Sailing up the river on a starry night. Does that sound romantic? How about sailing up the pitch dark river surrounding by worms? What if the worms are glowing, giving the same illusion of a starry night? Would you? When you visit New Zealand you should visit Waitomo caves and experience it yourself. I am not sure whether romantic is the right word to describe the journey, but definitely interesting.
We went to New Zealand with very little research, and after two days hunting good coffee and its alternatives in Auckland, we ventured out the city. Our first stop was the Waitomo caves. When I heard their specialty, the glow worms (not to eat, but to look at), I was like i It reminded me of the tiny transparent sea snakes we saw at the SEA aquarium. I was super wrong.
We entered through a small entrance into the cave. Decorated fully with stalactites, in various golden brown colors, it was beautiful. In some parts the water was still dripping from the top. We walked further into the cave and stopped at a huge empty space which, get this, was sound proof! And the guide, who has been guarding the cave for generations, started to sing beautifully. He told us that there are professionals who sing the Christmas Carol there every year.
We then walked through a much narrower path and start spotting the glow worms on the other side of the area. We had to bend to see it, but man they were fascinating.
We went down the stairs as instructed. It was much darker because there were no more lighting. We could make that there were several boats, waiting to take us around the caves which was filled with water. The thing was that everything was almost pitch black, the water was high and we couldn’t even see the boat properly let alone anything surrounding us including the water. It was kinda like the beginning of part of the sequel to JAWS, where we watched and wondered why couldn’t see the danger that was staring them on the face. Some decided not to take the boat and went back up, the rest of us, went. I guess the curiosity got the better of us.
The more we sailed, the more we saw it. It was truly magnificent. The worms, millions of them, were glowing creating the perfect effect of the starriest night. Everyone on the boat was quiet, it was one of that moments. I reached out to find Hulk’s hand. Partly because of being awed and another part of being terrified by the sudden thought of the cave looked like a perfect place for Harry Potter Basilisk to hide out.
I think, to travel is to be blown out of our minds. I never see myself as a nature lover, as I prefer to see skyscrapers from my window, but times like this makes me feel how powerful mother nature is. I am thankful that I got the chance to see it.
Btw, the Christmas Carol opera got me thinking. What did people do there decades ago? Did they dance or throw parties surrounded by glow worms? Were glow worms considered as blessings? I have this idea that the Waitomo caves might be a perfect place to propose someone. Has it been done before? Or do think my thoughts are crazy? Let me know! Don’t worry, it won’t be the first time someone label me cray cray.
Glow worm caves, a small place that contributes to such wonder to the so many people. I have been thinking, if I get reincarnated to animals, I would like to be a glow worm, but only if cat or fruit fly are already extinct by that time.