Kia Ora: Day eight – and there shall be a day of rest.

Hmm, would someone tell the Lawyer please?

I know I know. I’m lucky to be his companion. I’m only too aware that he asked all 917 ‘friends’ on facebook if they’d go with him. He even put a card in the newsagent before he saw that spotty geeky moon-faced boy with no teeth and glasses waving at the back ‘Take me, take me!!! Please!!’

Of course the chance of better hotels than the youth hostels he’d experienced on his travels so far was a plus – I’m of  an age when it is a must to have (and fortunate to be able to afford) a flushing toilet that is not shared with more than two others.

Thus it was we left Hobbiton for Rotorua. Rotorua is the NZ centre of the hot springs, thermal pools with a tangy farty atmosphere than draws people from all over. We have a Maori experience booked – that’s tonight and will feature in the next post. So I anticipated a walk maybe, a visit to somewhere bubbling and deeply embedded in nature. I may have even said as much.

So what happens? He twists my words. Bubbling, embedded in nature…


This is the highest commercially raftable waterfall in the world.

Yep, white water rafting.

‘You need to challenge your fears’ they say. I have no idea who this self selecting ‘they’ might be but they should mind their own business frankly.

Of course I could say no. I know the word. I’ve used it many times. I could have pleaded (pled?):

1. I’m 58 and I creak

2. I hate swimming and have an almost phobia about being out of my depth in water

3. I’m one of life’s pratfall artists so if a boat is going to tip over and empty its crew in a torrent, I’ll be in it. Like this.


note to self; you are 15 stone in wet socks. of course the bloody boat will tip your way…

And when the boat gets to this point…


You’ll notice you can’t see me any more – I’m communing with the Tesco’s shopping trolley that has curiously made it here.

… you’re sure it’s going over. I didn’t say no. The Lawyer is NOT getting bragging rights that easily. Ha! And I survived. Clearly. Who would be writing this post if I didn’t. My ghost? Mwah ha HA!


The disbelief is tangible. Did I really…

Rotorua Rafting Co did an awesome – and I mean that in its truest sense – job of taking us down the river. At no stage did I feel scared…


I’m the only one not smiling because I’m savouring the moment.

I was putting on the scary face…


I wanted to paddle – or do I mean piddle?

Of course once or twice I overcame my natural shyness


I may have founded my own religion in that moment…

We were meant to be paddling but I think I was trying to crown our driver. Anyway, we made up.


Yep, hug me first!

Of course one should know best. These people always have fun at one’s expense


One minute you are up…


and the next…. I’ll leave the Mr Spock fingers to the youth. Now’s where’s that tea?

We had one more rapid and then it was home. Sam, the driver, not the Lawyer, said ‘Boys, sit in the front.’ We should have argued. We should have questioned.


one minute humming something fluffy by Pharrel Williams

We knew it couldn’t last


I was even saying to the Lawyer – ‘this isn’t what…’

And then this


and this


IMG_1560But I stayed in.

At the end the crew of the two boats that went down the river were brought together for a ‘team photo’ by the irritatingly cheery camera man with an outrageous French accent. ‘Make ze silly moves, cheris’

Right, Jacques.



Ok so I’m a miserable old git but really, does every photo call have to include you making an utter tit of yourself?

You would naturally assume a quiet afternoon to follow, maybe a sauna or some hot rocks, something to loosen up tired joints, to ease us back to reality?

Mountain biking anyone?

I know, a glutton. But I love mountain biking not that I get any chances to experience it in London. And I don’t do the cycling miles that I used to in order to have the legs and the lungs to make the most of it. However Rotorua is one of the three tops places in the world, after Whistler and France to mountain bike. The mountain here is pretty much given over to them so no hiker or horse interferes with crazy descents or stops tricky ascents. I came off four times, into heather, against tree roots, on stones and down steps and loved every stupid second of it.

And I’ve yet to see a hot spring or a thermal pool. Tomorrow. Maybe. You’ll just have to wait and see.

Now for the Maoris. Hope I don’t doze off…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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17 Responses to Kia Ora: Day eight – and there shall be a day of rest.


    Best pictures ever. I will not hide my envy anymore. Me —-> :mrgreen: Just green with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. lorilschafer says:

    I confess I have mixed feelings about this. I’m glad you had a good time, and the photos are awesome – but I almost drowned on a rafting trip a few years ago. On a river much tamer than this one. And I’m a really good swimmer. Just sayin’ – be careful out there 😦


  3. Sherri says:

    What a fantastic adventure you are on Geoff…wonderful pics too…:-)


  4. avalinakreska says:

    creased up here! You heroic bastard you! I’d love to white water raft…not sure you could risk that here…you’d be a frozen water statue in a balletic pose (now I kinda like that idea) hmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      We were with two swedes who made the exact same point. And yep The Frozen Rafter would be some crazy sculpture cum failed performance art. And Avalina no one has called me crazy heroic bastard before. I’m really taken with that. I should instigate an award: the CHB award for people who do things when they really should know better.


  5. willowdot21 says:

    OMG you are having an amazing time , Good luck to you I hope you can keep it together and not loose the teeth or the glasses!! 😉


  6. Charli Mills says:

    This is fantastic! What a waterfall! And you went over it! This would be my fate if I went on holiday with Rock Climber. Hope you got to soak in the farty effervescence of the hot springs!


    • TanGental says:

      Children, eh Charli? What we let them do to us. But I’m so glad the insidious little worm worked his oracle on me. He’s clealry loving that aspect too. Lots of stories to tell to whoever is patient enough to listen goign forward.


  7. That looked so much fun Geoff. Great photos. Glad you survived. I imagine it was pretty cold anyway.


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