So we started the morning early. By 9am I was in a bikini jumping into a giant inflatable ball!
We were taken to a place called OGO, which is situated on a steep hill. We were driven up the hill and zorbed down it. A zorbing ball is a giant inflatable ball with a smaller ball in the centre. You climb though the ball to the centre and they fill the bottom with water. They then zip you into it and push yourself down the hill. It was awesome! We went in pairs and opted to do a run called the ‘sidewinder’ which has twists and turns in the track. The gopro footage is hilarious!
After zorbing and a quick dip in the hot tub we dried off to start the short drive to Lake Taupo. Part of the group were due to go skydiving, but it was called off due to low cloud. Because we now had a bit more time we stopped at a few points of interest along the way. First stop was the ‘waikato river’ where basically a huge amount of water bottle necks from 100m to 15m wide, creating a huge force and pressure of water. The power behind it was ridiculous. It was something like 200000 liters a second!
From there to the ‘Hukafalls’ which is a set of water falls that drain Lanka Taupo. Every two hours they open two huge dams and release tonnes of water down the falls. We stood on the bridge to watch the dams open, then chased the water down the falls to a lookout point a few meters down river. Jogging, in flip flops, on a grit and dirt track, downhill was not the best thing to do. Worth it though. We got a great group shot of the people who made the jog down.
After a slower walk back up we ventured into Taupo for lunch. Our tour manager Damo suggested we buy ‘shit shirts’ for our evening tonight (which I’ll explain in a bit) so all thirty of us descended on this charity shop. We bought some truly awful shirts, dressing up the guys in bad women’s dress and generally massacring the poor shop.
Lake Taupo is simply beautiful. The lake is 616 square kilometers in size, with a 180km long shore like. You can barely make out the other side of the lake, and the water is perfectly blue. It is hard to believe it is a lake really.
Our hotel was right on the lake. We checked in and went for a wonder where we found a water sports centre. Three of us (myself, Alex and Mikela) went paddle boarding, and Millie went canoeing. It was so funny. The wind had picked up, and the current of the lake kept pushing me back in shore. Balancing on the board was the funniest part, I really struggled at first. Turns out my balance on water is not great with a strong current and small waves while standing trying to paddle. Eventually after we all got blown down stream trying to work out how to get back I sat on the board. Much easier! We all managed to get upstream after that, well except for Mikela. Once upstream we decided to tie our boards to Milllies canoe and drag her along. Then it was Millies turn to pull us both. We had so much fun!
Once back at the hotel we got ready for our evening. We were going on a boat cruise! Now if you remember the last time I was on a boat on this trip it did not end well for me! We all donned our ‘shit shirts’ where everyone made an effort and headed to the boat. Everyone had a fair amount to drink (shocking) but I was careful to not have a repeat of the last boat trip. After dinner and a few drinking games, Damo shouted everyone in the water!
(I’m really sorry about the next bit dad, and it is not something on your to do list, but I am placing bets you did similar things when you were young.)
We all looked at him confussed. The next thing we knew the staff had stripped down to their underwear and were on the top of the boat. Then they jumped into the water! Everyone was dancing and cheering, and then stripping off too. It was pitch black with the exception of the boat flood lights, and the top floor of the boat was a good 20m up, if not more. It was insane! I stood on the end of the boat and threw myself into the water. It was freezing!!!! Everyone was in the water, and running back up the boat to jump again. I jumped twice, I had to do it again.
Now the smart me had already befriended the skipper, who magically provided me with one of the staff towels, which were in short supply. I managed to dry myself off quite well, compared to others who were unable to get their shit shirts back on while dripping wet. Some just gave up and stayed in their underwear until they had dried.
In the middle of all this, Alex (who is pretty tall) hit her head very hard on the top of the ship walking through the door frame. Her head snapped back, it was a bad whack. We were sharing a room that night. We went to go and sit upstairs in a seating area by the skippers controls and the waitress sorted out an icepack and a big jug of water. Alcohol, concussion and boats do not mix well.
Well befriending the skipper eatlier in the night was a good plan. I wanted to see all the boat controls, so he showed me. I then in my best tipsy state explained I am of course a pirate and I want a ship. He said he would see if I was made of the right stuff. He let me sail the boat back into port and ‘berth the boat’! He showed me the controls for the two engines and the forwards, neutral and reverse gears, told me to aim for a light and if it turned red to the the port side, and if green go to the starboard side. I of course knew which way port and starboard were, to his surprise, and turned to the starboard side when the light turned. I then had to turn the boat around, reverse the engines and follow the hand signals from the crew on the dock as to go faster, slower, forward or back. I think I did a pretty good job as he didn’t have to touch the controls to correct me, but who knows, by then I was in full pirate mode and having a great time! I even got a certificate at the end saying that I captained the Jolly Roger!
While I was being a captain I also had an eye on Alex, who was in a bad way. She needed to go home. We waited for everyone to depart and then made our way down the stairs, with staff on all four sides of her to avoid her crashing down the stairs. They called us a taxi and we went back to the hotel. She was pretty badly concussed, and the lump on her head was like a golf ball. I don’t know much medically, but I do have some experience in head injuries. After getting back to the hotel, her breathing became very erratic, which was concerning. She calmed down eventually. I then woke up every 45 minutes to poke her, worrying she would roll onto her back.
With all this, Chris decided he had a concussion too (he didn’t) but somehow ended up crashing out in Mikela’s bed! Well Mikela came in at gone 2am drunk, confussed as to why there was a guy in her bed. She decided the best place to sleep would be at the foot of my bed! Wonderful. So a night of little sleep has become a night of zero sleep as I am now sharing a single bed with a drunk person.
So a really good night turned into a slightly worrying one. Hence why I am writing this blog post the next morning. I figured with my evening you would let me off.
Long coach trip today to get to Wellington, so time to catch up on sleep.
Speak to you in a few hours Dad!
– nap time!