Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Since we were by the longest river in NZ, the Waikato, river activities are plentiful. We were all happy, that after a night of solid rain, there were breaks on the clouds. The team had signed up for a couple of these river activities the day before, so off we went to gear up and meet our jet boat driver, Pete (not to be confused with our tour driver, Pete I. Some of us (the smarter ones) could wear their regular clothes and shoes. The rest of is were in bathing suits and crocs.
All of us donned waterproof capes and life jackets and climbed aboard "the Boss", as Pete affectionately called this boat... A cute little thing with a Chevy 383. We had a scenic ride down the river with commentary on flora,fauna and historical notes. Soon, the first and most sensible group (Nan,Linda, and Pete I) departed for a walk around the magnificent thermal reserve, to see boiling mud,geysers, and silica terraces. The rest ventured on to the walk thru the Tutukau Gorge. Since I was a part of this group,I can give a first hand account. We departed the boat with only our bathing suits on and started "wading through waist deep, warm water while you immerse yourself in stunning native New Zealand bush". This was taken verbatim off the flyer. In actuality, we slid, climbed,swam and made our way up a very narrow slot lined with boulders, ferns,moss. I kept my mind on the fact that NZ does not have any snakes, but then our guide,Pete II, mentioned there were huge eels in that area. Also we could not see the bottom, and at times, I could not even feel bottom. We had some areas where it was hard to decide which area of the body to suck in, as we literally had to squeeze between slippery rock walls to keep going. In one spot we just barely had our head above water to facilitate the squeeze. The reward for all this was a wonderful thermal pool with 2 huge waterfalls pounding down on us giving us thermal waterfall massages! I do not have pictures of the squeeze, but we all looked pretty slithery, prune wrinkled, and soaked! Believe it or not, it was fun.

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