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Last day of our NZ road trip

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On the last full day of our NZ road trip, we drove from Rotorua to the Waitomo caves for a tour. We left about an hour early, but I got lost driving there, so we ended up arriving exactly on time. It definitely made for a bit of a stressful morning, though!

The tour was really neat. The tour guide drove us through a beautiful farm with rolling green hills in all directions to get to the caves, and then we all got helmets with headlights for walking through the cave. We couldn’t see much at first, but then we got on a boat and everyone turned their lights off so our eyes could adjust, and there were glowworms completely covering the ceiling! Their blue lights reflected in the water below, too, so it was absolutely beautiful. And it was completely silent too, except for the sound of the waterfall in the distance, so it was quite peaceful. After that we went into another cave to see some rock formations, which was interesting, but the really cool part of the tour was seeing the glowworms from the boat.

the picture I took

the picture I took

Spellbound Glowworms at end of cave

the professional picture that the tour guide emailed to all of us, since the glow worms are so difficult to photograph

After that, we had lunch and drove to Auckland, which should have taken about two hours, but ended up taking us closer to three or four because the traffic was so bad. It felt so strange to be stuck in traffic after spending two weeks driving through tiny towns on winding two-lane country roads! But we finally made it to our hostel, quickly took our stuff inside, and then hopped back in the car to return it to the rental depot. Unfortunately, it was closed, so we spent about half an hour driving in circles trying to find the after-hours parking garage. We were both a little stressed after all the driving and the rental car stuff, but we felt better after finally making it back to the hostel and eating dinner. Although I was out of food, so my dinner consisted of a can of peaches and some rice noodles with butter.

This morning, I packed up all my things to be ready for the airport, and then Sarah and I walked around to find somewhere to have breakfast. We were both out of food anyway, and we thought that eating breakfast out would be a nice last thing to do. We ended up finding a perfect little café that was all decorated for Christmas, and I got to have gluten-free French toast! I also had bacon, strawberries, and a mocha. Everything was so good, especially since I haven’t had French toast in years.

Then I took a bus to the airport, which actually went quite smoothly, and I’m flying to Nelson to spend my last two weeks in NZ on a farm in Motueka!

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