This is our final day of the OZ/NZ adventure. The best is yet to come when we go to Okinawa to see our friend Lucky!
We left Rotorua this morning for a bus ride to Auckland. This one was planned and much different than our other rides. We traveled north passing more rolling fields, small hills and always the mountains in the distance. We got to see the tidy fields that looked like patchwork from the air.
It is so interesting to see how much the Maori are honored here in NZ. Many of the towns and streets have Maori names. I was listening to the song, Ordinary Miracles by Sarah McLachlan as we traveled and it fit the scenery perfectly. This trip has been full of ordinary and extraordinary miracles.
The main stop on our way to Auckland was at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. (Yes, glowworms as in the song you learned as a child. They do exist here in New Zealand.) Once again we had a Maori guide for our tour, which helps to make it that much more special. This is their land and they cherish it. We entered the cave and moved down into the caverns. (This is not a stop for the claustrophobic.) It is magical to see the formations and stalactites from the ceiling. We entered one of the large rooms in the cave and our guide had us sing. The acoustics are perfect and there was no echo at all. They have had concerts there including the Vienna Boys Choir. Talk about WOW. We only sang Happy Birthday but we got the idea.
After walking through the caves we got onto a shallow boat to ride to the exit. She asked everyone to be silent. It was dark except for the ceiling of the cave which was covered with tiny glowworms. It was an awesome experience. It reminded us of the night sky we saw at Ayers Rock. And the silence made it even better. I can't imagine what the first person to see this area felt. The government has some control of it to preserve it and keep it safe.
We are now in Auckland staying for one night at the SkyCity Hotel. It is a 4* hotel with a casino. We walked down to the wharf just to see what was there. Our flight leaves tomorrow at 1:15. We go to Hong Kong, then Taipei and then on to Okinawa on Monday morning which is really your Sunday afternoon, I think. We may not be posting anything until then but since Lucky's is free, look out!
Only one more week in our trip of a lifetime. It has been great so far and should only get better as we spend time with Lucky. Our own private tour guide!