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<-- my life, by webgoddesscathy -->

:: Friday, February 13, 2004 ::
Yesterday, I climbed a mountain.

In fact, I climbed Mount Doom.

The Tongariro Crossing is considered by many to be the finest day-walk in New Zealand. It was supposed to take 7-8 hours. Jaap and I did it in 6hrs.

It was quite challenging. Perhaps not as bad as Dead Woman's Pass on the Inca Trail in Peru, but it was close.

I found myself singing "put one foot in front of the other..." just to keep going.

It was beautiful! And I'm really happy that I did it. We got home super tired and we flaked out early in the tent only to be awoken by a rainstorm. Luckily, our tent was one of the only ones that stayed dry! Yay for cheap tents!

Now we're in Rotorua.

We went up in the skyline gondola and rode down in the luge twice! Total fun, except that Jaap tried to kill me so I had to pretend to run into him and almost cut him off. Of course, because I'm such a good driver, we avoided all catastrophe.

Tonight I'm going to a traditional Maori concert and meal (hangi) while Jaap hangs out at the YHA.

Tomorrow, we go rafting on the Kaituna River, on grade 5 rapids, down a 7-metre waterfall!

Then we're off for the Coromandel to go soak in the sun. Not that we need it; Jaap and I both got burnt on our big tramp yesterday. Yes, me. I got burnt. I know, shocking.

:: Cathy 8:19 PM [+] ::

:: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 ::
Still in Taupo.

Yesterday I was in hate with the human race, so I left the hostel to go to a cafe and complain to my journal. After that, the day was excellent. Coffee, writing, shoe shopping, reading my book, walking around the town... it was nice. Sometimes even I need alone time.

Then Jaap and I met a bunch of people from the Magic Bus, including a couple of Canadians. We ended up kicking around a soccer ball with one girl from Hinton, who was surprised that I knew where Hinton is (it's in Alta, and Raye used to live there).

After a sumptuous dinner of Tandoori Chicken, we went out for drinks with the Magic Bus people and I met a bunch of people who'd just gone skydiving. Taupo is the place for skydiving, as it's a little cheaper than elsewhere. I asked lots of questions about it, and they've allayed my fears about the whole thing. I may not do it now (mostly due to lack of money), but I think that I will skydive someday.

Met a really interesting guy from Milton, ON, who'd been travelling all around Asia and done some fantastic stuff there. Some really great stories!

Today is more shoe shopping (for Jaap this time, as I finally bought sandals to replace my completely broken ones), Internet catch-up, and possibly a trip to Rotorua, which is only an hour away. We hope the weather will clear up so that we can do the Tongariro Crossing tomorrow.

:: Cathy 2:26 PM [+] :: 0 comments

:: Monday, February 09, 2004 ::

Well, Jaap is at the doctor's about his leprosy right now, I'm dying of sand-fly bites (ohmygosh I have 5 on my pinky toe alone!), I forgot the food box in Blenheim (South Island) and now we're in Taupo (North Island) and there's a bad weather front coming so we can't do the Tongariro Crossing, which is the main reason we're here, AND Jaap and I had a small fight about how I'm not a good cook.

However, we DID have a very good day yesterday in Blenheim. We rented bikes for $10 for the day from our hostel and rode all over the countryside, winetasting. It was great!

And since I left all the tea in Blenheim, I had a good excuse to hunt out some nice morning coffee in Petone, north of Wellington.

And then, while entertaining myself as Jaap called his parents, I met the lovely owner of a second-hand bookshop on Jackson Street, Petone. He told me about John Rhys Davies (yes, Gimli) coming into his shop quite often and buying up a crate of Science Fiction Digest and signing his Visitor's book. I also signed the book. Peter Jackson hasn't signed the book because he's a local, not a "visitor". But he's been there many times.

Then we drove off to Taupo. Leaving Wellington, city of the most cafes per capita, behind.

:: Cathy 7:30 PM [+] :: 0 comments

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