Hi guys. It has been a while since my last blog, but that’s because I was too busy doing fun things and I have to admit that I was also a bit lazy…
While writing this blog I’m in Hokitika. It has been raining for 2 days now and the sky looks awfully grey (oh wait, our bus driver told us to call the sky ‘magical misty’ when it’s grey). But anyway, during these magical misty days it’s nice to sit inside, drink a hot cup of tea, listen to the rain hitting the roof, read a book and write a blog. I’ll try to keep it short and only tell you about our craziest adventures (yeah right). I probably won’t succeed.
So, my last blog ended up in Waitomo. We stayed there for 2 nights. We had a very good time with Violetta, a German girl who we met in Hot Water Beach. Together we took a nice walk (and hitchhiked the way back, I know, LAZY) and went to the bar in the evening.
The three of us moved on to Rotorua. When we arrived there I immediately thought “man, who is farting all the time?!”, because it smelled like rotten eggs out there, but I knew that no man was farting, the earth was. When you look around you in Rotorua you see spots where steam (or actually gas) comes out of the ground. It stinks like shit, but it’s pretty interesting and beautiful.
The first day in Rotorua we went to a Maori Village. It was a bit touristy, but it was interesting to see how the Maori people had lived. They prepared dinner for us, cooked inside the ground (the Maori way) and oh my, that was very tasty. They also played music for us, I really enjoyed that, it was very beautiful. I still want to buy a Maori CD. But the most entertaining part of that night was our bus driver. I think it was a 40 minute drive from Rotorua to the Tamaki Maori Village and he talked and talked all the way. He remembered all of our names and the countries we came from. That was already quite scary, because there were 30 people in the bus, and we only introduced ourselves quickly when we entered. But then he started calling our names, telling where we were from (without any help of a list or something like that), started talking to us and began singing a song in our language. He sang songs in Dutch, Swedish, Chinese, and so on! That man had the best memory ever, he was very talented, I was amazed. I don’t understand that he was just a bus driver… But he’s a good one, that for sure.
That night we had to say goodbye to Violetta and we promised to meet each other again in Germany or Holland.
The next day, Nicky and I sort of did our own thing. I really love to travel with her, but sometimes it’s good to be apart from each other for a little while. Nicky went for a walk and I relaxed by the lake. I made thousands of photos of black swans and listened to music. Nicky was very enthusiastic about the walk she did that day so another day she took me with her. And it was beautiful but also smelly. We walked passed a lot of spots were gas comes out of the ground and bubbling mud. It’s very weird, because it looked like the surface around those spots were made of strong rock and that it was safe to walk on them but it was not. We had to stay on the designed path, because the rocks were very thin and you could easily crack through them and land in boiling water.
In the parks in Rotorua were some warm footbaths were we sometimes went after a walk. One time a group of young boys (around the age of 14 I guess) came sitting near us and they were extremely showing off. It was so funny to watch them. They called each other by very original names, there was a: Bro, Little Bro, Big Bro, White Bro, Man Bro and so on. But we were quite surprised, cause these boys were actually nice. In Holland ‘gangs’ like that would probably insult you or something like that, but these boys were really nice and said things like: “Oh, are we too noisy? Cause if that’s so, we can sit somewhere else if you want us to”.
One day in Rotorua we took a tour to “the Shire” or “Hobbiton”, the movie set of the little Hobbit village from Lord of the Rings and it was so cool!! They have quite recently renovated the whole village and all the little Hobbit holes, because Peter Jackson and his bros are now filming The Hobbit. Unfortunately we can’t put the photos on the internet until the movie’s out (we had to sign a contract), so you are not able to see how cute and magical it was. But you don’t need my photos, because it was exactly like in the movie! The whole village was so real and beautiful, I want to live there…
One night in Rotorua we found a nice pub with live music. It was a cover band, and they were really good. We hang out with two bus drivers from the Stray (“is Gay!”) bus, (competition of the Kiwi Experience) and that was quite funny.
The morning we left Rotorua we found out that a guy was shot right in front of our hostel. It’s a good thing that we left. On the way to Taupo we met a Dutch girl, Margje. We stopped at a geyser park. Nicky didn’t go, she went for a walk in the Redwoods (where we already did a walk another day). In the geyser park we saw, of course, a geyser. Also some kiwis in the dark and we ate eggs that were boiled in a hot water source in the ground that had a constant temperature of a 100 degrees. Cool experience.
In Taupo we saw Emily again, an Australian girl we met in Hot Water Beach, ‘the Foo Fighter fan’. Nicky, Emily, Margje and I went to “the natural spa”. That was a spot in the river where the water of a hot waterfall (heated by a volcano) mixed up with the cold water of the river.
The next day was a day that I will never forget. Most people in NZ called that day the best day in this year’s summer, and, Nicky and I were going to skydive… Damn, I was nervous that morning, my god… I forced myself to eat some breakfast and I couldn’t remember anymore the reason why I chose to do this. When I entered our little pink plane, I knew that the only way back would be jumping out and for some reason I started to feel less nervous. (doesn’t sound logical, I know) Before the jump we had a 20 minute flight over the beautiful surroundings of Taupo. I guess that they were trying to torture us, but that didn’t work on me. Yes, I was nervous, but I still very much enjoyed the beautiful scenery. And then the moment came… Suddenly I saw people in front of me jumping out, and when I saw Nicky disappearing, for one small moment the only thing I could do was curse. But there was little time to be scared because before I realised, I sat on the edge of the plane (terrible moment) and then suddenly experienced a very very high speed free fall… WOW!!!! All my fears were gone and the only thing I could think of was WOW!!! I didn’t even care about the parachute opening or not. I just didn’t think about it. We were falling extremely fast and it’s just so weird looking to the ground… My ears really started to hurt, because they wouldn’t pop, but I didn’t care, this was the most amazing thing I did in my life, I couldn’t really believe it. When the parachute opened it was so relaxing. I was still full of adrenaline, but I loved flying above the amazing surroundings of Taupo… And when we landed I felt so amazing and proud, too bad though that it was over already.
I think it was the next day that we met a girl from our school, Bo. We were in the same year, but we were never really friends. She was also in New Zealand for a while and we met in Taupo. We cooked dinner, hang out by the river and the lake and spent lots of time in the McDonalds using the free WiFi…. We had a great time together and started a band (B3, inspired by the Dutch K3) haha. I think it would be very nice to meet again in Holland.
Another ‘crazy adventure’ was the Tongario Alpine Crossing. It is the most beautiful walk I ever did in my life. For 19,4 kilometres we walked up and down mountains and over volcanoes. At some lookout points that we reached after a tough climb I was amazingly overwhelmed by the beautiful views. I don’t think I ever had that before. Some places on the track had been the movie set of “Mordor” from Lord of the Rings, crazy to just walk through that. The walk was absolutely stunning. And very tough, but so worth it...
Two days after this, while still having sore feet from the walk, we hopped on the bus to a place that no one (not even a local kiwi) knew, River Valley.