One of our aims for this holiday was to do a walk called the Tongariro Crossing. The usual was doing this is to use a company that buses you to the start of the walk and picks you up at the other end. Unfortunately due to a forecast of high winds they weren't going yesterday or today. So after a lot of thought we decided to drive to the start and walk the 1st half and retrace our steps. We did this and thoroughly enjoyed the volcanic mountain landscape that was a setting for some of the lord of the rings scenes. The walk starts at 1100m and rises to 1850m
We did intend to ascend Mt Tongarario directly but it was in clag so commonsense prevailed.
After a good walk up you come to the south crater.
All v moonlike. I liked it.
As we went up it got v windy indeed. It became clearer why the tour companies weren't going that day. We got to the highest point and on to a view of the emerald lakes
After lunch we returned in ever worsening rain and wind. Amazingly we came across a chap I had met at a petrol station in Whitianga a week before.
After a damp descent we arrived back at the car. All in all a great day but a touch Scottish at the end.
Today was a bit of a mixed bag especially being our last day in Taupo.
I did a great run north from Spa lane up to Huka falls and beyond. I did give the 5 fingers a trial for 10min. Standing on a stone is a great reminder to stay on your toes. THe track follows the river Waikato and undulates a fair bit. It was v muggy but I did enjoy a 10 miler with a right hamstring strain to keep me company.
We had a fairly lazy afternoon and enjoyed a meal with Gail and Robert along with 2 other guests. She was a kiwi he a Brit who sailed over in the 50s for £10 and paid £190 to sail his morris minor. Quote of the night came from Robert when I was commenting on Helen Clark's deep voice and he suggested she probably had a pair of bollocks. Hillary in a deep voice of her own thought she probably had a n allergy like herself which would account for it!
On we went to New Plymouth via Waitomo caves. At one point we had 3 things wrong with the car. We had driven through some road repairs the other day and got a fine spray of tar. This made it almost impossible to see when it was raining. Then we acquired a knocking noise under the car and when I had a look saw a dripping from a pipe. The dripping was the a/c and a vigorous scrub eventually cleared the windscreen. We still have the knocking but the general consensus is that it is the shockabsorbers so we'll be OK.
The caves are a major attraction because they are so beautiful and the glow worms that live within. We did a tour of the caves, all stalactites and mites followed by a boat ride with the glow worms above us giving an appearance like a bright night sky. Quite magical. The idea is to be absolutely quiet for the boat ride but most people find it quite impossible to do this.
New Plymouth is a 2 hour drive south and for the most part was a lovely drive through 1st gorges then coastal scenery. N plymouth was in a dense mist when we arrived and stayed like that until halfway through the next day.
Our B&B is literally a stones throw from the sea and all v nice. We have the smallest bathroom but its so well designed it is fine.
We went out for dinner to a place called Marinovich's which is a seafood restaurant. We both had seafood chowder followed by flounder. In fact we both had 2 fish on our plates when 1 would have been OK. It was the nicest meal I have had in a long time.
Went for a 8m run along the walkway which has recently been constructed along the front here. It is 10k long. That gave me 30m for the week which is good but the hamstring is not any better and my Achilles is niggling away.
Next we went up Pareto rock which is on the south of the harbour. I did this in my 5 fingers
This is a walk up until halfway and then becomes a full on scramble. Quite entertaining. Decent misty views from the top.
In the afternoon we walked along the front to watch the surfers then headed along the Te Henui walkway which follows a river. All v nice.
In the evening we cooked for ourselves.