swept away by the wind
I sleep for the 1 1/2 hour journey at 6am from Taupo to tonagriro national park, otherwise known as Mordor. Ive seen it from above and now i want to get up close and personal.
‘Tonga’ meaning swept away’ and ‘riro’ meaning southerly wind.
When we arrive im given an extra jacket, fleece trousers, walking boots and crampons for the ice. My chocolate and water goes into my rucksack and every item of clothing I have is keeping out ‘the southerly wind’. After 15 minutes of setting off im so hot that my sunglasses have steamed up and I remove most of the layers.
Upon reaching the ‘Devils staircase’ which should be renamed ‘devils torture chamber’ I quickly scoff some chocolate for energy. I hour later im about to die after clambering up never ending rocks covered in snow and ice. The trek leader says ‘you dont do much tramping huh?’
I glare at him and imagine tramping his face.
When I reached the top I spent no longer than a minute collapsed on the ground when i was ordered to put on my crampons.
‘Remember to walk with your legs apart or you’re crampons will clash together and you’ll fall.’ said perky the leader.
Well apparantly he said that, I dodn’t hear that bit. over I went for a little roll around in the snow.
We trekked up verticle slopes of snow and ice for 4 hours but when we reached the top the views were breath taking! On one side Mt Doom and on the other a volcano that is predicted to errupt soon. We stood at the top of Mt tongariro peering into the red crater hoping we wouldn’t be swept away. The ground was actually hot from the volcanic activity underneath and all around steam was sqeezing through holes in the ground. We were above the clouds and all I could see was snow and steam. Like middle earth.
We had to keep the crampons on to get back down and I took a few more tumbles before realising it was easier to stay on my bum and slide down. After 3 hours of constant down hill of snow ice mud streams and rainforrest I staggered into the carpark. I slept all the way home too.
My knees and ankles hurt a little the next day.