Saturday, April 02, 2011

New Zealand's Best One Day Walk

Alternative Title: This railroad apartment was the perfect place

[Note on Title #1: I have not yet decided whether or not the Tongariro Crossing is indeed the best one day walk; one thing for sure, I have not felt more crowded since leaving the US. It was more like a trail run than other walks I have done in NZ...someone is always trying to pass you (or, unless you're Nico, you're always trying to pass someone).]

A 7:30 AM start (on the last day of daylight saving time) gets you on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing before the sun rises. A little while later:

Mt Ngauruhoe was hidden in a cloud when we walked by, so we skipped the extra three or four hundred metres of climbing.

Mt Tongariro was also bathed in cloud, but as this was only a(n additional) one hour commitment, Nico and I split up, and I ran to the top. The fog drifted in and out; here are a few other people who made the climb.

Here are some rocks:

Did I mention there were a lot of people? Coming down Mt Tongariro (where there were only a few other crazy people who thought that a 19.4 km walk was not long enough), the main route looked like some sort of refugee march.

Interestingly, one can shoot this photo with:

Or without people:

I believe this is Lake Te Wai-whakaata-o-te-Rangihiroa (with Lake Taupo right behind it).

We opted for a bus ride from the finish...I guess there are people who walk back to the start. [My totals on the day: 19.4 km + 3 km for the Tongariro Summit=22.4 only 7.5 hours.]

On the way home, we stopped in Ohakune. If we skied, I would totally buy an Ohakune yurt.

Instead, we stayed in the best hotel room ever.

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