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Sunday, May 1, 2011

When Men Were Men and Sheep Were Nervous


4/22/11     Lake Mahinapua -> Franz Josef
Our departure times have steadily been getting later.  Today it was 9:30.  We took a quick jaunt down the road to the Bushman’s Centre.  Here we watched a video on helicopter deer recovery.  It was really interesting.  These guys were pretty nuts, jumping out of helicopters onto deer before inventing net guns.  The movie even featured some Top Gun music.  Classy.  After the video we wandered around.  There were three possums (alive), two eels, two big ass pigs, a goat, a wallaby, and some deer.  I read some articles about the deer recovery and did the whole tourist in a gift shop thing.
After a brief breakfast we all trooped back onto the bus and resumed our journey.  Our only other stop along the way was at Lake Mapourika for a brief look.  After that it was straight into Franz Josef.  We stopped at the glacier company’s center so those people doing the hike tomorrow could be briefed.  I went inside a souvenir shop.  Kristen lost her phone.  It was a very eventful time.
Our next, and final, stop was the Rainforest Retreat, our hostel.  We were placed in the last open room they had, a 6-bed dorm.  We later determined it must have originally been a 4-bed and they just stuck in another set of bunks.  Overall that room just smelled bad.  The only time it didn’t was when there was no one in the room to say it did.  So basically the room was small and smelly.

Nora, Kaleb, Tony, Travis, and I decided to hike up to the Tatare Tunnels Walk.  The path led to an old gold mine which we trekked through.  Being an old mine the floor was covered in water, enough to reach the ankles in most places.  I decided to go barefoot and save my shoes.  Unsure of how far the tunnel went we just kept walking.  Due to the whole tunnel being pitch black without our torch light thing, we managed to spot some glowworms.  Sadly the pictures of them glowing didn’t turn out.  The pictures of their web things did, though.
Our brief photo session over, we continued on our way through the tunnel.  Not long later, Tony spotted a light at the end of the tunnel.  Luckily it wasn’t anything bad, just a connecting path/bridge between our tunnel and the rest of the mine, which was blocked off.  After a quick picture time we turned around and went back the way we came.
Upon reaching town our talk turned to food.  I planned on making spaghetti and invited the others to join me.  Travis, Kaleb, and Tony agreed.  Dinner then turned into a group affair.  It was quite tasty.  Our night ultimately ended the same way it always does, with everyone laughing their asses off for one reason or another.
Quote of the day: “Tickling his innards”