I awoke with a wine hangover headache the size of Australia. I don’t actually remember going to sleep last night, but Stina says I put myself to bed around 12:30. The beauty of old age is knowing when you are too drunk for normal human interaction and can take yourself to bed. I told Stina I was not getting up today. But she is a sneaky one and knew the only way to get me out of bed: remind me I’m going to a cave today. Yes, cave day has finally arrived. For those of you that don’t know and couldn’t already tell, I fucking love caves. You may be wondering what is so exciting about going in a cave. Well, for one, we will be rappelling into it (abseiling, for those of you that want to be a stickler for the correct term). And the way out? Rappelling down waterfalls. What’s better than a cave? A cave with waterfalls in it.
Our bus drops us at the caving office and we are off. First step: wet suits. I’m actually shocked it took a week for our first adventure requiring wetsuits. We get a quick lesson from our guide, who is a cheeky little bastard, as they say here. Our guides make it very clear from the start: if you do something stupid, we will point and laugh at you. These boys do spend most of their days in cave, so I guess they are hard up for entertainment. Little do they know, the Queen of Doingstupidshitville is on their tour. Your lucky day fellas. We didn’t even make it down into the cave before I gave them their first reason to laugh at me. One of the guides informed me that I absolutely reeked of booze. Wine to be exact. Boxed wine if you want to get really specific. He said he could smell me coming from around the corner. Oye. I apologized and thanked him for not reeking of booze as well, since he is responsible for my life and all. To which he replied that he had the good sense to shower the booze stench off before coming to work this morning. Excellent. I shall now put my life in your hands.
It’s then off to the cave! We spend the next three hours abseiling down waterfalls, rock climbing, and crawling through extremely small spaces, all in a cave. We also see lots of glow worms, which is what the area and these caves are known for. All in all, one pretty bad ass morning.
After this we make our way to Rotorua. The itinerary for the Stray bus was to go to a cultural night and learn traditional Maori (NZ’s version of Native American’s) dancing and singing. And then all sleep in one giant room together. I was hungover and not in the mood for a summer camp experience so we hopped off just outside of Rotoura and took a city bus into town instead. We treated ourselves to a fabulous private room complete with its on kitchen, shower, and – get this – CABLE. We found some fabulous Indian food and and tucked ourselves into bed just in time to catch the new Kardashians. What a great end to a great day. Tomorrow, we Zorb. You will want to read that one.