Who does that?
Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
171Trip End Oct 01, 2008
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The rest of the walk includes gurgling mud pools, steaming waterfalls, hot lakes, bubbling pools, and various other naturally alien evidence of the most active volcanic region in the world. The names of the various sites include Devil's Ink-Pots, Artist's Palette, Devil's Home, Thunder Crater, Frying Pan Flat, Oyster Pool, Inferno Crater, Champagne Pool and Devil's Bath... see the trend?
Fluorescent colors are present everywhere and each represents the presence of a different mineral elements (Green/yellow - sulfur, Orange - Antimony, White - Silica, Purple - Manganese Oxide, Red-Brown - Iron Oxide, Black - Carbon). This place is not on the same earth as I know... I'm amazed at the colors, the level of thermal activity and sheer magnitude of the volcanic eruptions that have created such foreign conditions.
Advancing to Taupo, we find accommodation and we meet a Swedish girl who wants to go bungy jumping and needs another for the free DVD. I am having so much fun that I decide to join her and book the package on a whim. We show up and it all becomes way too real when I see the ~150 drop.
Before I have a chance to think about what I just did, I have a flight suit on and am heading up to 15,000 feet for a sky dive!!!!
It is 10x scarier, but also 10x more rewarding than the bungy and I will have trouble putting it into words. Lucky enough I have a dvd of both experiences so you can see it for yourself when the trip is over (not going to work to post them to the blog unfortunately).
One of the cooler things I learn about Taupo is that the lake I sky dove over was actually a crater from a volcano that erupted in 186 AD. The volume of the ash and debris released by the eruption was at least 10 times more than Krakatoa and Mt. St. Helens, combined! The Chinese noted a blackening of the sky and the Romans recorded that the heavens turned blood-red after the eruption. Today, the rage of the volcano is only evidenced by an absolutely gorgeous landscape surrounding a peaceful lake.
Dinner is taken with a huge adrenaline rush still in effect and I'm asleep early as we have signed up for a hike up Mt. Doom in the morning.