“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Audrey Hepburn
We (rather begrudgingly) trekked out to Taranaki falls this morning. I seem to have got off pretty lightly on the sunburn front – the group pretty much constitutes fifty shades of lobster. Three hours or so later we stumbled across the fall where they film the ‘fishing pool’ scene with Gollum in ‘The Return Of The King’! Looks pretty different though; Peter Jackson certainly didn’t hold back on the special effects.
Our base for the night is River Valley. Hilariously the ‘dorm’ amounts to one giant bed which thirty or so people are to share. Before we arrived, too many of us had put our names down for a space in the dorm so the driver randomly picked out one girl to pay extra for the ‘bunk room’. She was not happy in the slightest so I volunteered myself. Having arrived I am so grateful. It is bad enough putting up with a symphony of six people’s snores let alone a full orchestra of thirty.
There’s a little pulley contraption here which takes a couple of people over the river: It’s basically a small wooden platform that you sit on and pull yourself over to the other side. A few of us went over and climbed up the mountain. We’d been warned by the driver that it is strictly forbidden to go past a certain point as there is no official path. Somebody got lost for three days last time they tried. However, I’m with Audrey on this one. A few stopped there to drink their beer at the ‘Warning’ sign but I soldiered on and a couple of them ended up following. We eventually reached the top of the mountain. The view was definitely worth the hard work. We cooled down later by leaving the wooden platform suspended in the middle of the river, around 3 metres from the surface and diving in. The water is so incredibly deep that even diving straight down it’s impossible to reach the bottom! Freezing cold as you could imagine, though.