Travel diary: Day 9 – Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Did I mention before the times we get up on this trip? Usually the alarm rings at about 6/6.15am. Eek! I have to remind myself that this was my choice! Ha ha. Today the alarm went off at 5.45am, with us ready to leave for the most anticipated hike of the trip – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It is said to be the most beautiful day hike in the world, and just looking at the mountain now I have no doubt about that. Gosh, it looks stunning!

We were warned about some bad weather coming up on the mountain so left our campsite equipped with various layers of clothing, lots of water, snacks and sunblock.

Well, what can I say – the mountain did not disappoint and exceeded expectations. Not only did we have the perfect weather for it, the views… oh my goodness, the views are breathtaking! You could see for miles and miles. We passed the most incredibly colourful lakes in the craters of the volcano, of the deepest blue and green. We trekked over steep volcanic terrain, starting at 1,100m altitude and reaching 1,900m altitude at the highest point. A very strong and cold wind accompanied is along the way. Hiking up was quite hard, as we climbed the 800m ascent very quickly. The top is a narrow crater rim, which we then had to descent using the scree to slide down the hills. This was then followed by a rather long and descent which seemed to drag on forever, straining the knees. I kept telling myself that it’ the perfect workout for my gluten – it’s all about the buttocks girl, keep going. 😉

Back at the Skotel, I would’ve paid a lot of money for a foot massage, they hurt a lot. I am also slightly worried about looming muscle ache, fingers crossed it won’t be too bad.

What a day it has been – great physical challenge. Amazing views. Great group bonding. More open and cheeky flirting with Andrew, the guide (who said if I would move to Auckland he would totally hang out with me).

Links: Tongariro National Park

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