Taupo and Waitomo


Taupo – the place where all backpackers seem to go solely to do a bungee or skydive.  I planned on doing a bungee, saving the skydive for the South Island.

I checked into Blackcurrant Backpackers and immediately bumped into a mate from Byron Bay, Australia – Sylvio the Swiss.  We went to check out the Taupo bungee, it was fairly impressive at 70m hanging over the Waikato River.   I was ready and prepared to do the jump until Sylvio said the bungee was ‘no big deal’ and that the one he did was twice as big – not to be trumped by my my Swiss friend, I changed my bungee plans and will now be doing the one which is twice as high in Queenstown.

Slightly relieved not to be hurling myself off a 70m platform we took a leisurely walk to the Huka falls along the Waikato River.

Next destination; Raglan.   To add some variety to my travels I decided to hitch hike.

Lift 1 – Sylvio the Swiss – Sylvio kindly gave me a lift in his hire car.  Taupo to Rotorua Macdonalds.

Lift 2 – Local Maori Guy – Slightly apprehensive due to the enormity of the fella and his attire of ripped shorts and ripped shirt I accepted the lift, luckily he turned out to be very friendly.  When dropping me off in the lay-by he offered me a bag of weed in case I had to wait a while for my next lift – a bit too friendly.

Lift 3 – Two dutch travellers – Pre-hitching I was worried that my beard would hinder my hitching odds.  In this case the two dutch guys stopped because I had a big beard, they also had grown travel beards.  We exchanged beard stories.

By the end of lift 3 it was apparent I would miss the junction for Raglan and so my final destination changed to another place I’d planned on visiting; Waitomo (as recommended by Grandad)

Lift 4 – Zimbabwean Doctor – We discussed politics, a friendly chap.

Lift 5 – A local from Waitomo – A singer who apparently liked to sing in the caves around Waitomo, an odd guy but I only had to endure him for 10 mintues.

5 Lifts later I finally arrived somewhere, all be it not where I had planned.  Waitomo (Maori for ‘water hole’) is well known for it’s caves and glowworms.  Waitomo was out in the sticks, not one food shop.  I decided to spend one full day there and then move on.  I booked onto the Waitomo Spellbound Glowworm Tour.  The tour turned out to be top notch,  I saw an amazing display of gloworms and our guide Norm, was really informative.  Well worth the $66.

The following day, May the first, a new month and I decided it was time for change.  Having conducted scientific tests over the last few weeks I have found that only 2% of women like beards.  Before moving onto Raglan I decided it was time for the beard to go.

last beard day

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