|Wednesday, Nov. 9th
I woke up early to dump trucks driving past and into the lot that I was parked in so I decided to move on. I hung around the nearby town a bit waiting for the Information center to open up at nine, but I decided to make my way to National Park instead. When I got there I started planning for rides to and from the Tongariro Crossing which was recommended to me by some people I had met previously on the trip. When I got to the hostel I would stay for the night, I was recommended to do the crossing today because of the weather forecast for the next few days would be rainy and cloudy. So unprepared and rushed I quickly changed, crammed some food and warm clothing before being driven to the entrance of the crossing. I started an hour behind on the 8 hr trek so I had to catch up with everyone.
The crossing itself was quite amazing and actually went up and between two tall mountain peaks. There were many people participating, some old couples, groups of school children, and many people from all over the world. We tramped over steep inclines, crossed over snow laden paths, endured brisk winds, and steep descents. We walked by high mountain peaks with one of them being Mount Doom from LOR, passed by giant sulfur pools and glacier lakes, and inhaled sulfur from sulfur plumes openings. The scenery changed from low lying bushes to just volcanic rock to tall grass to forest to jungle during the walk. I ended up finishing a hour before the pick up time and decided to take a well deserved nap. When the lot was driven back to the hostel I had myself a late lunch as I only had 6 snack sized snickers. Afterward I had a long shower, bought some steak and proceeded to have dinner.
During dinner I joined a few Tiawanese ladies. We chatted, enjoyed our meal, and talked about our trip so far. They were just starting a quick 1 month tour of New Zealand after 8 months of working holiday in Australia. Later I joined a packed room of people and watched a Steve Martin move called I Love LA? I think? Anyways after that I was pooped and decided to turn in early.
Thursday, Nov. 10th
I drove back to Auckland today, back to my uncle's house. Running low on money and clean cloths, I got back and proceeded to do some laundry and catch up on Facebook. I think I was having withdraw from Facebook the past few days I didn't have access to it. Either way I also caught up on this journal and had dinner with my Uncle and Aunt that night. Slept.