Day 369...Tourist Time

Saturday 29 October 2016

More heavy rain last night and, as I woke, even in this little sheltered campsite I could hear the wind in the large willow trees. But thankfully, I’m safely tucked inside Cuzzie. Somehow that still never stops me checking the weather reports, always scanning way ahead of today for a break in the spring weather, then I roll back into my nice, warm bed and just enjoy planning today in my quiet mind.

Breakfast, a great planned Saturday, a chat about the day and then we’re off in the ute to be tourists in our own country. At long last we’re going to the Waitomo Caves! I have to admit I was a little bit apprehensive about venturing there on a Saturday but fortunately it wasn’t too busy. We both opted to just view and to go on a tour of the newer cave. There was an amazing, very dramatic spiral staircase entrance to Ruakuri Cave and the entire track was well laid-out on suspended walk-ways and underground concrete paths. There were also incredible shawl-like limestone formations, glow worms up close and personal and thankfully, it was only a small tour group, eighteen of us in total. The entire two-hour underground tour was far more spectacular than I had ever imagined. By the end of this tour, I was certainly impressed and a very proud Kiwi, so congratulations to Waitomo Caves!

We then grabbed a quick bite to eat from a local café, now that part of the tourist experience could have been somewhat better. The snack was well below average but the bubbly, happy staff member made up for the rather ho-hum food and we also enjoyed the warmth of the sun for just a short while. We stopped in at a local Otorohanga store that sells the best outdoor clothing. An iconic, quirky retailer that stocks Swazi and so many more labels. Jase spent money, but I did not! Back towards Kawhia we headed to grab our rigs and towels for I was determined to find and sit in the hot springs at Ocean Beach. Today was perfect timing as it was low tide as we arrived. A few others had already located the hot water underneath the sand, but we managed to jump in a vacant spot, dug a little deeper and then submerged ourselves in the hot water. We had to stay completely covered in the water as the wind was cool and blowing strongly so that, once wet, we cooled off really quickly. Once the tide and the waves started to reclaim the beach it was time to depart, so we washed away the black sand, clambered up the sand dunes and quickly got back to the shelter and warmth of the campsite.

Dinner, and chats to other campers followed by a restful night. Another day of living the dream, seeing and travelling to places to which I have never before been. Planning for tomorrow includes a big Sunday breakfast and a trip north to catch up with someone we all know.

My smiles today:
Sunshine on a beautifully warm Saturday.
Being tourists in our own country.
An iconic Otorohanga store.
Hot pools on a wild West Coast beach.
Campsite life with campsite people is so cool. I just love it!

My thoughts today:
If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can't just wait to see what kind of day you'll have. You have to decide what kind of day you'll have.

Have a happy Saturday! From Red and Jase. 

Ma Te Wa.

PLEASE TXT REDZ TO 2446 TO DONATE $3 TO MHFNZ.

Welcome to Waitomo.

Welcome to Waitomo.

Ruakuri Cave.

Ruakuri Cave.

Digging hot water pools, Ocean Beach Kawhia.

Digging hot water pools, Ocean Beach Kawhia.