We have been training for a few months to ensure we were fit enough to complete the 19.4km Tongariro Alpine Crossing, motivating ourselves with a shout of “think Tongariro!” when the training got tough.
Well – it wasn’t to be. 65km winds on top of the pass meant it was unsafe to attempt the crossing and the shuttle company wasn’t operating today. Tomorrow would have been OK – but we have to move on to Wellington.
We maintained a glass half full philosophy and spent the day totting up a tally of 14kms along forest. bog and open country visiting Silica Rapids and Taranaki Falls. On reflection, 14kms felt like very hard walk on what was a hot day at the foot of the mountain – so maybe this was meant to be?!
There certainly are some daring/adventurous people in NZ. There were people perched right on the edge of the slippy waterfall rocks at one stage (see photo!). At other points in the trip, we saw a group leapfrogging across a pelican crossing, trying to get to the other side before the lights turned red. At our first hotel, we were treated to skateboarders practising twists and turns on the concrete ramp walkway. I’m sure we’ll see much more when we get to `south Island too.
Flora and fauna:
White sundew flowers, trees covered with green woolly jumpers of fern and beautiful lichen.