Monday, July 15, 2013

Going Underground

We all gathered in the morning for breakfast at the hotel. The "cooked" breakfast (as opposed to the continental) was two fried eggs, two hash brown patties, grilled tomatos and mushrooms, a breakfast sausage and two strips of bacon, in addition to everything you could eat from the continental. Fully stoked for a long day, we took the opportunity to avoid a rainy and windy day by going underground, first at the Raikuri cave, then the Waitomo Glowworm cave, then the Aranui Cave. Lots of beautiful rock formations, built by the dripping of water over time, in all of them. The glow worms were quite beautiful, especially on the final boat road in Waitomo Cave, and I even got to see a weta (giant cricket).

The cave trekking took up most of the day, but we decided that Law and I and Michele couldn't leave New Zealand without at least seeing a kiwi bird, so we drove to the Kiwi House in Otorohanga and visited the juveniles they have in captivity there. The rest of the grounds are also a quite interesting bird sanctuary, which afforded us the opportunity to see an lot of other native creatures without a trip to the bush. Photography of the kiwis is not allowed, but we got to spend a bit of time watching them and talking with one of the curators who feeds and cares for them. I'll share the image of the giant one we ran down in the car park (pronounced cah pahk).

After our kiwi experience, we headed off to Rotorua, driving through a bit of snow that was falling, and arriving after dark. A quiet night, spent trying to rest up from a bit of respiratory crud I've picked up along the way. Trying local remedies.

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