we made our way from New Plymouth northward toward Waitomo. Our intention was to chase the sun and to try to take advantage of whatever sunny and warm days we could find along the way. It is the beginning of fall in New Zealand so the weather is getting more changeable. Our theory is that as we go North we should get finer weather.
We ended our travels at Waitomo Caves which are famous for their glow worms. We pitched our tent for the night and made arrangements for a trip into Glow worm caves for the following day.
When the time for the tour came we went to the appointed meeting place for what is known as "black water rafting". This is floating on inner tubes through water in caves. I guess I didn't really understand the full ramifications of this though, as first one must get into the caves. This involves something called Abseiling...or in other words, dangling from a rope as one lowers oneself into a crevice in the rocks. This is followed by a tramp through a river to see the caves, seeing the glow worms in their caves, and then riding an inner tube through the caves and under the glow worms above.
It was very interesting, with eels in the water (yuck for me...fascinating for Paul), spiders and weta beetles in abundance, and -of course-glow worms! These were fantastic, glowing like constellations above our heads and reflected in the water below. These interesting creatures are fly larvae with luminescence. They create fishing lines which dangle into the air to capture flies and they glow to attract the flies into these these sticky lines.
Of course, the tour came to an end and the inevitable arrived. Having dropped 88 feet into the caves, we now had to climb out. This was terrifying for me...basically rock climbing up the cliff (with a safety line attached...but the brain doesn't necessarily understand that part). At the end, another success was added to the list...but I don't think rock climbing will be part of my future!!!