat buffet is almost as good as the dance show proceeding it.  I fall asleep a happy yet exhausted guy...
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