Today is Christmas Eve! It started off early by jumping on the tour bus to get back to Auckland to pick up 5 new people, Kym, Jackie, Cris, Oliver, and Charolett. In Auckland we had lunch (indian food) and then we traveled to Waitomo. On the way we played Uno in the bus. The auzzies kept pronouncing it as U-no...it was really funny!
Once in Waitomo, we quickly jumped in a van to go black water rafting. This was the activity that we were looking forward to the most. Everyone that has been on this trip raves about this activity! We had to put on wet suits and scoks and a helmet with a flashlight (or torch as they call it). We also put on thick shoes and a long sleeve wet suit jacket. The suits were soaking wet, I felt like what a wet dogs smells like. It was heavy and uncomfortable. BUT I did it with a smile on my fave, it's all part of the experience. The caves were like being in caverns but 10 times better.
The four of us all suited up for the adventure.
The whole gang!
Everyone Practicing the train formation that we would do in the caves.
Hiking down to the caves.
The glowworms were at the top of the caves, glowing green. In the cave, there were places to climb through and float through. There were also a couple places where we had to jump off a small waterfall backwards onto our tubes. The water was extremely cold but I was having so much fun I didn't notice it that much.
When we were all in the train formation, floating down the cave river, we turned off our head lights. We were all attached and staring at the green glowworms on the cave ceiling. Bryan and I started singing Christmas carols and everyone else joined in. It was a wonderful moment. It was Christmas Eve, we were in a glowworm cave with people from all over the world and we were singing Christmas Carols. It was a very peaceful moment. Shoers, bagel and tomato soup brought my blood temperature back to normal. dinner was great and then we all went to play rugby on the open grass field.
View from our hotel room
We played until the sun went down.
After the game we got dressed and went to Curley's Bar. This was a local bar in the small town of Waitomo. it was Christmas Eve so everyone was out, locals and tourists. My favorite beer was called Sassy Red. It was a dark beer that still seemed kind of light, super tasty. There was another tour group there called 'Kiwi Experience.' They challenged our tour group to a drinking match called a boat race. It's like flip cup BUT you don't have to flip a cup and each person on your team has to chug a whole beer. It was Emmo (our tour guide), Ben, me, Jackie, Sam and Bryan. We totally kicked their ass by one and half people. it was awesome.
Boat race champions!
We mixed and mingled with everyone for the rest of the night. We counted down to midnight, Christmas day. We wished everyone a Merry Christmas and off to bed we went!