Thursday, January 17, 2013

Les Misérables


It's been ages since I last blogged, but I've been busy spending time with the family.

Good excuse, eh?

Anyway. A few weeks ago, I went to the old cinema in the neighborhood and watched "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey". I went, having completely scorned the whole series, expecting a really boring film and came out of the movie theater a convert. I literally became a total obsessive Lord Of The Rings fan in the span of a few short hours. My best friend and I even had a sleepover to watch the original trilogy this week.

However, before the actual sleepover, she and I went to the city to watch "Les Misérables". For all of you who don't know, it came out at the end of last year and won many, many, well deserved awards including three Golden Globes. I absolutely, firmly believe that this film was the most beautiful picture I have EVER seen. The casting, the colors, the costumes and the singing, it was all fantastic. I have to say, Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" performance had me in tears and the ending scene, well, also made me sob for a good five minutes into the credits. Samantha Barks, who plays one of my favorite characters; Éponine, was absolutely incredible when she sung "On My Own". Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen provided a great deal of comedy relief to balance out the rather dark moments of the film.

If you are a fan of a good old musical and don't mind crying in public, go watch the movie. I think it's worth seeing it on the big screen, so give Les Misérables a try. Eleven on a rating of one to ten.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Lost World


I've been meaning to write this post now for a few days. Last Thursday, my aunt and I went down to Waitomo. It's a place here in New Zealand that is full of caves. Not the caves you see in cartoons where the ground is flat and it's just a lovely little space that you can wander through (Spongebob). No, deep, rocky caves full of exotic plants and glow worms.

We signed up for a four hour tour of a cave, which included a 100m abseil (manual, no person at the top letting you down gently) down into the cave and then a really long hike over rocks, boulders and bits of mud. There was a point where you had to climb a 30 metre ladder, vertically, and I can honestly say it was the most difficult thing I've ever done. You see, it's completely pitch black inside the cave. You have a little light on your helmet and if it runs out of power, you're, well, stuck.

This experience was probably the best thing I've ever done. I have never been brave enough to do anything like this and after I hiked out of the cave, I felt completely empowered. Yes, I have bruises and cuts, but now, I feel as though I can do anything if I put my mind to it. In the cave, I might have been thinking: "This is it, I'm never going to make it out of here alive" but I did, and I'm sure anyone could, too. Just be aware that you have to have quite a good level of fitness and stamina, and giving up is not an option. You have to be really confident. Don't worry about experience, though, because you learn as you go through. The instructors are really nice and helpful, so that's an added bonus.

People from all around the world have done this. If you are ever thinking of visiting New Zealand and like a good adventure, I suggest looking here for more information on this tour. There are many other options available, though, so don't limit your choices.On this tour, you can't take your camera, it would fall into a crevice or get lost, so the guides have cameras attached to them by ropes. You can buy a CD with the pictures on them after you finish the tour.

After you finish, I suggest getting some good, greasy burgers and fries/chips to eat. Don't worry about calories, you would've burnt them off down in the cave.

{sorry about the second picture's quality, but I had trouble uploading it}

The person in the bottom picture is my aunt. She and I were wearing these baggy overalls and gumboots. They saved us from getting more hurt than we would have, otherwise. The helmet did, too. There were many areas where you had to crouch, crawl or inevitably bump your head and the helmet saved me from getting some serious brain damage.

Happy Caving!