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February 2, 2016 / cmfletcher

Perils of Freedom

22waitomo gloworm caveboat

Boat used in the glowworm caves (at the exit – she’s going back for the others in the tour)

Not being on an organized tour has its pluses and minuses. Plus side, your schedule can be easily readjusted; minus side, you will have to because you are arranging things without local knowledge.

We arrived at Hobbiton this morning bright and early (to us) at 11 am. Sadly, no tours until 1:30. So we asked if we could book for tomorrow by phone or internet, (yes), and took off for “tomorrow’s” site, Waitmoto Glowworm caves.

We saw a lot of NZ countryside, some of it plain, lots of it amazingly beautiful. We got to the caves and booked a double tour, first the Glowworm cave, then a tour of Aranui cave.

You can’t take pictures in the Glowworm cave, and it is very dark. I seriously thought I was going to break my leg or worse, because the lighting was minimal, there were few handrails, and strict instructions not to touch the rock. The second half of the tour, though, is magical. You are riding in a boat, and they ask for silence because the glowworms don’t shine as brightly if they are disturbed by noise. It was dark except for the spots of blue light from the glowworms, and silent. Apparently the first explorers of the cave came in via the river and then exited through the upper cave.

22Aranui Santa Clause

Aranui Santa Claus

We decided to do Aranui cave as well. This meant going to the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve, for the tour, so we got a walk through a rain forest and a cave tour. There we could take pictures and we enjoyed it very much.

Tonight we found a brew pub near our motel, great beers and good food. Fletcher had goat curry. I stuck with the chicken burger which was recommended to go with my beer.

Tomorrow, we try for Hobbiton!

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