Wow, Waitomo!

Words and pictures cannot begin to describe how incredible this day has been…but I’ll try! (There are photos, but have to wait to get them off a jump drive. I promise, coming soon! )

After a lovely morning in Auckland collecting snacks and sunscreen for the road, we headed down the gentle, rolling road to Waitomo to take The Black Abyss tour of the glow worm caves with Black Water Rafting company.

It began much as you expect it would- meeting our tour guides, putting on stinky wet suits and boots, strapping on helmet…then they took us to a hole in the middle of a farmers field. There they trained us on abseiling  (rappelling ) and general safety concerns. Then it was down the hole into the cavern. I could only look straight ahead and push off the stone in front of me because I knew I couldn’t look down. The adventure just kept coming. Zip line through the dark to a table in the cavern, that we had to jump 8 feet down into water holding on to a tube. That water was icy! 11 degrees C which I have been to lazy to convert to F, but I can tell you this – I was happy to have my stinky wetsuit. This tour was not for the feint of heart. We crawled through narrow passages, slid down a dam, interacted with some nosey eels, scrambled up the most ridiculous places to finally at the end…

Climb up through, yes, through two waterfalls. We’re talking water pouring down 25 foot chasm that we had to climb up and through to finish. We were both thankful for the climbing experience we had at the indoor rock gym, or we would have had an even more difficult time making it up. When we made it through, all we could think was, holy crap, did we just do that?

We are staying the night at the lovely cabins of Te Tiro. I can’t wait to show you guys this vast tumbling countryside with sprawling views. Incredible. And the host, Rachel, was so warm and showed us all their private accessible landmarks, including their very own glow worm grotto. I could write pages about this place.

For dinner, we went to a place called Huhu. It was recommended highly by both our guide and our host. It was one of the best meals we have ever had. In our top 10 restaurants ever. Kevin had a roasted duck leg butternut squash mashed potatoes and I had lamb curry with coconut rice. We finished it with their molten chocolate cake with lemon curd ice cream with raspberry coulis. Happy Valentines day to us!

We truly still can’t believe how amazing this day has been and can only imagine what lies ahead.

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