|Thurs 2/9 Cloudy/Sunny/Showery
Mighty tired this morning, and still no sign of Jay when I got up!! The rain has stopped, but the sky is very grey! On the bus now heading south to Waitomo. Saw Nick & Neil fromt he bar as I walked for the bus, they were just coming home from last nights session - both very drunk! We had a group hug - no mean feat with my back pack, and they staggered off to bed - the joys of youth!
Well, well, well, we;ve just stopped at Rangiri for coffee - small old world - the chap (spitting image of John Tyres) that owns the place we stopped at is from Derbyshire, and was in the UK last year, and stayed at the Wentworth!!!He he!! He gave me the telephone directory for Tokoroa, so I'm going to try my damndest to get in touch with Simon & Bryce, two guys I used to work with 19 years ago! I've got 6 phone numbers, all different initials, but hopefully someone is related......
Got to Waitomo at 11am, I'm at the YHA Hostel tomnight, it's lovely and NO BUNK BEDS! So won't be shaken/rattled & rolled tonight! Went past an emu & ostrich farm just outside Wai(water tomo (hole) and the sun is out now! Hoorah!!
I'm going on a 'Spellbound' tour this afternoon, which includes floating through the glowworm caves, and I've decided that tonight, seeing as I've lost some weight since leaving the US (and got better digestion too!!!) to treat myself to 'fush n chups' tonight. Waitomo is very small, there's really nothing here, but white water rafting, abseiling etc, and the glow worm caves - apparently the main cave sees up to 3000 people a day in the summer!!
The tour was excellent, there was only 3 of us on it, me and an older couple - originally from the UK - now live in South Africa. Paul, the guy that took us out is a geologist, so I now know all about rock formations & stuff!! WE drove for 1/2hr down/up/round tracks, then walked down some big hills, collecting snials (!?) on the way. At the bottom was a large stream type of thing, where we stopped and fed the snials we had brought to some eels! They were so tame, they would put their head right out of the water & take the food from between your fingers!
We were then in the caves for approx 1.5 hrs, walking and then rafting. Even stopped and had a coffe & a bicky under there, in the pitch black, whilst our eyes adjusted to the dark (except for glow worm light!). When we got off the raft, we could see well enough with no light to negotiate our way back to the entrance! The glowworms were ace, if a bit yucky when you see them in the light! A very well spent $40 one feels!
Went to the pub (the ONLY pub!) and it was very unwelcoming to start with (Mauri family), but they warmed up, and the evening was OK in the end. One of the guys is going to run me up to Juno (the Hostel I'm at tomorrow - they're full tonight) in the morning, coz it's a long walk into nowhere with my back pack!!!
No luck contacting Simon & Bryce, for some reason I can't get a decent line here through my phonecard!!! Peed off!!!! Spoke to one guy who though Bryce was a carpet fitter he knew, and then the phone just cut me off, so went to another phone, and the line was just a crackle, etc etc!! Anyway I shall try again when I get to Rotorua. I've got the room to myself tonight - bloody luxury after last nights jiggy jiggy!!
Fri 3/9 Sun/Showers
Up and ready for my lift at 9am, waited till 9.10am in the rain, and then walked..... another near heart attack!! Wait till I see him tonight!! I'm staying at a wonderful palce - Juno - with horses, pot belly pigs, sheep, l;ambs, calves, deer, big fluffy white cat - I'm in my element! Looks like I may have a room to myself tonight too, it's very quie...
By 10am the weather looked better, so set off ont he three hour tramp, which is supposed to be very scenic. Slipped & slid to the upper view point, then started going down a track which was a pure mud slide, & thought mebbe better give up before I go arse over tit! So had some lunch n chilled out this afty.
Went to the pub at 5pm, and staked my palce by the fire, with the dog & the cat! Torch at the ready for the walk back (it's dark by 6.15pm)
Observations over here - they have three types of loo's - lady's gent's and mixed!!! There are no squirrels! Fags & Beer are UK prices!
Got a big apology from my mate, he slept in this morning, but bought me a beer, so all is forgiven! Saw Carly, a girl I shared with in Auckland, but she's mad as a hatter, so refrained form drinking with her! Met a lovely couple called PAula & Chris from Aus, who have invited me to stay at their beach place just south of Brisbane, which will be nice.....Came back by torchlight, crunching snails en route, to find a hostel full of Japs!!! My room is now full - 2 German girls & 2 Dutch girls, all really nice, we all had a 'travel chat' and bed by 9.30pm!