Oh, right. THE WATERFALL.
So we have been intense mountain man hiking for three and a half hours about when we finally reach a cute little waterfall. That blessed man James says, "Alright girls, this is where we will stop for lunch. Jump in and take a swim." I could not get out of my soggy tennis shoes fast enough.
*funny side story- when we met that morning we asked James if we should wear our swimsuits under our clothes the whole time and he said that it would be easier to change when we get there. Well once we got to the waterfall, James is like, "Find a bush and change into your togs." and there are literally young men everywhere! I had to make a miniature hike of my own just to find a tree that would actually cover me. But yeah, much easier than just wearing them under our clothes that would be getting wet anyways, right? so funny.*
|Discussing cliff options. Notice my low pointing hand. always the daredevil.|
Anywho... I jumped off a little mini cliff (I contemplated going off the high one, but my legs were pretty shaky by this point because I may or may not be somewhat out of shape and I felt like falling off a cliff just wouldn't be great) right into the glorious mountain water waiting below. Yeah, we may not be in Utah anymore, but it was still totally freezing, which was pretty refreshing for my sweaty self until I lost the feeling in all of my limbs. But I digress...
At the waterfall we finally got some real New Zealand education. The boys taught us this awesome as game called Pukena (which may or may not be how you spell it, I have absolutely no idea.) Also, awesome as is an expression commonly used here. You can add as behind any description here and it's basically the equivalent of saying super or very. For instance, super cute = cute as, crazy hot = hot as, and very, very ugly = fugly as. I love it. Anyways, I was totally planning on posting a video, but evidently computers hate me so go to my roommates blog to watch the videos here.
We even talked them into doing a haka for us and there is a video of that too.
Are they not the cutest things you ever did see?
|hiking with style|
When James decided we had had enough fun he said it was time to finish the hike. We only had about 1 km left, and with my newfound hiking skills I thought to myself, ain't no thang.
|This tiny wood beam was twenty feet up and the only way to get across. But James kindly informed us the last time he went, they didn't even have a beam. He is so hardcore.|
|there was rock climbing|
|And more rock climbing|
Like I said, ain't no thang. I totally nailed it and even found time to enjoy the scenery. I felt like the cast of Lost hiking to the top of the mountain to shoot a polar bear or something (I never did quite get that show).
|Where's Jack when you need him?|
And had that been where the hike ended I probably would have declared myself a hike-lover for life. But it didn't end there. Duh.
The next part of our journey took us through a swamp.
Good news: James said they had just recently built the bridges so we didn't have to wade in the swampy nast.
Bad news: It was still gross and the sun was beating down on us.
We then arrived at a black sand dune.
|deceptively small and beautiful|
|The boys were running, they were obviously immune to the sand's power-sapping capabilities|
Good news: it was absolutely gorgeous. The sand was crazy sparkly, and heaven knows I like things to sparkle.
Bad news: This black sand dune was made by the devil. Walking in sand is hard enough in the first place with all the sinking in and what not, but then he thought, ya know what? let's make it black too. so it attracts the sun and burns people through their soggy tennis shoes. And also I am gonna place it at the end of a long hike so that they won't have a lot of leg strength to begin with. It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
We finally made it out of the black sand dunes to the tunnel.
Good news: It was shaded and would have been pretty dang cool to look at if I hadn't been too busy cursing black sand.
Bad news: It wasn't the end of our hike.
The end of the tunnel brought us out to the black sand beach.
Good news: I have no idea, at this point I was mad enough to
Bad news: I was still walking in black sand, my tennis shoes felt like they do at the end of a long day at Disneyworld when the first ride you go on was Splash Mountain, and also they were covered with sand. I was out of water and the sun was trying to eat me alive. Plus my face was all sweaty and so my sunglasses kept sliding off. Yeah, I retract my earlier retraction, I was definitely mad enough to punch a baby kitten.
And just when I thought I was about to die...
We reached the end. And I took my shoes off. And I had an orange. And suddenly life got a whole lot better and all baby kittens were saved from my wrath.
Moral of the story:
ME - FOOD + SOGGY TENNIS SHOES = ONE SERIOUSLY T.O.ED KITTY PUNCHER
and also, I am a hiker, gosh dangit, and a darned good one at that.