Sunday, December 03, 2006

tongariro crossing

according to the lonely planet, the tongariro crossing is one of the best day hikes in new zealand if not the world. it's suppose to take 8 hours. one guy from the group did it in 5, i managed 7. you've probably never heard of the tongariro crossing but you have definitely seen some of the views. Mount Ngauruhoe (aka Mount Doom) loomed over us for most of the walk. and as mentioned about the views, they were absolutely spectacular. the sky was completely blue (a rare thing since my arrival in NZ) and the winds were really really strong! and did i mention that there was snow on the ground? we had a snow ball fight since the snow was perfect for it. since we were walking next to an still active volcano there was steam coming out of the ground in various areas. a huge contrast to the cold that you felt along most of the walk. and did i mention that it was cold? everyone was wearing all the warm clothing they had: tuque, gloves, sweater, scarf. and it was a real crossing, there were very steep parts where you would climb over rocks and feel like gollum and then really flat parts where you would in what seems to be the crater of a volcano. and the change of scenery was incredible. from snow covered rocks at the beginning to moon like flat areas to forest at the end of the walk.


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