Today I met up with some camping friends from last week and later I bought some soda so some Swedish guys (Victor and Robin) and I could make mixed drinks around the campfire.
Today I hit the thermal spas with a couple fellas I met yesterday, Paul (English) and Matt (Welsh). After hiking to Huka falls and swimming in the spas a bit we eventually headed back. Later after playing with the ducks a bit I had drinks with Victor and Robin again around the campfire while listening to music and learning French.
Today I spoke with Paul and Matt about naming my bike. We played with "Trusty Steed" and "The Dream Machine" but, since the bike is a Suzuki, we settled on the name "Suzy."
I then took Suzy to buy a new sleeping bag at the warehouse. We have all been freezing at night lately so it seemed a necessary expense. Fortunately I found a $59 sleeping bag that was marked down to $35! After checking out I went to the library to skype and met a German named Rick who supports a movement called Zeitgeist. It's a very strange movement where nobody has to work and somehow everything is expected to just keep going. I let him try and explain but, alas, it just wasn't for me so we headed back to camp where we both happened to be staying.
This morning I bathed in the river, played some guitar and listened to music a bit with the French campers and a sketchy fella with a swastika on his arm... Later we all had some drinks by the fire and listened to music from my ipod until some annoying drunken teens showed up. One of them was alright but the other one was just stupid. He tried throwing punches at the Toggy and, after that confrontation, continued to spit all over everything around him for the rest of the night...
Today I applied for some ski resort jobs and swam for golf balls out at the Lake Taupo "Hole in One" Challenge. I found 250 balls and made $10... after a couple hours of diving. At least it was something to do and it was kinda fun, at least until I lost feeling in my extremities... Later I ate croissants and BBQ around the fire with the French campers.
Today I woke up, put on my pants and, to the astonishment of a few, dove straight into the river - washing (laundry) done!
Today I dove into the river again before going to the library. Back at camp I watched some of the French guys cooking up some crayfish they caught in the river.
Then some kiwi guys floating the river showed up and gave me a couple drinks as we talked. Finally, I cooked up some pasta while the other French group prepared a trout that they caught earlier that day.
Today I continued the habit of jumping into the river every morning and went to the library to apply for jobs at ski resorts, lodges, etc. Back at camp the Paul and Matt caught a large trout and we all sat around the campfire.
Today I bathed in the river again and went to the library where I applied for a job teaching English in China next year. Back at camp I met a kiwi named Kev who gave me some drinks as we talked and then Brendan and Daniel, the kiwis floating the river the other day, showed up and were arrested for disturbing the peace. Apparently they had been yelling at some tourists up the river and when they arrived Brendan was arrested on national telly. Soon the police returned for Daniel because he refused to leave. Before Daniel left he had me watch his stuff in exchange for a couple drinks in his chilly bin (cooler). Later the French group prepared a couple fish that they caught that day. One was more cooked than the other so we had a bit of variety in the flavour.
Today I dove in the river one last time before packing up and heading to the library. After the library I made my way down to Turangi for camping where I met some more French campers and had a couple drinks.
I went to bed early so I could get up and arrive in time the next morning for the Tongariro Crossing hike with others from Couchsurfing.