Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Saturday & Sunday 1st & 2nd March 2008 - Taupo to Rotorua


Friday
For those puzzled by yesterday's blog, I'll enlighten you! The stream I was bathing in was around 41-42 degrees - hot bath temperature, just a bit slimy with the green weed! It just pours out of the hillside and into the Waikato river!

The 29th February was definately an auspicious day for me! The urge I had at 3pm was to fall out of a plane from 15,000 feet, and, thanks to Katie and Stephen, and the wheels of an extremely efficient tourist industry, I was at the airport by 4ish, getting dressed in a jumpsuit and harness and heading out for a scenic flight, minus the descent and landing!

It was AWESOME! There's no time to think, when you're sitting in the open doorway of the plane, with the clouds halfway between you and the ground, at the height of Mont Blanc above Lake Taupo, with Ruapehu and Taranaki rising above above the cloud! Then, the air is really rushing past, for about 60 seconds before the parachute opens and you slow down sufficiently to really appreciate the amazing views. I'd certainly do it again and if you want to see the fun I had, ask to see the DVD, taken during the freefall. Photos to follow.

The cold beer afterwards tasted very sweet!

Saturday
The day of 'Ironman Taupo' - starting at 7am, with a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, to be completed by midnight. Of the 30 or so UK entrants from a field of around 1200, I noticed a certain Alan Judd in the 60-64 year old category - is this the ex-Leeds MI pharmacist?

We weren't up too early, but watched the competitors at the end of the first cycle lap, the first ones coming through around 10am. Taupo was buzzing and we were sorry to be heading off.

Up the road in Rotorua, it was turning into a wet day, so we checked into 'Funky Green' and walked to Kuirau Park to see steam hissing out of the ground in a variety of areas.

St Faith's church is also interesting - the inside is beautifully carved and the graves have to be above ground due to the instability below!

The lakefront was particularly smelly, but we tolerated it to walk round to Motutara Point, then around Sulphur Bay to reach the Polynesian Spa. What an excellent antedote to the drizzle and greyness! Several open air pools, some acidic, some alkaline, but all between 38 and 42 degrees - from warm to hot bath temperature! Here, we steamed before returning to base for another nice salad and an evening inside.

Sunday
Showers and cloud today, ideal for warming up in the steam at Wai-O-Tapu, one of the thermal areas. The Lady Knox geyser performed on cue, thanks to 300g of soap flakes, spouting water several metres into the air.

The site has plenty of colour - thanks to sulphur crystals, silica, manganese, iron, etc and there is much activity from bubbling water, hissing and splurging mud, and waterfalls. The Champagne Pool was as beautiful as I remembered, its blue water and red slopes contrasting nicely with the white rock at its edge, bubbles emerging constantly from the hot water.

The Devil's Bath was a particularly surprising colour...

The Redwood Forest failed to provide the mountain bike ride we hoped for, on graded trails, but did make for a pleasant walk, dry(ish) if a bit humid. Nice views to the town and lake.

Tomorrow we drive north to the Coromandel peninsula, for a 'holiday'!

Messages
Happy Mothers Day to Dot and Diana.
Congratulations Kate on your successful job interview.

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