Hey you guys .. How is it going back home in the cold ? He he he
Well we have made it to New Zealand, we arrived in Auckland on the 31st January and was
met at the airport by a member of Hannah's family, ( who she had never met till now). We spent the evening with Annabel and her family, which was fab. We even got to have a BATH,( luxury) its been yonks since we had one of those. ! Pure bliss. ! Annabel and Mike filled us in on some pointers for travelling in New Zealand, so we were all set and the following morning we headed to the Kiwi office in Auckland to pick up yet another BIG GREEN BUS.
Low and behold, who should we bump into at the Kiwi Office, Carol and Peter ..friends that we met in OZ. What a coincidence. So the first part of our journey, we spent with them.
You won't believe what we have been up to, since we last updated the website. Now where to start. Ah yes, we made it to Rotarua on 2nd February and the place smelt like rotten eggs. The place is full of sulphur and the lakes are boiling hot, so no taking a dip in them. We went for a walk in the park and in certain places there is steam coming up out of the ground and boiling hot mud !
Our night in Rotarua was spent at a Marae ( traditional Mauri village, which included a concert. Upon arrival at the Marae our Chief 'John' who was nominated on the bus enroute, had to go and meet a very scary looking Warrior, with a skirt and arrow who kept sticking his toungue out at everyone. We were told not to laugh as it offends, which as you can imagine was quite a mission to refrain. Hey and they taught us how to do the Haka, (The all blacks warrior dance). We had a traditional meal ( A Hangi ), so the food was steamed in the ground and a nice taste of soil to it. Only joking, it was nice actually. We then headed back to the youth hostel and our Mauri bus driver, had everyone singing! A good night out.
Next stop, Waitomo ... Wait till you hear what did here.... Well it included a nice looking wetsuit, white wellies and a torch light upon our heads. Hey and lets not forget a blown up, inner tube of a tyre. Yeah that was our form of transport. ! have you guessed yet.!?
We went pot holing .... We completed a three our trip in the caves of Waitomo and it was truly amazing. ! We had to jump off the edge of small waterfalls with our tyres firmly in place around our bottoms. ! We floated along these narrow corridors full of water and at certain points, we switched off our lights and looked up to the ceiling and what a sight. Thousands of glow worms, all glowing away in the dark. They looked like hundreds of stars in the sky. ! We had such a giggle doing this .... We came out of the caves, thinking OK so what can we do next ... ? Are you ready for this. ?
So the next stop was Taupo, it was looking cloudy upon arrival and we headed straight to the sky dive centre. ( yes you have read that right). Feeling a little nervous, we sat and watched a video of what happens once you go up in the plane. Easy peasy .. Mmmm.
So we were all set to go and next they tell us, its too cloudy and we couldn't make it that day. So come back tomorrow. ! ( So that would be another night with no sleep and dreaming about parachutes opening and not opening.). !
Next morning we awake, no way its still cloudy ! So we headed to the lake and sunbathed. We monitored the clouds for a bit and there was some blue sky starting to emerge. Apparently, you need a little blue sky to allow the divers to see where there going. !
Come the afternoon, we were back at the Sky Dive centre .. feeling extremley nervous and quite frankly quite sick too. We got kitted up in our red suits, had our harness's attahced and we were introduced to our camera men and divers. oooh hang we have forgotten the bit, where Hamish got strapped to Hannah's left arm and Shelley got Teddy bear strapped to her chest. !
Legs like jelly we walked to the plane .. were we really all going to fit in it ?. It looked tiny, so in we hopped and the camera men kept wipping the camera in our faces ... Yes our faces are white with fear, you don't need to get any closer. 9000 feet gone, 10,000 feet gone, will we ever make it to 12,000 feet. The scenery in the plane was just amazing ! 12,000 feet we are here and the door of the plane is opened. Oh my god are we mad or what ?
Shelley Bell goes first, she gets a kiss blown from me and my diver who is now attached to me behind. She is sat in the door way of plane, with her head on her divers shoulder and her legs swinging underneath. ! One minute she is there and the next I can see her, flying down below us.
Oh Lord, its my turn .. If you can lip read, you aren't watching the video of me jumping out the plane. Put it this was, it was a scary and moving moment all in one. So there we go , I shortly followed Shelley. Hamish thoroughly enjoyed the jump and now he thinks he can FLY , just by flapping his ears! The scenery over the lake and mountains were just fantastic and we both reckon everyone in the world should do a sky dive. Its Sweet AS.
Next stop River Valley, where we hoped to do some White Water Rafting. Slight problem though, there is a water shortage going on there at the moment. So thats on hold till we get near Christchurch now. As it turned out, we had a big night that night ( Sparkly hat night) at this youth hostel and we couldn't of managed a rafting trip the next morning anyway. !
We have met some really cool people on this trip ( lots of farmers, its been fab ...) and one of the lasses we have met from Guernsey is now coming to Fiji with us. She is even going to buy a sparkly hat !
Shelleys mum you had best sit down when you read the next bit ... Your daugther is getting married. ! Michelle marrys Michel... ( Both names are pronounced the same .. How cool is that.) So we thought, what a perfect match ... Michelle will you take Michel to be your lawful wedded husband. Don't worry we will post the photos on the website soon of the big day. (by the way, she has been swimming in the river again .. at night... after one or six bottles of wine. !
So that brings up to the South Island, we are here already .. situated in a town called Nelson. We have been sunbathing today ( its really hot .. Yipee) .. It is a day off the bus. So you know what happened last night .. It was a sparkly hat night again. !
Tomorrow we are swimming with seals, but we will tell you more about that another time. !
Well thats it folks, from her and me....
So long and farewell from
ESSEX and COWBOY.
( Can you guess who is who ?)