Rotorua

Went to Rotorua last weekend for a little rafting and sledging down the Kaituna River with Sven, Frank, Rachel, and Morten. Before we left Sven and Frank's, Morten was able to recover my lost pictures from my South Island trip!! He's my hero! Once I get them from Sven's computer I will post some. Anywho, we got to Rotorua around 9PM and headed straight for the pool. Because of all the thermal activity, the pool was very warm since hot water is so easily obtained in Rotorua. The next morning we were greeted by a barefoot, tattooed guy with dread locks who was VERY perky compared to us...he was our rafting guide, Nigel. We got to the raft base and there I smelt the real scent of Rotorua = nasty! It wasn't too bad by our hostel and it was hardly noticeable, but at the rafting base you could see steam coming from the ground and it wasn't too nice.

After struggling to get my wetsuit on, we were all handed life vests and helmets...we were stylin'. The guide we had for our raft was Jordie. He was pretty cool. Morten and Dominic [English guy on holiday] were in front, then Sven and Rachel, and Frank and I were in the back row. We went down 3 waterfalls and one was a 7 meter drop! Frank and I were very relieved that we didn't flip, even though the others were hoping we would - freaks. After surviving the rafting, we had a little break before our sledging excursion. For those of you who don't know what sledging is: you are on a "sledge" [about 3 foot long board with handles], takes a lot of energy because you are kicking to keep in the right direction when you go through a rapid and then attack the eddy a certain way. A few of us got foot cramps and managed to hit our knees on rocks. We were soooo hungry and tired after a full day on the river that we each got our own pizza. We sat in our room at the hostel on the floor in a circle all silent and eating. Occasionally we would hear "mmmm mmmm" from Frank. Soon after we were back in the pool.

Morten decided to give us a treat that he supposedly only does once a year. He went into a separate room and came out with his legs through the arms of a brown zip-up jacket, hood over his head, and zipped up so that all 6' 3" of him could stay in the hoodie. It was HILARIOUS! He looked like a kiwi bird as he hobbled around the room running into walls and falling over. Some more funny stories, but I have run out of time before my marine class that I need to be walking to right now. Will upload raft pictures as soon as I get a copy from Frank!

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