Day 25. Freezing water caving
9:48am Tuesday blogging about yesterday.
Today’s rock bounding and spelunking is for my good friend Margo Kelly. She wanted today to be dedicated to her grandpa Frank. I met Margo years ago.. I’m honestly not even sure how many years or where but I’m sure she knows. We had gone to many of the same events and groups together so seeing a person pretty much learning everything you are and at each place you are is pretty cool. Let me see… Church, College, InterVarsity, Small Group, and all the friends we made all knew both of us well. My friends were her friends and vice vs. She has a huge passion for helping people, many times so much that she puts herself into predicaments. Lol. Margo moments. 😁 She works very hard and has a pure soul. She has a thirst for God and I often bounce ideas off her for her input and thoughts. She’s been a good friend even though we have had life’s ups and downs, she remains a solid caring person. Her Grandpa Frank, though not passing from Cancer, went though chemotherapy for Lymphoma Cancer. Today, March 5th is the one year anniversary of the day he passed away right before turning 91. Five years ago he followed my Hope Ride so close I think he was my biggest supporter. My Hope Ride was a light to his life and it helped keep him positive. We had to get a picture together after my bicycle trip because he thought the world of me and what I was doing to help others.
I wish you could be around to follow my NZ trip Frank! Here’s to you.
Well. I heard it start raining in the middle of the night and into the morning. I would have gone out and grabbed my clothes off the clothes line to keep them dry, but there was no dry place to keep them! I had told Christian I wouldn’t blog in the morning so we could pack up quick and head to pickup Andrè. Got up and about about 9am and somehow managed to waste a lot of time. I really wanted a home cooked meal so I asked him if he wanted to drive into town real quick to checkout this place that was on my map that said it was the only restaurant in town. Told him I would pay for the food. (Oh yea, the campground owner came around the night before and collected the money for the night and we asked what was fun to do around the area. He said there wasn’t much but there were some caves around the castle hill area.) We drive into town and park and walk to where this ‘restaurant’ should be. Lol. It’s closed and empty. There is a for sale sign up by the road. Feeling like a complete idiot I have asked Christian to come out twice now and failed both times. Ughhh so we head to a small cafe that I know IS open. They don’t have any decent food to be made just able to get any kind of coffee and pointing at a breaded sandwich that had bacon and eggs on it we both got that. I got a cappuccino and he asked for a regular coffee. The lady working came back with 30 questions for what type of coffee. Milk fat, skim, sugar? What do you want in it, there’s no such thing as regular coffee here. I just tell her black coffee! I guess in Germany they only have 3 types of coffee. Too many options is never a good thing. I feel like a hobo because I now have damp socks on and my boots still not laced up. Wet socks are gross. We sit down while they make our food. I keep watch in the time. We have like 30 minutes till we have to pick this guy up! I haven’t had time to even pack anything up at the campground. We finish our food quickly and take a few shots of Springfield on the way back to the car.
The doughnut from the Simpson’s. Lol.
We get back to camp and without only taking one hot sip of my coffee race to pack everything up. We had 10 minutes. I’m not a person that likes to be late. Especially when someone else is depending on you. I’m not folding anything, and I shove all my wet clothes in a bag and the dripping wet tent in its bag. Cram the sleeping bag in its own bag and try to get the air out of my mattress. Not fast enough. I just start putting everting in the side car door so at least it’s in the car and in one place. We are 20 minutes late to go get the guy. (30 minutes is a record for me moving all my camping place from one place to another.) he said the day before that he didn’t know where he was going to stay or he might hitch a ride out or who knows. There wasn’t a way to get a hold of him. We arrived where we said we would be. I called him. Straight to voicemail. Well yea, there’s no WiFi out here so I didn’t expect him to pick up. We look around the area. No sign of him. Either he kept going last night because this was very flat ground and on farmers land so you could see everywhere or he already got picked up in the 20 min we were late, or he had slept in and wasn’t here on time. Well. We waited for a few minutes. Nothin. Guess we can move on now and assume the best for him.
It’s been spitting rain all morning.. we drive out of it about an hour later to bright sunshine! We pull off the road where a lot of tourists are. We are at Castle Hill.
We decide to dry all of our stuff on his car and my tent on the bushes. Lol. His other pair of boxers weren’t really drying so he put them on his head. LOL. He was also complaining about the top of his head getting burned. This photo is hilarious!
You can imagine the looks we are getting. He is barefoot, with his boxers on his head, drinking a beer while all of our clothes on drying on his car. 😂😂
There are many times in life where you really shouldn’t care how many people think you’re ridiculous. This was one of them. After an hour, everything was dry!
To this day.. when we want to do something.. the rain stops. When we don’t need to go anywhere, it starts.
This is what all the tourists have come to see. A TON of huge rounded rocks. It almost reminds me of…. yup. Just lost it… Stonehenge! Yea that.
I have a little bit of food and I grab a water bottle to take. We spend FOUR hours climbing rocks and being kids again. I think we took 100 pictures. Lol
Another perfect weather day.
Sometimes being high up was a little daunting, but at least getting there was relatively easy. Just gradual slopes and potholed rocks which helped my boots not slip. Christian, of course, barefoot. We tried to take a variety of photos, like for one where you flipped the picture side ways and it looked like you were falling down even though you were standing there.
My photo was executed poorly. His was a little better. Not quite the idea I had in my mind.
Then there’s tiny me.
And contemplating Christian.
We just really had a lot of fun bouncing around on big smooth rocks.
We started to walk back to the car to eat and it started sprinkling! We ran back to the rest of the way and get into the car. It starts pouring minutes later. LOL. We both agree that it needed to rain, but God holds it off till we are done.
We have some food in the car, pizza buns and fruit and figure we will head to the caves. Earlier he asked a group of people if they knew where the caves were and they said right down the road. I had seen him just break into the German language with several people now. I asked him how he knew that they were German?? He said it’s how they act, and of course if he hears them. He said most Germans don’t like to stand out so if you go near them, they will start talking English, or he can tell by the brands of clothes they were. That’s pretty cool!
So we don’t really have any idea what these caves consist of. We pull into a parking lot that seems to have a bunch of tour guides groups or just people in their vans. As I put on my newly dried shoes and socks I’m feeling pretty good. He goes to talk to some other German people as I’m looking up what thee caves are. He comes back and was told that it takes about 45 minutes to get through the caves and sometimes the water gets up to waist deep. Hmmm cool and crazy. I love to have a variety of things to do, and I didn’t imagine wading through water waist deep in a cave in New Zealand would be one of them. Why not? I have the first opportunity to put in my swimsuit and my second time being thankful that I have water shoes instead of flip flops. All the three times I had wanted flip flops. The water shoes have really good grip, but it holds all the water in the shoes. Lol. So each time I get out of the shower I have two small tubs of water I carry around on my feet till I take them off and empty them.
I put on my wrist strapped waterproof go pro and put my phone (which the case is supposed to be waterproof) in a plastic bag with some extra batteries for my headlamp. I also have a small backpack on that has a few granola bars in it. Christian.. has his swim suit and my small flashlight going in.
From my last caving experience, I assume the water shouldn’t be that cold and the air in the cave should remain a decent temp since it’s underground. He laughs at a few of the signs warnings as he doesn’t have warm clothing or good footwear on. We head down to the cave mouth.
The water.. is FREEZING! It’s like glacier waters, I can only hope in the cave the water gets warmer..?
The first thing that happens.. we hop down off a ledge into knee high water. The rocky floor just keeps going downhill. It’s so cold that I feel my breathe being sucked out of me! It’s only waist high but still! We get in a little ways and get past some of the deeper water and I attempt to take a picture of him.
😂😂😂 He looks like something that has lived in the cave for many years and is seeing my light for the first time. Some creature used to the dark caves.
Smeeee. As you can see my red light of my go pro. I recorded quite a bit in the cave. Hopefully there was enough light to get some decent footage.
Even though he is barefoot he is making progress much quicker than I am! I seem to double tap each rock. Once to make sure it’s steady then another time to plant and put weight on that foot. Unless I can see the ground underneath my feet. The water is actually super clear. There are several very strong currents that we have to get up. He doesn’t seem to care that it’s SO cold. I mean he did used to shower in the rivers and lakes around and he said it was about the same temp. Surprisingly as we went on the water became warmer. Or my legs became more numb? Not a lot of clear photos but a few times I asked if he would sit in a waterfall or he acted like he would shower in 30 seconds under a fountain that came from the high up ceiling.
This is me, TRYING to sit down in this waterfall because it was so cold my face gives it away.
Close to the end there was kind of a pool area that went to chest deep that he went into.
Finally there were metal handles to help you get out of the cave and we had to crawl on our knees a little bit
You can see the metal rungs on the far left of the picture.
LOL he looks like Smiegal from Lord of the Rings😂😂
Finally we made it out! That was a ton of fun!
We head up to a deck area to dry out.
Can’t have fun without some blood. I guess that list bit crawling on my knees wasn’t good?
I held it in the cold water for a bit to get the blood to stop coming out.
Admiring the beauty as we head beck to his car.
He talks about his next plans of going to Christchurch and staying there with some of his flat mates (roommates) I guess the friend that let him borrow the car lives in this house with 5 other guys. He said he would ask if I could camp out on their front lawn. Sounds good to me! We drive another 2 hours or less and arrive at his friends place. He just walks in and they are out back eating on a table for 6. “Ayyyyy Christian!!” I head out there with him and say hello to them all as I shake each guys hand and get his name and say, “I won’t remember any of your names” 😅
They chat a while as I give my story and card to one fella. I realize I only have 11 days left before my flight out of Auckland on the north island! I’ll have to hitch my way up there while making the best of things along the way. I plan on hopefully staying on their lawn another night to gather everything I had in his car and organizing it all and repacking it better.
While I’m setting up my tent Christian goes across the street to the grocery store. Christchurch is a pretty big town. I almost feel like I’m back in civilization again. I can’t stay long because of how far I need to travel left. I’ll hang with him today then have a bitter sweet good bye Tm. All his friends seem really cool, and one or two are German as well? At least one he was speaking German with.
I slept pretty well considering all the cars going by. There’s a row of shrubs in front of their house so the cars can’t see my tent. Incase you thought I was camping on the side walk. Still need to get pics. Who knows what I’ll do today, Christian says he wanted to head into town. I have barricaded myself into my tent and told myself I wasn’t leaving till I posted these last two days.
Sooo I have to pee and I’m hungry!
Sometimes the best things that happen are the things you never expect. You won’t have too many adventures in your home, not meeting new people or playing video games all day. (Though for the last couple months I have had a craving for gaming for several days in a row.)
(😅😅 Christian just came to my tent and said, “Good morning! Or afternoon? It’s like noon what are your plans today?”) Is going to check out the colleges here in NZ and will be back in 2 hours and will grab me to head downtown.
Christian was playing music in the car and was telling me about a Dj who made the decision to join a cult and worship the devil. He said the dj then had voices in his head, tell him to kill himself and how much of a failure he was. He had serious head headaches, visions of demons, and horrible nightmares. The guy ended up going to an insane asylum and found a Christian man. He realized that God was more powerful and had better gifts than the devil. He gave his life to the lord and almost instantaneously all the migraines, voices, and nightmares left him. He plays house music now and some of the words are Christian lyrics. I truly believe that if you REALLY dig into one side of the other, Good Vs Evil, you WILL find the spirit side of this world. I believe everyday our minds are a battleground and every thought is either a step toward good or a step toward evil.
If you don’t believe it. Do your own research.
A few questions.
If atheists really are against or don’t believe in God, why do they get so angry when others do? It’s like me being angry at a person who believes in Santa clause. Why go out of your way to show you’re against something you don’t believe in? It’s like watching a person setting up mouse traps in a house if you don’t believe there’s a mouse. We could just be crazy. 🤪
Why are there millions of people that believe there is a higher power? (Maybe more than millions?) A non believer would basically have to say that the core thing all those people believe in is a lie?
As a non believer.. isn’t there something inside of you that you feel like you’re missing? You keep looking to find what you’re missing but everything doesn’t fill the void. Maybe all the things around you aren’t meant to fill that hole. At some point in your life you’ll do some thinking of your own. Your plans will never workout like you want them to. So many think more money or becoming a celebrity or finding a wife or girlfriend will complete them. It never will. You should trying looking up instead of around.. or down if you want to, but I don’t think you’ll like what you find.
Word of the day:
“We are not alone. There is always an unseen power working for righteousness.”