When in New Zealand, get your adrenaline rush. Plan one was skydiving, plan two was flying a helicopter and glacier trekking. Neither manifested due to weather. So, black water rafting it was! So surreal. Took a train then hiked through the rainforest to the mouth of the cave and then explored for an hour before rafting through its dark passageways. Stalagmites/stalactites and fossils that were millions of years old lined the cave’s walls, which opened up to reveal a spread of glow worms above. They were even more spectacular than Te Anau.
Rafting had its mildly terrifying moment when the new guide — a 25-year-old from Germany — took us down the section of the river that the older guide had explicitly told us not to go down. You could hear the rush of water around the bend that I immediately built up in my head as a waterfall’s death sentence when we bailed out of the rafts and struggled across the strong current to the other side of the river.
Post rafting, we drove the rest of the way up the west coast. I still haven’t been sleeping (most know that I can pretty much sleep on command, any time, any place) — which is mostly due to how excited I’ve been about whatever it is that I’m doing the following day. I think it was because of this severe sleep deprivation that today I found myself laughing to the point of tears at about absolutely nothing in particular. Apparently contagious, this got Nick laughing hysterically until everything got out of control and he ordered me to take a nap in the car. He threatened to put on an audio book re software engineering so I listened. Got in a few zzz’s, which is going to be essential for tomorrow’s trek. Abel Tasman here we come, rain or shine…
All photos courtesy of Underworld Rafting.