Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Road trippin'

A week and a half ago we rented a car and took a little trip around the Auckland area. First stop was Hamilton. Andrew had a friend who was going to be there for the weekend so we decided to meet her and get a little perspective on this new country. We didn’t find Hamilton to be all that exciting, but they are working hard to get people to move there from overseas. They had gardens that reflected styles from around the world which was kind of neat.

After that we went out to Waitomo, to see the worms. The glowworms! Waitomo area is full of caves, many of which have glowworms living in them. This was really cool to see, it looked almost like the starry sky in the cave. It was interesting that the glowworms spend their whole lives in those dark caves, just waiting for food to get caught in their strings, just to reproduce and do it again.

After the glowworms, we went to another cave with lots of stalactites.

Ready to go

A really good part of the day was chatting with the tour guide about New Zealand, and just current events and things there. Andrew and I were SHOCKED to find out that police officers here don’t carry guns. In fact, they are working to be allowed to have them unassembled in the police cars. It would be interesting to know how that affects their crime rate etc. Just a reminder that some things we take for granted are not the same everywhere.

The next day we headed out to Hobbiton. I was a little unsure about whether this would be worth the money, but we were happily surprised. Usually when you go through the movie site, they only have white boards showing where the hobbit holes were, and not much else, as almost everything had to be destroyed due to the contract. However, and this is exciting folks, they were getting ready for filming “The Hobbit” (can’t remember quotes or italics?) so the hobbit holes were being put back to what they were for the movies. This was really, really cool. They looked so much more real, and it was neat to see the different stages of construction and how they built it all. There is so much work and money used for such short little shots, movies are kind of ridiculous. We aren’t allowed to share any pictures over the internet due to confidentiality but we (Andrew) took quite a few. So Mike, get over here before they close it down again!

After the Hobbiton tour, they had a quick sheep shearing demo and then we got to feed little lambs. Ooohhh they were so cute. So small and fleecy, I may have squealed. How could you not with this face?

From Hobbiton we headed to the coast, Tauranga. We walked along the harbour and explored the town.

Then we drove to Rotorua, the land of geysers and thermal springs. As soon as we got out of the car, we noticed the stink of sulphur which was really gross. I don’t see how people live there, it seems like it would be bad for you. We decided not to go to the really expensive natural park to see the geyser and decided to go zorbing instead! Zorbing was awesome, very overpriced, but a really fun time. Zorbs are giant inflated balls that you roll down a hill in. Andrew and I did the water zorb, where they dump water in with you and you slosh around all over the place. We got to go together, which was good because I am a chicken. The waiver said zorbing could cause death or severe injury! But it was actually not scary at all, just very wet and crazy. Definitely worth a try, we would have loved to go again.

We didn’t skip the thermal stuff in Rotorua entirely though, we stopped at a park and tagged along with a tour group a bit. Kind of gross and stinky but interesting too.

Boiling mud

And that was it, we headed back to Auckland!


Anonymous said...

What an adventure - thanks for sharing! Our life is much more ordinary...but good. I'm sure you don't miss the challenge of starting a vehicle at -29 degrees Celsius (don't know how to do the degree symbol...) but the snowdrifts are beautiful!
Take good care,

Bethany Klassen said...

I laughed when I read the part about the lamb and you maybe squealing...haha! I can totally picture it! I probably would have too :) Sounds like your trip continues to get more and more awesome...still a bit jealous! But things are going well here too! I've just finished two weeks of practicum and its awesome, I absolutely love it! Anyways take care and God bless,


Ger said...

I know, when ever we feel a little down, we think about the weather and it cheers us right up! There is something to be said though about snow and Christmas and apple cider and all that. We are going to a Santa Parade tomorrow, so hopefully that will get us feeling a little more like it is Christms time.

Ger said...

And Bethany, I think Andrew even let out a small sound when the lambs came out, and he smiles EVERY time he sees that picture. So it may be the cutest thing ever. That's so great about your practicum, it must be nice to get a taste of what you will actually be doing and realize again it's the right job for you. All the best for your last few weeks!

Chelsey said...

Ger Ger Ger
I miss you.
Also, I am an avid blog reader. I know you can't adventure much if you are blogging all the time, but I absolutely love reading about your adventure together!
PS- You should try to make zorbing an olympic sport of some sort- it could be interesting!

Justin said...

Man, it sounds like it just keeps being a pretty sweet adventure over there!! Zorbing looks fun. Mike is not the only one who is curious about these Hobbiton pictures... that's really cool that it was all rebuilt for the upcoming movie. Did you get to walk around inside one of the hobbit holes? Take care, Andrew and Ger.

Tessa Janzen said...

ok, so YES that lamb is probably the cutest thing I have ever seen!!! I love it! That's so sweet you went to the Lord of the Rings place! I am no LOTR nerd, but I definitely want to see your pictures when you come back. I am sure they are awesome! And zorbing looks INTENSE!! Hope you guys are still having lots of fun!!! Miss you!

Ger said...

It has been fun, but it is also stressful looking for work. That's why it's good to post these pictures, so we focus on all the good stuff! Most of the hobbit holes were only a foot or two deep, Bag End was big enough to go into but we weren't allowed :( Miss you all, come for a visit, we'll show you around!

Author of Blog: Kendra Israelson said...

Ok this is my first comment on your blog and I will have to use my utmost restraint not to post a million comments... it's so exciting to hear of your experiences b/c it brings back all of mine:)
Anyway, yes I immediately also wondered, "how do people live here (Rotorua)?!?"... pew! And Zorbing! How fun:) Would also do it again.
Keep having fun! (I realize this is a late comment but it's only b/c I've just begun reading your blog and have a ways to go... haha!)

Andrew & Geralis said...

We love comments so you should post a million! It's nice to see what other people think of the same places. Hope things are well!