Tuesday, November 20, 2007

earth, wind (water) and fire ...

Approaching the city limits of Rotorua we began to look at each other suspiciously.

As the smell of rotten eggs intensified it didn't take too long to realise that it had more to do with the hydrogen sulphide emitted by thermal activity than our breakfast that morning. It may have been the thermal activity and associated Spa's that first attracted tourists to this part of the North Island, but we found more to detain us here than anywhere else in New Zealand.

It's interesting that what terrifies one person another can take quite in their stride. As Mel decided to fulfil her ambition for jumping out of an aeroplane (something I would require sedation to even consider) I took to the Wairoa River for some full on white-water rafting, the very thought of which terrifies Mel to an equal extent.

When the local hydro-electric company dammed the river a number of years ago the rafting operators managed to secure an agreement that sees water released for a few short hours only twenty-six times a year. I could see why they battled so hard to keep rafting here, as we spent 2 hours tackling the Grade 4-5 rapids every hundred metres or so along our route.

It was only after we had recovered from partially capsizing in the toughest rapid of the day that our raft guide informed us about the 8 people had previously died in the same spot. I guess that should have provided a sober moment, but we we're having so much fun it just seemed to add to the general euphoria.

While the white water definitely rules for adrenaline, by far the most amusing activity in Rotorua (if not the planet) is Zorbing.

Imagine rolling down a hill along a zig-zag course in an enormous beach ball along with half a gallon of lukewarm water - the video below of the straight course should provide you with a good idea.

It may be completely pointless and ridiculous, but I'd challenge anyone not to laugh all the way down. Simply hilarious fun.

Of course as I left the finish area having had my photo taken, the photographer only had one thing to say to me ...

"Hey, nice 'tashe mate".

This is getting more embarassing by the day.

Here's a photo of me on Day 18 of Movember posing with a bottle of MAC Spring Tide, new in at No. 2 in the beer league.

I'm delighted to say that thanks to your support the sponsorship amount is now well into 3 figures and rising almost as fast as my embarassment. If you haven't sponsored me yet and would like to, you can find all the details a couple of posts below.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to state absolutely categorically that my moustache is NOT GINGER. You know who you are.