Lake Taupo and birthday heavy!

Lake Taupo was awesome.  On Friday I went bungy jumping with Keatin while everyone else in our group went on ahead to start the northern circuit in Tongariro national park.  We weren't able to go yet because I still hadn't gotten all my gear from Dave, which worked out for us in the end because Keatin and I had so much fun.. Bungy jumping was so much fun.  they strap you in by your ankles and then you walk up, or waddle, and have to dive off the ledge.  You freefall 47 meters before you are sprung back up.  When I did mine I chose to be dunked which was awesome.  I went into the water up to my waist.  It was so awesome!  That evening we went to Holy Cow and danced on tables with Dave and his friend Mike.  It was a ton of fun!  On Saturday Keatin and I hopped on a bus at 6:20 am and headed to Mangetepopo hut to start what was supposed to be a 3 day hike.  It started out at 4 degrees celcius but quickly warmed up to scorching hot.  The start of the walk was farely easy and non-eventful until we come upon this giant mountain, commonly known as mount doom from LOTR.  THis part of the tramp was the hardest thing I've ever done!  I never knew I had that much physical stamina in me though.  It was so amazing when we reached the top and looked down.  I was so proud of myself.  I conquered Mt. DooM!!  We then started our downhill trek which is just as tiring as uphill.  We saw the beautiful emerald lakes and the south and red crater.  Everything there was so beautiful.  Like God himself was creating this land for his own personal Eden.  I couldn't believe what  I was seeing.  keatin and I later met up with a guy named Pascaal from Quebec and tramped with him for a while.  It was fun practicing speaking French.  After a while it was so hott that keatin thought it would be a good idea to tramp in our underwear, so being us of course we did it.  It was actually really fun.  Pascaal eventually broke down as well and dropped his pants.  Funally we made it to the next hut and us two girls decided we wanted to move on to the next hut and try catch up with tht erest of the group.  We continued after 9 hours of really hard hiking.  It was a really great walk until we reached dense forest and had to hike uphill once again.  On any other occasion we would have been fine, but we were tired, sore, and mentally drained.  On more than one occasion on this last leg of the journey we almost broke down crying.  When we saw the hut we were so relieved.  We realized at that point as well that we were a full days hike ahead of the other group.  We then made supper and went right to bed. The next day we headed out for Whakapapa village.  This part of the tramp was fairly easy and only took 5 hours.  Near the end we came upon a huge waterfall where we all decided to take a refreshing dip.  THe water was ice cold and I lost my sunglasses, but the water felt so good and refreshing.  45 minutes later we reached the village and got a bus back to Taupo.  That evening we saw the best acoustic guitar player in New Zealand.  It was so great! We had such an awesome time.  The next day we got to sleep in and that afternoon Kai, Keatin, and I went skydiving.  We jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet and were in freefall for 45 seconds!!  You have no depth percetption though so you don't even realize how far you are falling or how fast.  It feels like you are in a vacuum with wind rushing past your face.  Once the parachute opens you have about 5 minutes of floating back to earth.  Later that evening, once we were back in Auckland we all went out and celebrated Keatin's 21st birthday!  What a great Easter!