April 10, 2008

craters of the moon

Today we had a really great day... amazing nature things! We were exploring around
Taupo. This town lies on the beautiful Lake Taupo and is surrounded by volcanos.
Some of them are still active. The whole area is still moving, boiling and shaking.
They actually had an earthquake on Friday, April 4th, a small one, but it was one.
They are still waiting for the big shake though.

We started our tour at the Craters of the Moon, which is a volcanic active area and
well, looks like the craters of the moon. You wouldn' t expect there to be soo much
activity, because as always in NZ nature hits you by surprise. To enter this area you
had to pay 5 NZ$, which is really cheap, most of the times you don' t have to pay
entry to the national parks... just donations! Nice them kiwis! :-) So, we were entering
this park and you can go around on wooden bars along the craters. All you can see
at first is smoke coming up from holes in the ground, looks more like someone lit a
small fire. Coming closer you can see the little craters and smell the sulfur. You can
feel the earth is boiling underneath, it' s really hot. That's why you cannot walk on
sole ground, because you feet would get burned badly. There was one amazing
crater which was called the mud crater. It was really big and you could up and see
into it, it was all mud on the ground and it was like bubbling and boiling. Looked more
like boiling water in a big bowl, except it was brown mud. Spooky. Smoke
everywhere! They also make swoooshing sounds! It felt like walking through Jurassic
Park there. Pretty impressive!

Then we went on to the Huka Falls, they are provided the area around Taupo with
electricity, so we thought, they must be pretty huge waterfalls there. Nope, weren't!
They were not soo big, but pretty impressive. The water is crystal clear and turquoise
... as all the water around here is. You just want to jump in and take a few swims
there! Too cold though!

After that we went to the Bungy Jump. Watched a few jumpers. Scenic bridge there,
but wouldn' t get me jumping. We were thinking of doing the sky dive over Taupo...
we even went to the local airport to check it out. But ... aahh, yeah we chickened out!
:-( Not really my thing. It was really busy and they squeezed like 10 people plus
tandem partners in the small, tiny, scary looking plane! ahh noo! Maybe if there
would have been somebody to talk us really into it, we' d go for it but since none of
us really really wanted to do it... the idea of it sounded great though.

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