01.11.2011 - 03.11.2011 20 °C
Hi, Chris back again. So much for my break from blogging, had to spend hours uploading Jaynes last entry!!
From Thames we decided to head to a place called Hahei which was right out on the coast and was supposed to be a beautiful place with stunning scenery so seemed worth a trip. Feeling adventurous we didnt book accommodation and hopped on the first bus without any idea of how to get to our final destination. Ben our new french friend fancied a bit of random fun too so decided to join us for a bit. Off the bus we managed to grab a ferry for $2 to the other side of the harbour and then got a private bus to Tatui Lodge. The woman on the bus was really friendly and even stopped off at a local winery so we could try some of their wines, vodka's and rums with the crazy owner who told us stories of mauri culture and treasures he'd collected throughout his life. Slightly worse for wear (at 9am!!) we continued on to the Tatui Lodge. It was a beautiful lodge and Jayne and myself scored a double room for the same price as a dorm as they had no other beds (good times!). The weather was pants, it was raining and quite chilly but we decided to go for a walk to the famous Cathedral Beach Cove anyway as staying in after coming all this way was not an option. We all put on our water proofs and headed out to the amused looks of the other people in the lodge who thought we were quite mad. It was a 45 minute walk in rain and wind but it was broken up by friendly bulls and goats smiling at us through their fence wire
As we made our way down the coastal path it stopped raining and the sun tried to come out. The Caves were amazing and although they were roped off for danger of falling rocks, we went in anyway!
Well worth the windy and wet walk to the beach. (PS. This is apparently the beach from the film Nania!?)
A warmer and dryer walk back got us to the lodge fairly early evening and in time to eat more noodles and teach Ben how to play jenga while drinking vodka polish style!
Got up at 5:30am as somehow last night it seemed like a good idea to organise a trip to Hot water beach for low tide. Ben and I were going to cycle using some free bikes from the lodge while Jayne ran there (about 6k). Luckily we bumped into a friendly german who offered us a lift there so me and Ben accepted while Jayne still decided to run. It was bizare being on a beach at 6am digging holes to find a thermal spring while the sun came up.
We found a really hot spot where the water was actually bubbling out of the ground at 65 degrees C so even with cold water from the sea rushing over us it was bloody hot! We spent about an hour playing around until the tide was coming too far in and leaving us no beach left to dig. So with red asses like baboons from the hot water we got a lift back by the friendly german. I also managed to get him to agree to take us back to the ferry a bit later on so we could catch the bus back past Thames and onto Tuaranga.
On the ferry we saw a shark circling the boat so Jayne decided it was not worth saving the $2 swimming across the bay!
Spent the rest of today mostly travelling from HaHei to Tuaranga and checked into the YHA again after a long walk to 'Pack n Save' to buy a salad for dinner (and of course more noodles and cereal bars!).
Our route to Roturua would take us through Hamilton as we decided it was the quickest way and would also take us via Waitomo Caves. The very nice lady called Lyn on the YHA reception helped us plan the next few days and spent ages booking our coaches and accommodation. We also booked a very expensive trip into the caves which involves 4.5 hours and a 100 foot rappel into a giant cave!! (cant wait for that tomorrow!). Thanks Lyn!
The buses were small and the people were smelly but 4 hours later we eventually made it to Hamilton and another YHA. This one was not very nice at all and more like a converted house, but we got a room with just Jayne, Ben and myself in so that was a plus. Watched a movie on the laptop (called nine dead - don't bother, it was shit!) and a fairly early night as tomorrow we have a bus to Waitomo and our big cave adventure called 'The Lost World!'. Luckily I've managed to wash some pants so should have a few pairs for the decent!!