A Week Away, Part II -- Rotorua

Thanks for joining us for the second day of our adventure from last week. Scroll down or click the note below to catch up on what we did on Day 1.
Click here for what you may have missed!

...So, with Ricky's stuff stolen, we went to the front desk to complain. They were, thankfully, very sympathetic and offered him a bunch of clothes and a backpack from the lost-and-found. This, of course, did not take away from Ricky's disappointment, but was able to help him to relax enough to show us around Hell's Gate. Hell's Gate is an area of Rotorua that is so steaming hot with all the geothermal activity, that one day they decided to put up a fence and charge admission to see it! It is pretty much a walking tour of hot waterfalls, steam pools, mineral springs, mud pits and mini-volcanoes.
There's an interesting story about it's name regarding George Bernard Shaw. From the website: The reason why the geothermal reserve is known widely as Hell's Gate is because in the early 1900’s George Bernard Shaw, a famous playwright from England, visited the area for a week and on looking at the geothermal reserve decided that this must be the gateway to Hell, which his theologian colleagues talk about.
He was well known as an Atheist, however after being here a week it is understood that he changed his ways. Our people were so taken by the playwright that from that time on, they allowed the area to be known in English as Hell's Gate.

This is the largest hot water waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. It is called Kakahi Falls. The sulphur in the water here is so good that it acted as a salve for the wounds and scratches of Maori warriors. The first Europeans also used it's waters to ease the discomfort of arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases and muscle disorders.

Because it's done so much good, we got another picture of it, all three of us:

Also at Hell's Gate, there is the Devil's Cauldron; a bubbling mud pool that reaches upwards of 120-degrees C, has three types of mud, keeps making new patterns, and all sorts of other scientific stuff. Mainly, though, it just looks really cool:

This is Baby G showing the world how steamy it gets here at Hell's Gate, as well as doing her best impression of one of the Hags from the beginning of Macbeth. Toil and Trouble sold separately.

See? Steamy.

We call it, "Portrait of a Thirsty Dizzle". He was. When asked how it was, he replied, "Yum! Mineral-ly!"

There was a ton to do and see at Hell's Gate, but we were really hungry. And, it was raining. Plus, we'd promised all of YOU people we'd try something no one had ever heard of. So, without further ado...

There's no way to really describe it, you need a montage.
If you want info, go here.


Baby G:

All we're going to say is that it is awesome, everyone should try it, and yes, it's what a hamster must feel like (except cooler). Really, REALLY fun. And remember, we'd hyped this up HARD. In the end, it was the most fun we'd had in NZ yet. We only needed to wait a few hours to top that, too (or at least come very close).
After becoming certified Zorbonauts (people who've made 3+ rolls downhill), we hopped back in The Glock and headed about 1/2 mile away to Skyline Skyrides, home of the gondola, luge, skyswing, and what must've been a really good restaurant, but we wouldn't know because we were too busy riding the gondola, luge and skyswing.

This is the gondola. We rode it up to the fun stuff, and then back down after the fun stuff.

Dizzle: Okay, I have to take a break from the plural-first-person thing to ask this: Does anyone remember Action Park in Vernon, NJ? Remember that death trap parents used to drop their kids off at for days at a time so the kids could come back with all kinds of injuries? Well, that place (and to anyone who remembers it, it was called The Alpine Slide) had a ride JUST LIKE these luges. The only difference? The reason WHY it's allowed here and not in the states? The ONE THING that makes it SO INFINITELY MUCH SAFER??

Friggin' helmets.
Bring Neosporin. (NOTE: No one got hurt. At least none of us. We can't promise anything about the people we pushed off the carts.) Back to the original narrative.


The next stop on this mountaintop theme park was called the SkySwing. Basically, three people at a time, they strap you into this spherical cage, and then suspend the cage on cables on either side between two poles that are REALLY high up. Then they wind you BACK to third pole and attach you BEHIND the cage, much like when someone is pushing you on a swingset and holds onto you before you swing back DOWN. Then they let one person in the cage pull a cord to detach the thing from the third pole so you all swing, face first, into the sky above the city. We thought for sure we'd die.

BG: Breaking from the tense, here. For those of you who aren't aware, I am terrified of heights. TERRIFIED. I'm talking about knee knocking, blood runs cold, bladder loses ability to control self, terrified. So this little skyswing endeavor was not something I entered into lightly. But I did it. And to my chagrin, out there somewhere, there is a videotape of the whole thing, capturing every little thing that was said and done while we slowly were lifted high into the air, before being released into what I believed was certain death. I saw the tape. And I never quite knew before how well I could swear like a sailor. Thank you, Toledo Lounge, for teaching me such a colorful vocabulary...What else can I say, except, I'd probably do it again. Back to the &^%$ing narrative.

These aren't of us, but here's an idea of the people who went just after we did.

The adrenaline-fused parts of the day end here, but by no means did the fun. After Skyline Skyrides, we were understandably tired, and so we went to a supermarket and grabbed a little lamb, pasta, veggies and tomato sauce and had a great dinner outside back at the campsite. We had a 4:30am wakeup the next day to ensure a prompt return of The Glock in Auckland, and needed to make sure we made it.
In an effort to not leave the cliffhanger TOO high, we returned it in time. :)
...to be continued...

1 comment:

Paul said...

Holy carp! That looks like soooo much fun!

btw, Action Park has a wikipedia entry?!?