We spent our Thanksgiving feeling happy to be alive (and to have survived the adventure we embarked on above). Driving north from New Plymouth towards Auckland, we stopped in Waitomo to check out the glowworm caves with the Black Water Rafting Company.
Before we headed into the cave, we had to practice jumping backwards off a 8′ ledge with our tube to prepare for doing the same thing over waterfalls inside the cave — I KNOW — I thought I was going to pass out. Surprisingly, I survived the trial run, with Brian close behind me.
After our dry run on land, we headed into the cave. I don’t know why I thought there would be this big hole you walked right into but there wasn’t. It was narrow and cramped. After another safety briefing (and a group photo that didn’t turn out), we walked through a stream of water, carrying our inner tubes. We stopped at one point to turn off our headlamps and learn about the glowworms, which are actually maggots who have eaten and glow to attract flying insects into their web (as they simulate sunlight).
[This is a stock photo, but we were in this same spot, doing this backwards jump.] As we walked along, we came to waterfalls (which we needed to jump), rapids (that we needed to ride), and some slower parts of water (where we held onto each others feet like a big snake) and enjoyed the cave. It was exhilarating and made me glad that I didn’t know that much about the whole thing because I might have missed it all together — being afraid of heights, small spaces, having inches above your head to breath while on your back, water in the dark, etc.
After that adventure, which was the #2 highlight of the trip for me, after our day sailing, we drove a few more hours back to Auckland where we are staying for the next two days before we head out – Brian home and me to India for work. We checked into our last Airbnb digs for the trip and walked to get some fresh fish and chips from the local takeaway. Unfortunately, the picnic tables by the beach are a magnet for ducks. The second we headed for them, ducks surrounded us on all sides. We didn’t give into their beady little eyes, not for a second!
Thanks for checking in and reading up on our adventures. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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