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Lazing in the River – Day 27
Saturday 23rd April 2005
After the day spent hiking through the mountains yesterday, I had an idea to rest and relax today, perhaps sit by the lake in Taupo. I didn’t feel particularly energetic, and the thought of any more activities could not have been further from my mind. I wondered how I would end up spending the day…
The day began with a little lie in this morning, much as I had expected it would, and I eventually made it out of bed mid morning. I felt very tired and achy, and I wanted to crawl back into bed. My stomach, on the other hand, had other ideas. I needed food, and there was only one way of getting it, which involved getting washed and dressed.
Have you ever had that feeling when your body is so tired that it shakes? Maybe you have been lifting something heavy and now your arms shake uncontrollably? This happened this morning as I stood in the shower, legs wobbling, feeling very old. I wondered if I might topple over, but thankfully the legs held out.
I entered my lovely car this morning and took a trip to the shopping centre. Inside the supermarket I hunted for something to eat for lunch, and was surprised when I bumped into a familiar face. It was the German girl from the previous day that had the migraine. I asked how she was, and was sorry to learn how her days hike was ruined by her all-too-frequent migraines. We shared a laugh or two before parting, and I wished I had the opportunity to speak to her more. She seemed like a lovely, friendly girl with a lot of stories to tell, but alas, we were headed in opposite directions.
The lunch was devoured back at the hostel, and then I put on my swim shorts and headed for the Natural Spa. A leaflet I had been carrying gave me the idea, and now seemed the appropriate time to visit. The Natural Spa consists of a hot, thermal river of water pouring into a cold lake. Here people sat for a while, resting their weary bodies, socialising whilst relaxing in this natural bath.
Upon entering the shallows where the river met the lake, I was immediately aware of just how warm it was. I had to move about a bit to find a spot that wasn’t too hot for comfort, and settled in a nice position where I lay in complete ecstasy. The water was boiling, and unlike a bath, it never cooled down. If you needed it cooler, you had to move yourself further from the stream, out into the lake. I had a spot that was just right, and I stayed here, glued to the spot for around 3 hours. Time didn’t seem to register at all during this moment.
Many people came and went during my time here, but I barely acknowledged them as I sat in a dreamlike state. But as I became aware of the falling sun, and indeed my wrinkled body, I realised it was time to make a move. I noticed at this point that I had been there for 3 hours, but in all honesty, I could have stayed there all night.
The evening was spent in front of the television with a few other guests in the hostel, and I knew this would be my last night here. I booked my place in the Funky Green Voyager (a hostel in Rotorua), and struggled to keep my eyes open as the evening drew onwards.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Taupo, and would not hesitate to come back here some time in the future. I can truthfully say that I adore this place, and it almost feels a little like home now. I shall be sad to leave, but on the other hand, Rotorua sounds like an intriguing place, and I am very excited to see what it has to offer. Now, though, I am off to bed. Night night!
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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