Waitomo Caves, New Zealand, is home to blackwater cave rafting with glowworm ceilings, one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. It combines spelucking with rafting. In full wetsuits, muck boots, and helmets with miner lights you ride the river on an inner tube through the cave. When the guide slaps his tube on the water, the ceiling lights up with glow worms as if the finest starry night just appeared out your window. As the sound of a waterfall approaches, your heart jumps because you can’t see downriver. It could be a foot trickle or Niagara Falls because of the sound echoing in the cave. The guide grins and chuckles! I’ll let you go to the caves yourself to figure out what happens next, but it was the beginning of the day before we were in the cave that had me crying with laughter. Waitomo Caves Click here
When we arrived, we were handed wetsuits, gum boots, helmets, and miner’s lights. This was going to be an adventure. The suit they handed me was a bit small. I’m a scuba diver, so I know how to get into a wetsuit, but this one was truly not my size. I did my best while breaking a few nails to get into this thing, but after huffing and puffing it was solidly stuck below my ass. So I waddled over to the counter and asked for a bigger size. The gal told me all the larger ones had been handed out, but not to worry as they would have someone help me with the suit I had been given. Now remember that we’re in New Zealand, so think about Polynesian men… The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. They do not lack for stout! So walking towards me was Jason Momoa with a beer belly. He said hello with a smiling grin, then proceeded to spin me around so my backside was facing him, then shoved his hand down the inside of the wetsuit, put his other arm around my middle and picked me up off the ground bouncing me like a ragdoll in the air!!! Up comes the wetsuit, but we’re not done. To ensure I’m in the rubber casing, he put me back on the ground, spun me around, and there went his hand down the front of my wetsuit and I was again in the air like Raggedy Ann. As I thanked him for the assistance and wondered if I’d ever be able remove the rubber now pasted onto my skin, with a wink of his eye he said, “Just let me know if you need help getting it off after your ride.” “I think I just took a ride,” was my response.