Today was our last day on the north island & it was well spent in the Waitomo Caves black water rafting, & viewing the glow worms.
Glow worms are in fact fly larvae, & not worms, but they look pretty amazing none-the-less. They are actually pretty vicious creatures as they produce a webbing that hangs down from the roof of the caves & grabs hold of anything that flies into it. This webbing has paralytic properties, & allows the larvae to feed on live food. Pretty fascinating that such a gruesome little larvae can also be so beautiful when you turn out the lights.
Lexi & I
The caves were really cool, but sadly GoPro’s aren’t allowed, & all the photography is done by the company guides.
Speaking of guides, we had three great guides with us. Brendan was quite funny, & knowledgeable about the caves & the Maori significance of them.
The caves were in fact used as sacred burials many years ago, as they believed the glow worms symbolized the stars, & the caves were a portal to the underworld. Don’t worry, we definitely weren’t tubing near any of the burial tombs.
After leaving Waitomo we ventured back into Auckland to a hotel near the airport. For dinner some of the group headed into the heart of Auckland, but Lexi, Maddy, Kendra, & I opted to stay at the hotel. We walked to a near by liquor store, got some Feijoa Ciders (seriously you have to try these), & proceeded to watch Frozen until we were hungry enough to head to the hotel restaurant.
I am very sad to leave so many of the group from UMD, but also very excited for the travels that tomorrow brings. I will be meeting up with my friend from high school, Kaitlyn, in the city of Dunedin where she has been studying for the last three months.
Again, I wanted to say how thankful I am for my time on the north island of New Zealand, all the opportunities we had as a class, & the amazing TA’s (Ros & Jenni) we had while we were there. I met so many wonderful people, made some great memories, & friendships that I really do think will last a long time. It feels as though we just arrived, & yet our course has come to an end. Thankfully, the rest of my travels are just beginning.