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100 Days Of Summer When your home country is covered in feet of snow and -20 is the average temperature everywhere it's important to flaunt that you aren't home! This blog documents my adventures through the Pacific and South East Asia as I enjoy exactly 100 Days of Summer.

"Glow Maggots" Doesn't Sell Well!

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 30 January 2014 | Views [325]

Transportation in New Zealand had been robbing us, and there were a lot of day trips and moving around we had to do so we did our research and rented our dear "Hattie". (Her license plate was HAT etc. so we called her Hattie.) Hattie is a cute little white Toyota Corolla that is heaven on gas! We drove her out to Waitomo for caving, and Te Puia geothermal park, then have her until Wellington!

Driving on the other side of the road was something to behold. Danielle and I had toyed with the idea of renting a car every time we took an expensive bus ride, so we decided to sit close to the front and mentally practice: I think it helped!? We flipped to see who would go first and by luck of the draw.....it was me. The weirdest thing wasn't that we were on the other side of the road, but that the controls are on the other side of the car! At first whenever we tried a turn signal we'd accidentally hit the windshield wiper instead! Anyway, I made a lot of left turns at first because the idea of making a right hand turn into the far left lane intimidated me! I finally made my right turn, drove for two more minutes and said "Okay! You're next!" We did it though, and the best way to test our new skill was a day trip to Waitomo for some caving!

Waitomo has a lot of caving, black water rafting, and glow worm trips. We booked one that combined all three! It was a 4 hour trek through the cave with a group of about 20 people. First we had to suit up! We had three guides and were provided with wet suits, boots, helmets and head lights. Danielle and I went first as we walked in the blazing heat in our wet suits to the cave. I went down the hole first and Danielle followed close behind. We walked through the cave following the running water and got our first glimpse of glow worms! They're very small and a bright green/blue colour. We had to watch our heads and not disturb their dangling silks though because that's how they catch their food. We walked, climbed and crawled through different depths of mud and water, accompanied by the glow worms. At one point we all turned out our lights and walked through the water just looking at the worms bright lights. It was then that we learned more about them. They're actually the larva of a fungus gnat. After their metamorphosis though they have no mouths and die quickly, so they mate like crazy and create tones of glow maggots. Glow maggots sounds weird though so they call them worms! They were so bright that I could see them reflecting perfectly in the water. We then got to tubing! Each of us was given a large inner tube to float down the underground river in. We could either climb on to the tube or jump from the top of the cave into it - I jumped! With all our lights out we floated down the eel infested (not kidding) river. Then we went swimming in the water that didn't have eels in it! The wet suits made us float so we just kind of floated down the river some more instead of swam. We had a warm up break with hot orange juice (as gross as it sounds I promise) and chocolate. The group and our guides were a lot of fun! We even made a Canadian friend! Finally we said goodbye to the glow worms and trekked back to our lockers. It was one of the coolest things ever though!

The coolest part was when I realized "hey! I'm going to school for this! I could do this for a living!" Which just about blew me away! I could spend my whole working life guiding people through caves, rivers, and all kinds of adventures! Maybe I'll see I I can do my practicum in New Zealand!

Tags: adventure, caving, driving, glow worms, waitomo

 

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