The land of the long white cloud

Waitomo Travel Blog

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The joys of sleep! After a 21 hour flight with a 10 hour complete waste of time at Hong Kong airport we arrive at Auckland int. Flaky, undernourished and sleepdeprived. It's about 9 in the morning. The sun is out and the bird's are singing as the New Zealand border patrol wastes no time on finding contrabande, weapons or plastic explosives. Instead they focus on orange peels, food of any kind and what we got in trouble for.. dirt under our boots.

After going through a santized cordoned off area we are put through tests and scrutiny. Ultimately Ilja's boots are taken away. ..To be cleaned by the customs official. He even put in in a pretty plastic baggy for her. I had to march on a soapy pillow and wipe them clean on a neatly spread towel. Welcome to the land of the long white cloud.

We take the shuttle or Air bus as they're called into Aukland city and end up where all the other backpackers inevitably end up. The Queen Street Backpackers Hostel. We drop our stuff. After a quick soft drink on a sunny terace in the harbour, we buy necessaties. Water and cookies and granola bars at the supermarket and conk out.

16 hours later we emerge from our deep dreamless coma's in time for breakfast. Our main preoccupation today is buying rucksacks or "tramp-packs" as they are reffered to here. I stubbornly demanded we haul our stuff here in cargo duffle's. NZ is famous for its packs called Mac Pac. For many reasons I won't bore you with they are excellent and unlike Holland considered a shopping good, relatively cheap and with lot's of sizes and models. I've only seen 3 up close so for me it's the Mac Pac Wallhalla. We both get one for what comes down to bargain prices ( I manage to bargain off an additional 20% ) If we'd bought Mac's not these but the regular ones in Holland we would have paid about 250 Euro's more.

We spend the rest of the day doing the Vulcano walk. Two vulcanoes accross the bay that the NZ navy once used as artillery forts to overlook the harbour. It started to drizzle so we ended up having dinner at a restaurant operated by germans. No bargaining over the price with Gerries ofcourse no matter how fluent you speak their vernacular.

We left Auckland yesterday by flexi bus. Basically you buy travel housr like you would a mobile phone. We both have 45 wich will suffice for the trip. We we're dropped off at a lodge in Watomo. Just before we arrive a tragic occurence. My daypack that has served me faithfully for over five year's dies. the zipper has broken. I blink away a few tear's and give it a a proper burial. Straight into the trashcan. Waitomo our current haunt is famous for it's caves filled with glow worms.

More on that next time as we only had time to walk. We did a four hour stretch through the countryside. Mostly mountains, hills and forrests that left us so exhausted we slept another 14 hours straight. I'm just about to get suited up for my abseil into the cave system where we will dwell for 2-4 hours. According to the brochure it has a " rambo" factor. Yes I'm quoting! for 8 out of 10. No gyms to be found but atleast with all the climbing I'm getting some exercise.

Greetings from down under. It's 25 degrees with a razor-sharp sun!
iljavanderee says:
Nice piece of work! But ehh.. what does that Barca `Arc the Triomph`-pic on this blog?? It´s a totally mixed-up history, Haha..
Posted on: Oct 08, 2007
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photo by: MadeleineGL