Thursday, February 19, 2015

Okahune to Mt. Doom

Tongariro Crossing:
Feb. 7 - Today I woke up bright and early to hike the tongariro crossing. I decided early on the drive there that I must hike Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings) even tho it would be a massive time crunch! I started the hike casually talking to people because it was a busy day on the trail.  When I got to the base of Mt. Doom I went into power mode and ditched all potential friends because I was on a mission. I must get to the top of this volcano as soon as possible so I can catch my bus and finish the trail.

 Like any steep slope, you can imagine it sucked going up, walk three steps, slide down one (it was that steep), but eventually in about an hours time, I made it to the top. I decided to walk the full top ridges over there connecting with the volcano rim and it was pretty neat. The rock was warm, not cause of the sun, but because it is an active volcano. "HEY YO! This volcano was interesting because it had the hot/cold sensation. Like I said earlier, the volcano was warm in some areas, where as other areas had these jagged cuts of ice layering the rocks on the top portion in and around the volcano. #crazy.


 And then... the emerald lakes. ahhhhh. glorious.


The hike continued and there was 3 volcanic pools later on and they were all of the pretty colors (Blue, Teal, Turquoise). We were walking on active volcanic land throughout the end of the hike and I soon I realized that the trail signs said three and a half hours left.... and I had 2 and a half hours to make it to the end of the trail in time to catch my bus. I started jogging through a maze of people and then I had to run the last 45 minutes of the trail in hopes of making it in time. I barely made it, 7 blisters later, shoes full of sand, sweaty face, and dehydrated. I really hate running, but when you spend $45 for a bus then you don't want to risk getting stranded, having to spend more money for a pick up, or sitting around in the middle of no where hoping for a pick up. This hike was prettty. I like it, if you get the chance to do it, I highly recommend it and if you dare climb Mt. Ngauruhoe, I highly recommend it. Volcanoes are ... so neat... unless they erupt when you're on them, in which case you may die... and thats not so neat.

Feb. 8 - Slept in and wwoofed again at Station Lodge. WWOOFing is volunteer work. Generally, it means, "Willing Workers on Organic Farms," however, other tourism and hospitality jobs occasionally have trade work in housekeeping, gardening, or diners as well. In my case, station lodge had just had a wwoofer move on and I was short on money (it runs out fast)! I asked if they needed any assistance in trade for accommodation and I was in luck. Normally you have to commit a couple weeks, but I was in luck and did a 3 hour shift each day in exchange for accomodation.

Relax?? Or Not
Feb. 8 - My plan was to relax, but I ended up meeting up with a friend and learning how to drive stick. We went up and took a look at a ski resort Mt. Rapehu, I think, and then he offered to teach me how to drive and since... I have never done it because no one wanted to teach me. I figured yes yes yes. I'm really good at it, when I focus and I almost want a car that is Manuel now (almost). 

On the Road Again:
Feb. 9 - I woke up and packed, sad day and then met up with farmer friend and got a light snack and coffee. I'm taking a bus to wellington today and meetig up with my tribe girls Emily and Sara in welly tonight, but kinda sad to be leaving ohakune...(bitter-sweet). Made it to Wellington and I was reunited with Emily and Sara again!

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