Helen and Randall on the road

A bit about our adventures 2011-2012

Monday 24th October – Cave Rafting & Glow worms

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Sunday was all about the drive from Motueka to Westport. Oh, and there was some kind of sporting event taking place, I believe.

Anyhow, early Monday morning, a national holiday (no NOT just because of the rugby!) we met our very slightly hungover guide Lynne at the Charleston Cave Rafting company and got kitted out with hideous orange thick, thick wetsuits, caving helmets, gloves, boots and lifejackets, then headed off to the toy train station to take us into the national park:

Getting changed into our wetsuits on the platform was hilarious – luckily we’d been warned to wear swimsuits under our clothes and to pack dry pants!

Then we had a rather sweaty hike through the forest and up the mountain to the entrance to the cave system, carrying our inner tubes:



and a bit of caving…no actual squeezes but a fair amount of scrambling and scrunching.

Then the bit we’d been waiting for…sitting in our rubber rings and drifting slowly with the current through the cave that was lit only by the lights of thousands of glow worms. Actually getting into the rubber rings (and out of them again) was pretty funny. Not the most elegant.

Eventually we popped out of the cave system and onto the Nile river (really) to surf down some gentle rapids to the pick-up point:



Highly recommend this experience if you happen to be in the area.

The drive from Charleston to our next port of call, Franz Josef, was spectacular both in terms of the scenery – stunning surf-washed beaches then winding mountain roads – and in terms of the vehicles we were sharing the road with. Either vintage cars are very fashionable on the West Coast or there was some kind of convention, as we were following and passing everything from beautifully maintained Ford Mustangs to cars that looked like the bastard offspring of a 1950s Chrysler and a Wurlizer jukebox.



Written by helenbcn

October 24, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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