Week 2(ish) New Zealand

We’re in March already and I have officially spend QUARTER OF A YEAR not at home. Quarter of a year since I slept in my own bed, or invaded my parents’ supply of Waitrose groceries in their kitchen, a kitchen with a fully functioning tin opener and no signs telling you to please wash and dry the dishes, because it makes you a cooler person (it doesn’t, it just makes you a decent person). At times I’ve wished I could spend time with my friends from home (at other times I’ve wished I could spend time with anyone at all!) but oddly, I don’t seem to be feeling more and more ready to come home as time goes on, it kinda goes up and down in waves. Every advert I see for a casual job makes me kinda wish I’d got a working holiday visa here, but really, how long before cleaning toilets gets boring, no matter how exotic the location? I am formulating a plot for travelling bout #2 already though…

And so, without further ado, here’s some exploits from the past week…

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Teapots at Auckland Lantern Festival, and the results of 2L of budget dishwash being squirted into the public fountain between Kitchener St. and High St.

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DSC01604  Ruakiri caves, Waitomo. I saw gloworms, but didn’t get any pictures of them because the flash makes them invisible. Here’s some pictures of pretty limestone formations we weren’t allowed to touch on pain of death. We ain’t in Vietnam anymore, toto. Below is a picture of some oyster fossils. Gloworms are pretty much the grimmest creatures in existence. (You might want to skip this bit if you’re eating).

When the eggs hatch, the strongest eats hundreds of his/her siblings, then becomes a larvae which feeds by trapping insects in gossamer-like strands and sucking out their brains. They attract the insects with their glowyness, which is actually the glowroms’ excretion process; they burn off their waste in a chemical reaction which produces a pretty light, like neon poo. Apologies to my more genteel readers, but it gets worse. After being a larvae and then cocoon (boring), the gloworms hatch as flies. Flies which have evolved with no mouth or digestive system. They reproduce, lay hundreds of eggs, and then die after a couple of days.

It’s nice being a human, eh?

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Above, not a witches couldron, but the boiling pools of mud caused by volcanic activity in one of Rotorua’s many parks. In the second picture they’ve decided to spruce up the pools with some fancy modern sculpture, but elsewhere, the park is a pretty regular park with trees and rose bushes and stuff. Looks lovely, smells like eggy farts.

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This here is Cathedral Cove (Right) and me looking all fresh, having not made the 35 minute hilly trek to Cathedral Cove. It was just as gorgeous as it looks in that picture; I swam in the sea for the first time in 4 years and was happy as a little otter 😀

We’ve got two nights in Taupo now, and we’ve got a sailing trip tonight. Because there’s so many of us on the Kiwi Bus we basically have enough people to charter the boat for two hours and go anywhere on the lake, but I think normally the company, Barbary Sailing, take you to see Maori carvings and they’ll grill sausages for you for an extra $5 apparently.

Some crazy people have been skydiving this arvo, and if you fancy skydiving in New Zealand, this is apparently the cheapest place to do it and you get views of all the mountains around Taupo lake. I’ll let you know if they all survived later* 😛

*Just kidding…

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