Mittwoch, 2. Oktober 2013

Staircase to heaven and hell: Tongariro-Crossing, National Park near Taupo

Hey, guys' n fellows, this blog will be in english, cause I wanna give you a straybusdrive-feeling with our beloved Karlyn, 42 year old guy, no family, no kids, but a bloody good driver with a big heart, a full engagement and a full small bus. So, dear Erik, enjoy my globish - you don't have to translate this time ; )

... on the road
Busdriver Karlyn
"First rule, ladies'n genlemen, I try to show the most, that I can, cause this is my job, so let us get op a little earlier, cause I wanna show you a nice plaice for swimmin' in warm water b'side de road - hop of the bus for pee an' poo at aroun an hour - later we can have our every day group picture an we reach Taupo a lidl bit lader in the evening ..."
The Straybus picked me up in Rotorua on Sunday. On the bus are nearly only crazy girls of Wales, Scottland and Sweden.

Supergirls'n Guys

A little bit later, means three hours later. In any case the weather was bad, but I wanted to meet  a  girl in YHA-Hostel in Taupo, Isabell, to do the Tangariro-Crossing together with her without guide. Karlyn thinks, that isn't a good idea, because we have to start early in the morning and the group stay in an other hostel. I let my lugage at reception of this group-hostel and walked by foot to the YHA, which is much nicer - after some time I found her and we cleared up, that the weather for Monday is too bad, but she will leave on Thuesday - so I have to stay with the group ... and - by accident - the straybus will be in the right time in the right place, because the forecast for Thuesday is good.
Back in the grouphostel everybody has checked in - I don't mind, where I'm staying, we leave allready at 8.00 o'clock next morning. Monday morning it is raining heavily.
I'm sitting beside Karlyn, read the newspaper 'Die Zeit' and try to ignore the weather.      
"Guys in caise rain stopps laiter - we gonna have group-picture at de watefall !"


And really the rain stopped for a while. 11 o'clock waterfall - group-picture: Karlyn collect 24 cameras in his jacket, we climb to a big rock and take position. "Okay, guys, gi'me a smile and don't fall - I 'm not picking you out there, I hate cold water ..."

Half an hour later, we are sitting again in the bus, starts the rain again and we take the gravel-road for the next 40 km to the ecolodge-farm 'Blue Duck', where we can do hunting, horseriding, claypigeon-shooting or walking. The farm is in the end of nowhereland - even the sheeps look sad and wet and you can't walk a step without being sucked of water.


To make it short: I enjoyed the afternoon reading a book, 2 guys went for hunting wild goats, 3 girls tried to shoot unsucessfully on claypigeons and in the evening I ate with 4 girls a cooked wildboar with potatoes and salad for 12.- NLD. We were going to bed early, because we have to start at 5.45 o'clock to go back to the National Park for the 'Tongariro Crossing'.


Thuesday is the PERFECT DAY VII ! We reach the park, 14 of the group want to do the crossing, so we get equipement, like crampons (we never use) and 'Eispickel' (I don't know in english ) but most of the chicks even have to rent gloves, trousers and shoes ...
I pay without any equipement 115.-NLD and after the last one has payed, we start by bus to the starting point. The last clouds move away - we can see clearly all three mountains and where we will cross and it looks beautiful ; )


Three hours walking up on a clear proper way, sometims even a wooden track, the last part steeper through snow and we reach the highest point and can see back to the valley we have done and down to the other side, where the 'Emerald lakes' laying green and wonderful in the sunshine.


Staircase to heaven: I am allways one of the first and can walk easily up. No need for guiding - no possibility to get lost !

We have a 20 minutes lunchbreak, and I enjoy the wonderful view,  before we continue - but now it is snowy and muddy downwards very hard to walk - and we have 12 km to go ...
We pass a smoking volcano, it smells like hell, everywhere are lavastones in different colors and the view to lake 'Taupo' is amazing !


Until 15.00 o'clock I can manage well, but there is never time for a break, because I like to take pictures and not to run, and the others are talking all the time and I try not to walk one behind the other in the biggest crowd. Short before a hut the damn 'Eispickel' is crashing down of my backpack exactly on my left foot ('Ferse') - the pain is terrible and I fall back completely. At the hut, where a big lavastone has broken a hole into the roof, I change only the trousers and continue walking, because I want to walk without all the loud neverending talking girlies of the group.

The last hour is hard for my knee, but at 16.15 o'clock, after seven and a half hour walking we are at the parking, where the bus is waiting - we have a free drink and give back the stuff, we didn't need. I am happy to have managed the 20 km and it was all together a really perfect day, ending up in the hostel in a hot whirlpool and with a good 'Indish curry' Karlyn has cooked for us - shure, we had to pay for ; ) but it was well done.

On the start on Wendsday it is sunny in the morning, but soon the next clouds are coming. The drive to Wellington is not spectecular - the only 'Highlight' made by Karlyn is the 'gumbootthrowing'- competition - a special sport in Taihape. It takes an hour and winner is a lady: Sophie of Sweden ! In Wellington is only time for a short harbour-view and two hours museum - after I am happy to have a shower and a 4-bed-dorm for my own.

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