Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 15 - Taupo

July 15 - Taupo  

We woke up this morning around 7:30 AM. It rained most of the night, but it wasn’t a very hard rain. It was mostly off and on. I was really comfortable and even though it was wet outside, it was dry and warm in the tent all night.

It was Sunday so we planned on going to church. We didn’t know where it was or when, but we figured it would be around 9 AM again. We made eggs and a piece of jelly toast for breakfast with tea. We were anticipating getting free food after church so we didn’t eat too much.

There were a few churches on the map, but we didn’t know what kind they were. The first one we drove to was an Anglican church. It had a Catholic sounding name so we didn’t know. The other one was called Church @109. That was obviously not a real church.

We passed by Church @109 and decided we needed to stop and get gas. When I went in to pay I asked the clerk where a Catholic Church was, but he didn’t know. He knew there was one in town though. We went to the I-site down the street to find out from a map. We weren’t sure if they would be open so early on a Sunday.

We parked on the side of the road and Andy ran inside to get directions. They showed him on the map. It was just down the street and a few blocks away. We never would have found it on our own. We weren’t sure when mass was so we just drove up there.

It was about 8:55 AM when we arrived. There were already a lot of cars in the parking lot so I was thinking it may have started. I didn’t want to walk in late and look dumb. We went inside and there were only a few people there. They were all sitting on the left side and they were all non-white people. They were the choir. I never could figure out if they were Maori or if they were Vietnamese or Thai.

There was a projector with the words of the songs they were singing and some of them were in another language. Not knowing what Maori language looks like I couldn’t tell what it was. It had some Spanish looking words though. For world it said “mundo” and for God it said “Diyos.”

The rest of the congregation was white. It was the biggest church we had been to so far, and it still only held a few hundred people. The choir was practicing before the service started and they were actually pretty good. It was shocking to see that. I guess they weren’t true New Zealanders though so it made sense that they knew how to sing and in tune.

The service was exactly like we have at home. There was really nothing different at all. Some of the songs were even the same and they sang in the right tune. They did have a few other songs I had never heard too though.

Afterwards we were hoping for some food and our prayers were answered. There was a table of chocolate cake cut up and a section of banana bread. This service had many more people so I didn’t think we should pig out like we did in Hokitika a few weeks earlier. I saw some kid go get some coffee or tea so I walked over too.

I asked if it was free and the kid passing it out mumbled something. I don’t think he knew English very well. I took some coffee and then walked over next to the wall. Andy got some coffee too. Nobody was taking the cake and I wanted to go get some. As I was about to do that some old lady came up to talk to us. She seemed really excited that there were visitors.

She asked where we were from and how long we would be in the area. We talked for about 10 minutes. She said she was going to be going to Central American in a few weeks. She said to Panama and Honduras. Then she was going to the northeast to Boston. She said she was going to the central part, but obviously she failed geography.

I was watching people take all the cake and wanting for my chance to get away so I could get some too. I wasn’t really paying attention to what she was talking about at this point. She said something about coming over to her house later to talk about traveling and meeting her husband. I wasn’t’ sure what she said so I asked her to repeat that.

She said we could come Monday or Tuesday. I didn’t really want to waste time doing that, but I didn’t want to be rude so I told her that we weren’t sure what we would be doing and when we would be back in town from all of our activities. She said that we should go ahead and set a time because she likes to have a schedule of things.

Crazy old lady. Obviously I don’t want to go to your house. She said it would be fine if we couldn’t make it, but I felt like I should agree to go. We said we would go Tuesday at 7 PM. I was hoping she would at least have dinner or some kind of dessert for us. She wondered around for about 5 minutes trying to find a pen to write down her address on a piece of paper.

As she was walking around asking for a pen some other old guy came up to talk to us. He knew about Texas from a book he was reading, but hadn’t been there. The crazy lady came back and told him that we were going to come to her house on Tuesday night. He looked at her like she was nuts.

We got her address and said goodbye and left as quickly as possible. I am not looking forward to Tuesday night. What am I going to talk to a crazy lady about? If she had a hot daughter or grand daughter that would be there than maybe it would be worth it.

It was about 10:30 AM and the weather was still bad. It wasn’t raining, but it was cloudy. We didn’t really know what we wanted to do so we went to the I-site to get some information. We walked around and looked at the brochures to figure something out.

There were brochures about free things to do in Taupo and things to do on a rainy day. Most of them sounded lame. I eventually asked one of the ladies working at the desk. I was mostly trying to get information about Rotorua and Tongariro National Park.

We had a few brochures about Rotorua and local geysers and Maori Villages to visit. The villages we were considering in Rotorua were Te Puia and Whakarewarewa Thermal Village. The letters “Wh” are pronounced like an “F” sound in Maori. Both of them had geysers, mud pools, and thermal pools, but Te Puia was much more expensive. Whakarewarewa was a living village. Meaning that Maori people still live there and go about their daily life. The tours show people about the way of life and history of the place.

The lady at the counter said that Whaka was worth doing when we went there. We also wanted to know about local geysers and hikes to do. I asked about a few other thermal areas as well. She said that Orakei Korako was really good and worth doing, but Wairakei Terraces was a waste of time and money.  She said we could do Orakei even in bad weather like today and that it would be worth it.

We were also interested in a few other places. I had planned on doing Wai-O-Tapu and Whanganui thermal areas in the Rotorua area too so we asked about those. The Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland had a 10% discount if booking in Taupo’s I-site. In the end both of the places seemed very similar so we were just going to need to decide based on price. We were considering doing both though if time permitted.

We also asked about Tongariro and hikes to do, but she suggested going to the I-Site in Taurangi or Tongariro National Park and finding out from them what hikes were open and what road conditions were like.

We looked around at a few more brochures and saw some that mentioned rafting. I had been wanting to do some white water rafting, but this was a little different. The one we were interested in was down the Kaituna River and included 14 drops and 2 waterfalls. One of the waterfalls was 6 feet, but the other was 21 feet. It is the longest commercial rafting drop in the world. It sounded really cool and I was really wanting to do it. The trip was only 50 minutes and cost $84 NZD. Based on what we had been paying for things in other cities that sounded really reasonable.

We went to read a few more things on the wall to decide what to do before we left. I noticed a newspaper article of  a group of 16 tourists that had tried to do the Tongariro Crossing in May. They walked on the trail even though they were advised not to by a local ranger. It was very cold and rainy and they weren’t properly dressed.

They considered turning around at one point, but decided to keep going. The weather became much worse and a few of them became disoriented and suffered from hypothermia and frost bite. A group of them went back to get help. A group of hikers tried to help them. They had extra pairs of clothes and food, but the people were hysterical and wouldn’t do what they were told.

The guys trying to help them had to yell at each one of them one at a time to explain the situation. Eventually they got everyone out of there, but it was a dangerous situation. The ranger that let them go was being questioned, but he said all of the people were adults and could make their own decisions about the conditions of the trail. He had done his job and told them the circumstances and they chose to ignore his warning.

I thought it was an interesting article so I remembered it. I also read that one of the things to do for free in Taupo was to get a picture taken in front of the lake. There is a webcam that takes a photo every 10 minutes and posts it online. I thought it would be neat to go do that, but I wasn’t sure if the photo was there for only a few minutes or if it was stored in a database to be seen later.

As we left the I-site we had a lot of good information. It was raining outside, but there were a few things we thought we could still do. We drove down the road about a mile to find the look out over the Lake. The look out was pretty useless. We could see about 20 feet and nowhere near the lake.

A little further down the road was Huka Falls. It was a short walk from the parking lot so we figured we could see that. Usually waterfalls are better during or after rain anyway. Andy needed to go to the bathroom, but it cost $0.50 NZD to use the I-site bathroom and the one at Huka Falls cost $0.20 NZD. He just walked across the parking lot into the woods instead.

There were a lot of cars and people there for such a rainy day. It was about lunch time so we ate peanut butter and jelly, chips, and a cookie for lunch. It was raining off and on as we ate and more people kept showing up. It was the most photographed waterfall in the country probably due to it’s accessibility and proximity to larger cities.

Before we went to the falls I ran over to the woods to pee also. There were still a number of cars so I didn’t know if people were on the trail I went to or not. It was covered in muddy and water, but I wasn’t sure. Normally people don’t hike in those conditions, but to be safe I ran about 200 yards down the trail. I didn’t really get off the trail at all, but was ready to run if I needed to hide.

I ran back and we went to the falls. There was a bridge we had to cross first. Underneath us was a fast flowing river through a narrow canyon. The water was greenish and looked really cool. To the left about 200 yards was the falls. It was falling over the edge away from us so we needed to walk down the trail to be able to see it.

After a couple of minutes we could see the falls. There was a railing and two different lookouts to see the water. When we got there a small tour boat was in the water below looking at the water from about 25 yards away. Only a couple of people were on the boat. They were way too expensive for such a short trip. There view wasn’t much better than ours was.

The falls themselves aren’t very tall or wide, but it was still cool. Across the river was another look out, but nobody was over there. I never saw a trail on that side of the river so I was curious how to get there. I thought it would be good to try and go over there later if possible. We took pictures from both look outs and got pictures of ourselves as well.

Just off the trail from the further lookout was a steep muddy and rocky area that looked like it could be a trail even though it obviously wasn‘t because the trail went to the right on a path or back the way we came on a path. Most likely it was smooth just from water run off, but I wanted to go up it anyway.

I had Andy use his gopro to film me going up and down. It was really slick and I thought I was going to slide down a few times. He went up and down it too and I filmed him as well, but with his T2i camera for better quality.

We walked back down the trail and to the car. We drove by a little road that mentioned a look out so I was thinking that was the look out I had just seen across the river. We wanted to go do a few other things first, but considered stopping there on the way back.

Another free thing to do in Taupo is visit the dam. Everyday at certain times water is released. Apparently this is something interesting to watch and a must-do. Since the weather still wasn’t that great we figured we would check it out.

We were going to try to do the dam at 4 PM originally and go do some other hikes if the weather cleared up. Since the weather wasn’t clear and I didn’t want to walk around in the rain we decided we would go to the dam for the 2:30 PM water release. It was already 2:15 PM and the dam was a few kilometers down the road so we needed to drive fast to get there in time.

As we got there it was 2:30 PM. There was an electric sign with a countdown for the release of the water. It said 30 seconds left when we started to cross the viewing bridge. We had to drive a few hundred meters, park, and run back in 30 seconds. There were already a lot of people standing on the bridge and waiting.

We parked really quickly and ran as fast as we could. A bus had stopped on the one-lane bridge to get a look even though it said no stopping. I started out on the side of the bridge closest to the dam and watched the water start to release. It was slowly flowing out, but wasn’t really that neat.

I thought maybe the other side of the bridge would give better views so I ran over there. It was much better. There was a big gorge down below with a minimal amount of water at this time. This was the thing to watch, not the water coming out of the dam itself. I could see people up on a viewing platform off in the distance. There angle looked much better than ours since they were looking back towards the bridge down into the gorge.

I told Andy I was going to go up there and we ran as fast as we could again. The trail marker said it was 3 minutes to the first platform and 10 minutes to the second. I think I made it to the first platform in about 35 seconds. It wasn’t very far, but the trail was a little slippery and I had to cross exposed tree roots and rocks.

I got to the platform and took a few pictures and videos. The water was starting to fill up the gorge a lot more now. I saw the second platform and thought it would be good to go there since there were no people at it. The one I was at only had a couple of people, but the other was slightly higher. I told Andy where I was going and then took running until I got too tired to run. This part of the trail was much steeper and really slippery. I was sliding around and couldn’t run anymore so I walked the last 75 yards or so.

I stopped once to get a picture from a look out, but kept going. Andy caught up to me and we stayed at the furthest platform for about 15 minutes. To our left we could see the dam, the bridge, the first platform, and the gorge below. To our right was a power plant down in the gorge. I’m not really sure why they release the water when they do, but I assume it’s something to do with generating power.      

I wanted to get a picture of myself with the gorge and everything behind me so I gave Andy my camera and jumped over the barrier fence. It wasn’t very effective. I was about 10 feet from the ledge still, but it gave me a better angle. Andy climbed up on the barrier so he could shoot down on me from above. It turned out pretty well. Andy climbed over the fence and got the same picture.

We had seen enough of the dam so we started walking back to the car. Along the way we saw a wild cat on the trail. There are lots of cats in New Zealand. In other countries, like China and everywhere in South America we saw stray dogs, but there are none here. It’s cats instead. Dogs kill Kiwi Birds so they are really protective about dogs not being on trails. In some places I read signs that said to report any dogs seen on the trail.

We passed a few things that I didn’t even remember seeing on the way. One thing we passed that Andy didn’t remember was a small cave. I had seen it earlier, but didn’t want to stop. When we passed the second time I stopped for a closer look. It looked like there was a piece of aluminum in the entry way. I thought it was an alien spacecraft or someone was living in there.

I kept telling Andy to look at it, but he didn’t know what I was talking about. I told him that he must be blind. I went up for a closer look and pointed right at it. He said that was nothing and that it was just light coming through from the top. I got a little closer and finally realized he was right. It wasn’t anything. The “cave” was more like a rock balancing on top of smaller rocks. We didn’t go all the way inside because we didn’t know how stable the rock was.

I wanted to get back to the car so I ran most of the rest of the trail and Andy followed. We got back to the road where we parked. There was a sign that said to not cross the street and to use the cross walk because it was a busy road. It was a road to nowhere with no exit and everyone else that had come to see the dam were long gone. It wasn’t busy at all. I just crossed the street like a dare-devil. I made it safely.

It was about 3:15 PM and we still had nothing to do. It wasn’t raining, but it was going to be dark in a few hours so we didn’t have time to go anywhere and it was still too cloudy to see views of the lake. We had read about a honey shop and free samples. That sounded good to me.

We drove down the road a little ways and found the honey store. It was listed as something to do for free and on a rainy day. I figured we would be the only ones there, but this place was packed. The sign at the door said to come in and learn more about honey than you thought possible. I thought it was strange for two reasons. For one thing I didn’t really care to learn anything about honey, and two, I just wanted free samples.

I was hoping the sample would be on a cracker or cookie or something. When we went in the place was huge. There were the normal souvenirs like wood carvings and glass that we had been seeing, but there was many more things as well. To the right was a small café selling food and drinks, as well as ice cream. The ice cream looked good and I was tempted, but I could get an entire carton of ice cream for the price they were charging for one scoop.

This was also where the free samples were. It wasn’t just honey, it was honey fudge. One of them was Kiwi Nugent, which was white and not very good. It was a small little piece that had to be poked with a toothpick. The other kind was a tan Honey Nugent. It was better and tasted like normal honey.

We walked around to look at some of the other things they had inside. It was warm and smelled good so it seemed worth staying longer. There were hand, face, foot, and other lotions for sale. They had free testers so I tried a few of the hand lotions. They smelled really good. I considered buying some, but didn’t because I was thinking I could find the same thing at home or in a grocery store for much cheaper.

There were also various types of soaps. Thermal Mud soap seems to be popular, but I’m not sure what it smells like or its benefits so I didn’t buy that either. We kept walking and looking at things. There were free honey wine, brandy, and other alcoholic beverages for testing. Andy wanted to try some, but I didn’t really care. To get a test we had to ask one of the people at the counter. That seemed like a hassle since nobody was over there.

As we were looking around I saw an article talking about the benefits of honey on curing diseases and other ailments. I didn’t really look that closely at it at the time since I didn’t feel like reading that much. There was a small section in the corner dedicated as a museum about honey and beekeepers. Again this required reading, but there were displays of the things beekeepers use to gather honey.

There were lots of little things that I had no clue what they were or did. There was a TV with a stupid looking video on showing a beekeeper in action, but I didn’t look that closely at it. To the left was the thing I actually did read. It was a science project a group of intermediate school children did on the effects of honey.

They basically took four different types of honey and put them in a Petri-dish and then put a small amount of bacteria and then kept them in there for a night. They were testing to see which form of honey could fight the bacteria the best. I had no clue honey could do this at all, but it turns out honey has a lot of really good medical benefits.

The most effective type of honey was 10-15% Manuka Honey. This particular type of honey is very expensive due to it’s medicinal uses and is found in only a few areas of New Zealand. I assume it’s found in other countries as well, but I’m not sure. Now that I know about Manuka Honey I plan to look for it at home. I looked for some in the store, but it was $95.

Plain Manuka Honey is pretty effective as well, but the 10-15% Manuka Honey is the best overall. The interesting thing about the honey is that it can be used in a number of ways to cure ailments. If there is a sore on the body it can be rubbed on it and after a few treatments it will heal. If there is a chronic pain or illness it can be cured over time too.

Now that I knew the effectiveness of honey I wanted to buy some. I was also interested in tasting the wine. I hate wine, but it’s healthy and with honey it would only be better. Someone was standing at the counter now so we went over to ask about trying the wine. We had read about a couple of them and decided we wanted to try some of the Honey Meade’s. I read on the description that meades are the oldest recipe in the world.

I was interested in the ones that were most healthy and included Manuka Honey. We tried Winter Honey Meade, a Brandy based ale, and one other that I don’t remember. The Brandy was way too strong and disgusting. It did have 24 karat gold shavings in it though. The other two tasted like wine, but not an overpowering flavor. The Winter Meade was kind of good.

We thought about getting some since it wasn’t too expensive, but I didn’t want to haul it around for the next few weeks. I also thought it would be cheaper at a grocery store or we could get some from the airport as we left the country.  

After tasting those we tried some more free honey samples. This was more of what I was expecting. There were little jars of honey laid out with popsicles stick to dip in them. There must have been 8 or 9 at least to choose from. I didn’t want to take too many so I just tried 3 or 4. There was a sign saying to not let kids have too much so I guessed they didn’t want people just taking it all.

Andy must have tried all of them. I don’t really like plain honey so I didn’t think it was necessary to keep eating them. They weren’t that great anyway. Some were alright, but they had weird flavors. None of them were the Manuka Honey kind though.

As we were trying them I saw the article that I had glanced at earlier. The old guy had been suffering from an ulcer for a really long time and nothing cured him, but after a few weeks of Manuka Honey he was cured. I asked one of the ladies about the honey and she told me all the things I had basically just read.

I figured it would be a 5 minute stop at the-honey store and then we’d go. We ended up staying much longer. I learned a lot more about honey than I thought possible. The sign was right. It was a premonition. There was a wooden cut out of bees where we could put our face through a hole and get a picture taken. It seemed dorky and stupid, but we wanted to do it anyway.

There was a car parked in front of it so we were going to have to put our camera on the hood of the car to get the picture. A family was coming outside as we were getting ready to go over to the sign so we had to wait until they left so they didn’t see us looking like idiots.

Andy just used his gopro for the picture. He set it on a timer, put it on the hood of the car, and then ran over. I’m sure we looked stupid, but it will be a great picture to have. After getting our photograph we were off to our next spot. We weren’t really sure where that was yet though.

We looked at the town map and thought we should go to a park in town that had free thermal pools. We went to them and had to do a short hike across the park to the river and thermal pools. When we arrived there was a guy trying to fly a kite, but it wasn’t very windy and he was standing in a valley surrounded by trees so it didn’t seem to be working well.

The trail crossed a wide open space of grass on a hill, which seemed like the place to be flying a kite since it was much windier. It looked more like a fairway for a golf course than a trail. A few other people were ahead of us and had swimming gear. We didn’t really plan to swim, but thought we could put our feet in the water and get some pictures.

The hike took about 7 minutes. We had to make a pit stop in the trees along the way. The first view we had of the pools was walking across a bridge. The pools were below us and on our right. They fed into the river, which we read was dangerous to swim in because of the current. There were a few guys swimming in the pools and they weren’t very big. They were pretty neat looking though and the water was warm to the touch.

There were little waterfalls connecting the three small pools. There were two smaller pools side by side, and they both fed into a slightly larger pool below, which then fed into the river. We took some pictures and videos and then kept going on the trail. It went up and to the right and led to another set of pools. These were about the same size, but were hidden behind tall grass. There was a trail that led to it and I walked down and saw a few guys swimming in that one as well. The water was coming in from a waterfall, which was much bigger than the ones below, but still only a few feet tall.

I didn’t stay at that one for very long. I was hoping the guys would leave soon so we could get more pictures. Taking pictures with people in them was kind of strange I thought. I kept walking and came to a small footbridge. The water was warm and was flowing from the hillside down under the bridge into the thermal pools.

It was about 4:30 PM when we got to the pools and now it was around 5 PM. I was ready to go make dinner and rest. Andy had seen a spot along the road that he wanted to stop and get a picture on the way back so we needed to leave before the sun went down. It was cloudy so we thought it would get darker earlier than normal.

We only had to drive about 5 minutes back to the entrance of the park. The spot he wanted a picture from was overlooking a canyon that the river was winding through. Most of the pictures I took involved flowers in the forgeground in focus with the river in the background out of focus. I was trying to do some test shots for a little bit. I even did some with video focusing on the flower and then changing the focus to the river. It seemed to work pretty well.

I was tired of doing that so I walked a little further down to get another view. There was a trail right next to where we were walking, but we just walked through the grass since it was closer to the edge and better for taking pictures. I walked through some small shrubs to get closer to the edge and get a few  more pictures. Andy was still at the first spot taking his time. I got my pictures and then walked back over to the car.

It was locked so I couldn’t get in. Rather than walk back to Andy I just went to stand by a tree and wait. Andy asked where I had gone to get my picture so I told him. He wasn’t going anywhere near what I said. As I was waiting I took a few more pictures of the river shooting through a few tree branches. Rather than just stand around I thought it would be a good idea to climb the tree I was by.

It looked pretty easy and the trunk branched out to two large branches. I thought if I could pull myself up a few feet in between them I could then get up higher. I tried to pull myself through, but the trunk was wet and my feet kept slipping. Holding onto the branches and using just my upper body I was able to pull myself up.

As I stood on the trunk I saw a man and a kid coming in my direction. I was thinking he was going to get me to get off the tree. He never said anything though. I was trying to hide from Andy, but I didn’t go any higher in the tree so there wasn’t much cover since the trail he was on was going to pass right by me. I yelled to him to try and find me and as he got closer he asked where I was as if he couldn’t see me.

I was ready to go, but he wanted to go to one more look out platform. It was behind and to the right of where we parked so I never even saw it originally. It ended up being a decent spot for pictures though. It was about 5:35 PM or so and it was getting too dark to take pictures. I could see a parking lot across the way and thought it would be a good place to go in the morning or another day to get pictures.

We planned on doing the thermal pools tomorrow after we finished our activities for the day. Around 4-4:30 PM would be a good time. It wasn’t too crowded around then and we should be back in town. We went back to the campground and gathered our things to make dinner and do laundry.

We put our laundry in separate machines because we had so many things that needed to be cleaned. They wouldn’t all fit in the same one. We did plan to dry our clothes together though to save a little bit of money.

For dinner we made Irish Beef Stew we bought from a can and mashed potatoes along with a salad. We each had a piece of bread with butter as well. For dessert we had cookies and chocolate like always with a glass of coke.

It was about 7 PM when we finished eating and my clothes were dry. I washed all of my dishes and wanted to go do my laundry. Andy was trying to make me wash dishes that he used and I didn’t want to. I had cleaned the cheese grater once already after using it for salad and he got it dity again from putting cheese in the potatoes. He thought I should clean it. I told him that I had already cleaned it and that I wasn’t cleaning it again.

He also wanted me to clean the spatula he used for cooking the potatoes. I cleaned the pot we used for beef stew so I didn’t plan on cleaning that either. I told him to go get his clothes out of the wash so we could dry the stuff, but he was taking forever. Rather than wait around I just went and did my own drying of laundry. He could wash his own if he was going to take that long.

I went over to the TV lounge and watched TV and played on my computer for a little bit while waiting for my laundry to finish. The TV had a satellite so I had lots of channels to choose from. I just watched Fox News since nothing good was on. It was a morning show. I was trying to figure out if it was a repeat or if it was that early in the morning at home. I guessed it was that early.

I wanted to take a shower so I went and did that. I wanted to be clean before putting on clean clothes. The lights must have been on a timer or turned on by movement because about half way through my shower the lights went out. I could see a little bit because there was light coming in from th outside or a sky light above. I couldn’t tell, but it wasn’t completely dark luckily. I went back to the TV room to continue watching TV and playing on my computer.

My laundry finished around 8 PM so I went to go get it. I didn’t want to dry my jacket or two merino shirts so I hung them on the back of the door knob and counter top. I let Andy use my computer to transfer some of his memory cards. I went back and wrote a little more and planned to watch the end of the movie. Things didn’t work out like that. The movie kept going and going. I thought it was almost over, but I fell asleep and Andy said it went on for about 30 minutes to an hour.  

After the movie ended we went back to the tent to go to bed. It was a little wet outside and rainy. It was pretty warm though. I went ahead and filled my water bottle though just in case. I got back to the tent and remembered that I left my shirts and jacket in the laundry room.

I got there and the door was locked. The sign said they closed the door at 10 PM, but I was hoping it was still open since the kitchen says 10:30 PM and it has never been locked and the TV Lounge says 9:30 PM and we are the ones that lock it around 11 PM.

It was raining so I ran over to the laundry room. The door was locked, but I looked through the window and saw my things on the counter laid out. I planned to get them in the morning before we left since we weren’t leaving extremely early. Especially if the weather was still bad.

I ran back over to the tent. As much as it had rained all day the tent was pretty dry on the inside except on the very edges.

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