10.02.2008 18 °C
Well, the weather didn't hold off! A miserable, wet and grey day greeted us (it had to happen at some point) and the sulphur smell of the city was now obvious (I hadn't noticed it yesterday!).
We set off to Taupo on a bit of a panic on my part. I had noticed that my camera had a problem with it and cleverly left the tool to fix it 12,000 odd miles away! My only hope was a decent camera shop. On a Sunday? In the middle of New Zealand?!! Oh dear!
The hostel is, errrr, interesting! A bar dominates the canvas roofed interior with worryingly large speakers on the wall. Our room is just off said bar through a very loud, clunky door that leads to the bar toilets and to top it off..........the door to our room is GLASS!! WTF?!
We made a trip to the Aratiatia rapids, a controlled section of the Waikato river, operated by two huge sluice gates. We got there just in time to see the basin below flood and turn into a torrent of water in seconds. The level rose by some 20 odd feet in no time and was soon ripping down the valley, an impressive sight but somewhat dampened by the persistent rain.
The Huka falls were next on the somewhat soggy list. A narrow fissure in the rocks focuses all the water into a bright turquoise (even on a cloudy day like today) maelstrom before bursting through the narrows into relative serenity. Neither of us were in the mood to hang around for too long in the rain though so we headed back to Taupo.
I should point out the shopping in Taupo, it was surprisingly good! We found bargains in a dodgy $2 store in the form of the most pathetic looking umbrella and some duck tape!! The latter being part of a cunning plan to block up our glass door with a towel....genius!!!
Back at the hostel we decided to eat out tonight. Partly due to the filthy kitchen and partly due to the NZ rugger being on and our dining room/bar was packed with wasted people! I'm glad we did though as we were treated to the most beautiful sunset yet.....of course the camera came out!
So I sit here writing this hoping for a better day tomorrow really! At least we have a fun looking DVD to watch now (Madagascar) and the prospect of no bar in the next hostel! (clunk goes that bloody door right on cue!!!)