On the 12th of April a bunch of us headed down to Tongariro National Park in the North Island of New Zealand to do the 17km Tongariro-Crossing walk which goes over the pass between two of the volcanoes in the park, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.
Note: Click on any image to see a larger one. They're all about 800x600 pixels and only fairly small. roughly 80k.
|The forecast was looking good and we weren't exactly disappointed to see it turned out to be accurate. We struggled up at the un-Godly hour of 7am (after a few beers the night before), and had breakfast in the morning sun while we waited for the bus.|
|Here's a view of Ruapehu from the breakfast table. This is the nearest of the volcanoes to National Park village were we had stayed in a lodge the night before.|
|On the bus at about 8am for the ride to the walk starting point near the Mangatepopo hut. Here's Graham, Jamie and Jo. Our lodge host wasn't overly helpful re the bus ticketing, I think he was pissed-off about not going to the pub on time the night before coz we'd arrived so late.|
|... and Sasha and Dave. The bus driver wasn't exactly the most informative of chaps, but did manage to tell us that we shouldn't bother turning back on the walk as there wouldn't be another bus at the track start till the next day.|
|The starting point of the walk, obviously we weren't exactly gonna be having the mountain to ourselves. There we at least three bus-loads of people already there, or headed on up the track in front of us.|
|Dave and Graham in the brilliant morning sun strolling up the track past the Mangatepopo hut. We were pretty much bringing up the rear at this stage, and with our leisurely pace slipped quietly further to the back and the timing worked out to be pretty much perfect.|
|This is a shot of one of the soda-streams forming a wee water-fall that you pass early on in the walk.|
|Here is your intrepid author striking a handsome pose BEFORE any uphill action and while he still had the energy to crack a smile without running short of breath.|