We got to Tongariro late in the afternoon and just stayed in for our first night here. The next day we got up and after Tara watched several episodes of Tyra (LAME!) we got on the road and tested how her foot would do on the 20 KM hike across the Tongariro Pass the next day
. She did pretty well with it while we hiked a few short trails to see some cool waterfalls within the park. Today, we got up early and prepared ourselves to take a moderately difficult hike over the crossing. Other than Tara's toe hurting a little bit, we loved every second of the hike. Despite having to share the trail with about 700 European hikers, we were still lucky enough to have had great weather and we reached the summit of the active volcano we hiked over, the great walk of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. At the summit, there were several volcanic vents, amazingly blue and green lakes, volcanic craters, views from the top, and almost a thousand Europeans to dodge around along the way. Needless to say, after 20 KM of straight uphill hiking transitioning to straight downhill hiking, we are very tired! Tomorrow we are leaving this amazing national park and going to head to Waitomo Caves to do some blackwater rafting in the caves while concurrently seeing some glow worms. Should be fun!
Finally we are back on the north island of New Zealand. We took a semi-bumpy ferry across the straight at 6:00 AM with Gale Force winds in the morning. When we got to the ferry terminal, Omega, our rental car company, forgot to pick us up, so we spent almost two hours trying to find the phone number to the business so we could chew them out for making us wait. After the long process of getting our car, we finally got it all straightened out and headed to the Tongariro National Park. Unfortunately during that process, Tara stubbed her toe and took her nail off, which jeopardized our hike across the Tongariro Alpine Crossing that we have been waiting to do for the last six months. Luckily for us, it felt okay by the time we went on the hike today.