Thursday, November 11, 2010

Atop an active volcano & defying common sense

What I've learned so far about traveling in New Zealand is that it isn't cheap, but this country offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you won't find anywhere else.

As Will mentioned in his last post, we've been road-tripping a bit outside of the Auckland area to see more of what the North Island offers. Our big stop was the tour of White Island, the only active marine volcano in New Zealand.

White Island, day five

It was beautiful, of course.

White Island, day five

But also rather ominous.

We donned the silly-looking gas masks to avoid breathing in the sulfurous fumes that were plentiful on the island, to say the least. In fact, the above picture was taken just moments before the wind direction unexpectedly changed, and the poor Brothers Price were engulfed in the fumes. Quoth Will, "I've never gagged on sulfur before."

White Island, day five

Here our tour guide is explaining to us that the last eruption occurred about 10 years ago, and in the unlikely event of an eruption while we were on the island, they would "do their best" to make sure we were evacuated promptly.

Reading between the lines, "If the volcano goes off, we'll all die, so none of you can sue us. Also you signed forms on the way here acknowledging you wouldn't sue, so, yeah. Hopefully it doesn't go off, aye?"

White Island, day five

Here, Nick holds a remnant of the last eruption, which in 2000 spewed mud and scoria into the air and created a new crater.

White Island, day five

Despite the smelly fumes, it was an important tour in that we were reminded of both the power of nature and the fragility of humankind. It wasn't necessarily the nicest feeling to dwell on, but it was important nonetheless.

Whale spotting on the boat ride to White Island, day five

Plus, it wasn't all scary! On the boat ride over, we spotted whales...

Dolphins on the boat ride to White Island, day five

And dolphins! The dolphins came especially close to the boat, and even swam alongside us for a bit.

Anyway, for a quick update for today, we're back in Auckland and we'll be going downtown for the first time later tonight.

You also may have noticed that I added a new tag today, entitled "defying common sense." I did this purposefully, as tomorrow the Brothers Price are embodying the epitome of 'defying common sense' and jumping off this building:



It's only 1,076 ft tall.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the jump!

5 comments:

  1. What a timely post! Felix has been obssessed with volcanoes recently and has been drawing them and making them out of boxes and paper and making them erupt and wreck havoc on his poor action figures and their vehicles. Anyway, he was very impressed by the photos but I think a tad disappointed that your volcano wasn't erupting whilst you were perched atop it!

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  2. Please be careful tomorrow, Brothers Price!

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  3. 1) Whales!! Gaah!

    2) When I first read this, I thought you meant YOU were jumping off the building, and I was like..."She's been gone a week and I don't even know who she is anymore?!" Brothers Price makes more sense...looking forward to pictures!

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  4. the voice of reasonNovember 12, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Must they jump?
    Couldn't they just circle the building seven times...??

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  5. Their mom thinks they should jump. Jump! Jump! Go boys go! whoo hoo

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