we are currently in the town of Waipu, which i had picked for the specific reason that it had nothing to do. that's not entirely true ... i thought there would be a few activities, but enough boredom to force me to do some schoolwork and finish up my novel. well, there is certainly no shortage of boredom.
there is one bar in town, which is conveniently attached to our hotel and is populated by old men gambling on horses, beginning from the early hour of 11 am. there is one cafe called "y-not" and then an odd take-out place boasting "magic tasty" chinese and european food. what exactly is "european food?" i am imagining pierogies topped with spanikopita wrapped in a pizza on a bed of paella. anyway, the only "fancy" sit-down restaurant is called the "pizza barn," however, when we tried to eat dinner there at 8:30 on a sunday, we found out that they were no longer accepting new dinner customers. walking the streets, the entire town was abandoned. i kid you not, the bolshevik shouted "helloooo?" down the street and it just echoed back at us. 8:30 pm.
anyhow, we will be off to melbourne, australia to visit my aunt and uncle! but before we head over to OZ, i'd like to do a brief summary of some of our adventures that i had not previously discussed. here goes:
we also went to a place called waitomo, where they have a system of caves that are full of glow worms. we did this thing where we rappelled into a cave, went tubing inside the cave, then climbed out. this picture doesn't really get the full effect, but you can see there are these little glowing dots behind us, which are in fact glow worms. it was actually quite cool when we shut off our headlamps and then all of a sudden the cave was filled with all these brightly glowing dots that hadn't been there before.
while we were in dunedin, we visited baldwin street, which is the steepest street in the world. (even steeper than in san francisco) ... which leads me to comment that new zealand loves to proclaim that they have the most superlative something: steepest street, tallest rock arch, most voluminous sea cave, etc etc (we have in fact seen all of these sights). it was difficult to really photograph how steep it was. this was the best we could do. but it was seriously steep!
alright ... that is all i need to report on new zealand. on to australia!