The next day we set off for Rotorua, home of "Zorbing", which we were advised we just had to do whilst visiting the area.
Zorbing is an fun activity whereby you climb into a giant clear rubber ball and roll head over heels down a steep hill.
There were 2 options available - wet, where warm water is added to the ball and you slip and slide your way down on your backside, or dry, where you are strapped into the Zorb and spin head over heels. The hyperactive, "wacky" (I hate that word but they were) inmstructors explained that the wet option was more fun, but being the vain old bird that I am I didn't want to get my hair wet so opted for the dry version instead, whilst Liam took the wet n wild approach.
Well, having watched Liam laughing and slipping his way downhill in a giant zigzag groove in the hillside it was my turn. At the point where I was being strapped into the ball by my wrists and ankles (or cankles as I should call them cos the heat had swollen my ankles and calves until they merged into one), I realised why they had told me to do the wet option.
Liam hadn't had to be strapped in as the water would cushion the ball, but as I later realised, without the water to cushion you the ride was much more white-knuckle, particularly as the zany (another appropriate word I'm afraid) instructor gave my ball an extra-hard push as he set me off rolling head first down the steep grassy mountainside. I'd like to say i enjoyed it, but all I can recall is hurtling headfirst downhill, a blur of grass-sky-grass-sky as the ball gathered speed before coming a dizzying halt at the bottom. If that wasn't enough to make me feel sick, Rotorua is also home to hot bubbling sulphur pools, which give off a powerful eggy stench.
That evening, Liam and Guido went out for "a quick beer" whilst I recovered with a headache in the back of the campervan reading my book at the campsite by flashlight. There were hardly any other vans on the site and I kept hearing odd noises outside in the forest, making me have horrible visions of some crazy nutbag coming to drag me off, Wolf Creek-style. Of course, the boys' quick beer turned into an all-night bender and Liam finally returned to fill our little van with his toxic alcohol fumes at 4am.