Angela has gone off with the camera so I will update this soon. She is with the children enjoying a spa treatment or two in the many thermal springs here about. I am left nursing my fried finger – it has reached quite startling proptions so boiling it in thermal gloop may not be the best cure.
More bad news; the volcanic area that we had hoped to walk through is still closed after an earlier explosion, which took away some of the path and the hut we wanted to stay in. We will have to make do with day walks and no high ‘alpine’ crossings. Of course it being autumn here the forcast is not too good either – you can look forward to shots of mist again. Snow is forcast at 2300m so we will have to watch out for that. Hmmm I wonder if this will just end up as a thermal treatment stop.
It took us two days to reach Tongeriro – a four hour drive along route 1. We keep on stopping in all these little towns all no bigger that Crawcrook, but all with a muesem, library and usually a pool.
Inevitabally we are beginning to count down our days ’till we leave for Fiji. We are still unsure about our plans and swing between taking a island hopper, flying to a more remote part or going to the old capital. I wonder when we finally make up our minds.
Wow the met. Office got it wrong; we had a fantastic time walking over the Tongariro crossing, an alpine crossing between Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro, two active volcanos. The scenery was … well high alpine with moon scape added in where the volcano last let loose. There was a picturesque stream for a good way of the walk, yellow from the sulphur it had passed through. The smell amused the children for quite a while but when we had to fill our water bottles from the same stream the sulphur smell didn’t seem so funny. I am pleased to say that the bottles did their job and we survived the yellow water. I wish we had started earlier as we could have attempted to climb to the one of the peaks. Although I am not sure if Angela would have liked it as it involved a bit of a rock climb and scrabbling up the scree slope –more likely ash. The thought of being able to cook up some noodles over a steaming vent was very tempting.
We walked a good way and got over the last crater and had one more slope to climb when the weather finally decided to do what it had been told. We beat a hasty retreat. We were already walking in our down kit the thought of having to put on wet gear didn’t appeal too much. We were told the views were fantastic (thanks), but since the tops were now covered in cloud I don’t think it would have been worth it. – Now for some volcanic action in the way of steaming hot pools.