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what a day for hiking

My God, I thought it rained all night and although I expected the worse for this hiking day, by the time we actually woke up at about 8 AM and I looked through the window, I noticed it is the drainpipe which is making all the watery noises. Is this a good sign!?

The sky on the other hand isn’t looking all that good and the only thing we notice, are dark clouds. It seems that we are out of luck and I am afraid that even our 1 % chance for our hike has gone into thin air so to speak. By now I am almost sure that were not going to be able to walk the Tongariro Crossing today. After breakfast we still go and ask the reception if it is possible, but nope, not a chance at all, the crossing is sadly enough closed!

Since we still wanted to go for a walk (coz what else is there to do than feeling miserable like the weather), we asked everyone who wanted to accompany us on a hike to be ready at the reception by 9 AM. Although it seemed that in the beginning not many people were interested, by the time it was 9 AM, more than a handful of people showed up, to be more precise, it were almost more than 2 handfuls.

Not able to do the crossing, we went for the next best thing and we decided to do the 6 hour walk all the way up to the Tama lakes which consisted out of a lower and an upper lake.

Leaving the hotel, we just followed the track at the parking lot and slowly walked into he NP. After a good 15 minutes we came across our first bridge (not that spectacular actually, but great for pictures) and about an hour later we even saw a huge waterfall. This was the perfect stop for our first break and as soon as we all had rested enough, it was back on track towards the lake.

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The track itself went up and down a lot with quite a few steep climbs, but we all went on our own pace so it was more than doable. The thing that was the most unbearable though, was the rain and after about 2 hours walking, some of our fellow group members just quite and went back on their way towards the hotel. It is sad though, but if you are so wet and cold, I can understand that you don’t want to walk any further.

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After a good 3 hours walking, it could be less of course, I don’t know exactly, we arrived at the lower lake which had amazingly beautiful colors when the sun shined upon it, but as quick as the colors came, the quicker they were gone coz more rain was coming our way. Needless to say, by the time we wanted to eat our lunch, it rained and there was no place to hide, so the only left for us to do was to eat in the rain.

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For most of our group this was a sign to head back, but 5 stupid people remained : me, Tania, Alexander, Francesca and Kelly. It seems that only us Europeans wanted to go and have a look at the upper lake.

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This on itself wasn’t an easy walk. We first had to go through some bushes and then we had to undergo 2 climbs which were pretty steep and windy to say the least. More than once I thought the wind was going to pick me up and the only thing for us to do was to hide behind some rocks and seeing they weren’t always big, this became a major problem. Although the wind was bad, the rain was even worse. We had one rainshower going up hill and although it was just water, it felt like hail on your face. This was just not normal, but I have to admit, the reward of seeing the upper lake was worth it and the most important thing of them all, I climbed up a very steep hill and although not without danger, that on itself is quite a reward. I am so proud of myself!

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Not wanted to linger too much up that big hill or should I say volcano, we quickly made our way down again and braved yet again another downpour. Now that we were there again, we still had one quick glance at the lower lake again and than we were on our way back towards our hotel, where we arrived about 3 hours later.

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Tired but happy that we did the walk, we heard of some people wanted to go to the spa of our hotel and although someone of our group booked a hot tub, it seemed that she already went earlier on the day, so it was there for us for the taking and something like that sounds like music into my ears.

Together with Tania and Annelou we went to the hot tub and soon even Alexander followed as well. Sadly enough there wasn't space for all of us in the hot tub, so instead of going into the water, I enjoyed the warmness of the sauna, only I don’t know if they now the concept of a sauna in NZ coz normally you sweat a lot in such an „establishment”, but here it was like sitting into the warm sun. It wasn’t hot at all and although I kept on pouring water on the stones, it just wasn’t real hot and after about a bit more than half an hour, me and Tania just left the place and went for a hot shower instead.

After rearranging our luggage it was time for dinner and this evening we decided to go along with the group and went for the BBQ dinner at the hotel. The meat wasn’t all that bad and we had a bit of warm and cold veggies as well, so all in all the perfect meal after a long day of hiking. The dessert was a welcome surprise as well and was yummy to say the least. We weren’t going to bed with an empty stomach.

I was completely knackered after a full day of hiking, taking a not so hot sauna but a very hot shower and I didn’t even mention a good meal. So it wasn’t a total surprise that I slept like a baby the minute my head touched my pillow.

Posted by Ils1976 00:01 Archived in New Zealand Tagged landscapes people lake river plants friends tour hike oceania grey_weather

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Comments

The scenery looks wonderful but oh dear, more rain :(

by ToonSarah

sadly enough, there is more to come! :(

by Ils1976

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