Friday, October 26, 2007

Tunnels and Love

Waihi to Turangi
260 kilometers

We awoke to some lovely southern wind this morning. We actually were rocked all night long in the motor home by it. We had wanted to hike a along the Karangahake Gorge, but weren’t too sure about the wind. We wondered around a bit trying to find the car park, but eventually found it. Leslie and I were expecting something like Black Canyon or Royal Gorge, but found a pretty subdued little narrow river valley instead. The guide said the highlight of the hike is a walk through the mountain in a 1 kilometer long abandoned train tunnel. We weren’t expecting to give it a go since the wind was blowing, but the valley was quite sheltered. I just happened to grab a jacket that had my head lamp in it, which came in handy later. We had a great hike along an abandoned pipe line on the gorge and eventually came to the tunnel we had read about. The book said that head lamps weren’t necessary since the tunnel was lit, but vandals and nature had taken care of all but about 20 bulbs along the length of the tunnel so we were all huddled around the little light as we made our way through. All was well and we did end up back at the RV around an hour later. The hike ended at some old leach vats for the local gold mines. The gold mines in that area produced around 5,000,000 ounces of bullion over a 40 year period.
After our hike we stopped in Paeroa for a meat pie and and L&P Soda (Lemmon and Paeroa). Paeroa just stands for the town it is made in and not any flavor in it. The soda is touted as being “World Famous in New Zealand”, and I would have to say that it is an acquired taste, but pretty good.
After our meat pies and L&P we were off to Taupo. Leslie has been talking it up about bungee jumping here in Taupo and today was the day. The “Taupo Bungy” is 47 meters high and is off a cantilevered platform above of the Waikato River. I had been thinking about jumping with her and as we pulled into the parking lot I decided I should give it a go. We were both too spooked to jump alone, so we decided to do it “lovers leap” style. Our ankle harnesses were strapped together and we shuffled to the edge in an embrace. The jump master counted to three and we fell forward into nothing. We did opt out of the “water touch option” so we stayed dry and were safely lowered into the rescue boat on the river. Leslie and I did opt for the picture and video package. Now whenever we get the urge to do it again, we can just watch the video. A much cheaper option.


JennSean said...

What is your picture code so we can check out your bungee?

CK and LK said...

Picture #1 code is tbnz710265534539

Hope you're both doing well. We miss you!

Class Act said...

OH MY GOSH...A BUNGEE JUMP!? Was there a laundry near by??? :>) Have to keep the post clean! Sounds like you are experiencing it all. Did Don and Kathy jump too? I hope to see the photos soon.

JennSean said...

LOVE the picture! Better than the ones on their website! I can't stop thinking about what it would be like to do it! You two ROCK! We are doing well & miss you too!
-SK & JH