In the first cave we spent well over a half-hour floating under the glow of the millions of “worms”. The best way to describe this is a cross between the Disneyland rides Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain, minus the singing pirates and the roller coaster. Not sure what picture that leaves you with, but that’s what came to mind as was sat floating in the dark, damp cave, with only starry-like lights above. It was really cool and a unique feature of this tour was that you were in complete darkness for over 30 minutes, giving your eyes time to truly adjust. We got in a raft and were slowly moved through about 300 meters of cave, the entire ceiling covered with the worms. There were many caves in the area that boasted glowworms, but this cave in particular had an exceptional number of the worms due to a high concentration of whatever it is they eat.
There is a very popular activity we passed up in Waitomo, choosing the Spellbound tour instead. This activity is black water rafting, which from what we understand is inner tubing through the caves in a wetsuit with a headlamp, sweet white rubber boots, and glowworms overhead. It sounded like fun but was twice the price and didn’t give nearly the same amount of time viewing the glowworms as Spellbound gave. Perhaps when we come back to Waitomo we’ll get a chance to wear those white rubber boots. Or, maybe we can try it at home with some inner tubes on the Willamette at night. Who’s in?
We got out of the caves and back to the car around 6pm (9pm West Coast time, Election Day). The radio was quickly tuned in to hear the news of a defining moment in United States history–the election of Barack Obama as President. We followed the coverage the best we could the rest of the evening and finished it off with watching a rebroadcasting of “Indecision ’08” with Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. We have already been asked three times in one day what we think of the results. We would like to tell you what we think right now, but unfortunately this is not a political blog… back to glowing maggots. =)