Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 31, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , Bay Of Plenty,
Sunday, October 21, 2012

After a windy and rainy night in our little cottage at the B&B in Waitomo, we left after breakfast for Rotorua which is about 2.5h away. Again the GPS treated us to the backroads on NZ for most of it. Before getting into town we drove past the place where we were supposed to Zorb the next day so we stopped in to see if we could do it a day early and they had no problem with it. How to explain zorbing to someone who has never seen it???? You are essentially put into a huge hamster ball with some water and rolled down a hill. Some of the hills go straight while others zig-zag back and forth. I can't remember where I had seen this in the past but it was high on my must do list for activities here. You have the choice of doing it dry where they strap you into a seat in the middle of the ball and roll you down, both Gina and I agreed that that was just bad news and not fun while with the wet on you are free inside the ball and slide along its walls due to the water. We got changed into our swimsuits and up the hill we went in a truck. At the top we had to wait in line as they sent you down one at a time. This was probably the worst part as the weather was cold, windy and it would rain on and off so you would get pretty cold waiting. For our first run we did the zig-zag course. It was nice being able to get in the ball as the put warm water in it and you were out of the wind. Then the gate opens and the ball slowly starts picking up speed. The best way to describe it once you get going is like going down a waterslide in the dark. You get so disorientated that you have no idea what is coming next and you can't clearly see out. The ball finally stops moving and at that point you can guess you are at the bottom. It was so much fun, I laughed the entire way down. For our second run we went on the drop run which they rate as their most intense run and for good reason. It starts off slow at the beginning, I even ended up stopped at on point and had to get myself rolling again but then things got violent. The ball started accelerating really fast the the far wall all of a sudden came straight at you as you crash into it followed by water up the nose and complete disorientation. That run was fun but now as good as the zig-zag. I went for a third run down the zig-zag while Gina caught it on video as she was pretty cold at that point. I had high hopes for Zorbing and it did not disappoint one bit. YouTube Zorb if you don't have a clue what I am talking about. After all that excitement we checked into our hotel. The weather which couldn't seem to make up its mind in the morning decided by afternoon that rain was on the agenda for the rest of the day and lots of it. We headed into town to go and see some of the geothermal activity the area is known for. We went for a walk in a downpour to see the bubbling mud pools and hot springs in one of the parks in the city which was free. We then went for a drive by the lake and down to more hot pools on the lakes edge. Due to all the sulphur Gina's first comment was looks like walking around at work! Since the rain showed no signs of letting up, we went for supper at a Thai restaurant which was very authentic and good.
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