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The Journey to Waitomo – Day 16

24 April 2010 2 Comments

Tuesday 12th April 2005

A trip to my next hostel, a drive to the coast and a takeaway were all activities partaken by myself today, although I wasn’t aware of this at the point of waking this morning. What adventures would I be getting up to today I wondered…

The day began with the rising of the age-old sun, majestic as it appears from behind the distant mountains, drenching the land with light and warmth. The earth itself appears to awaken as the sun moves ever higher in the vast blue ocean of sky, animals waking from their warm habitats to stretch their rested legs, while birds sing a chorus of delightful melodies. Today, in Hamilton however, it was grey and cold with no sun at all, and I wanted to leave imminently.

The morning routine lasted only a short while as I hurriedly readied myself before the others woke, desperately wanting to leave before having to make small talk with the bunch of misfits I found myself with in this room. Perhaps I’m being unkind, as I couldn’t make out any facial details from the bodies that lay relatively motionless around me. In fact they were very peaceful and absolutely no trouble at all. I wondered why I came to this conclusion, and I think my first opinion was based on the muddy shoes that lay untidily beside each bed. I ask you, who judges a person by their shoes anyway?! Me, I guess. What an idiot I am. Anyway, I wanted to leave nice and early to be on my way to my next destination; Hamilton not really holding my interest at all.

I found myself lost one or two times coming out of Hamilton and was glad once I was out and on the road again. I don’t really like the big cities. I headed for Waitomo to the area of the famous glow worm caves and before too long I wound up outside Rap, Raft n Rock Backpackers.

From the outside it looked more like a large wooden shack, possibly an English barn or an old school hut, but it was a fair size and I was yet to venture inside. Once over the threshold I was immediately met by a couple of guys who seemed pretty cool, and I found my room to claim my bed. After making my acquaintance with the many spiders sharing the room – and indeed beds – with us, I watched a film with the two guys before setting out in my car into town for a few things. I also booked a cave trip for tomorrow to the Waitomo caves for some black water rafting and caving.

I used what was left of the afternoon to take a drive towards the coast along one main road, twisting and turning through the mountains, past farms and houses, fields and open spaces. The sun was shining at this point and it was a lovely day. I eventually found the coast and ended up in a small town by the sea. Here there was one shop, a few houses and a small rowing boat moored along the side of the river that dissected the town and met the sea. As I stood on the black sand listening to the sound of the waves lapping gently at the shoreline, I was reminded that places like this actually exist still. It seemed remote and almost cut off from civilisation, yet there was everything that you could need here in this small town. I did get one or two strange looks from the local folk.

I drove back along the road I came in on, following the river all the way, looking at the stunning scenery and feeling totally content. It was a long road but a great drive. Back at the hostel around 3 – 4 hours later, I had some fish n chips then went to bed, trying hard to ignore the spiders inches above my head.

>>Click here to view more pictures from today, and throughout my trip around New Zealand<<

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  • Scotty Stevens said:

    Oooh! Spiders!!! Sounds like a quaint place, though.

  • dan said:

    It seems a little out-in-the-stix, but it was a cool place. The spiders were relatively friendly

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