Mordor & Carrots
Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
130Trip End May 31, 2012
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Where I stayed
Ohakune Top 10
What I did
Whanganui River Adventures
Tongariri National Park
We were collected bright and early the next day and driven to the river where we had hot drinks and a safety briefing. Then we all piled into the jet boat and zoom!! Nearly an hour later and we were still jet boating, I may have managed a little nap on the boat much to the amazement of my fellow passengers – how??!! Then we hiked for 40 minutes through beautiful woodland, and the sun came out as we arrived at the Bridge to Nowhere
I should now mention that PK doesn’t swim and both the boys were a little apprehensive about falling in. I was fine until the first rapid, then I realised just how flimsy my vessel was and started to pay a bit more attention. It took us about an hour and a half to get back to the jetty. The boys were very brave and James was a tower of strength, even though he admitted after some of the rapids had him worried! On the drive back to Ohakune with Josephine we stopped to marvel at snow-capped Mount Ruapehu glistening in the sun, and looked forward to attempting the Crossing the next day.
We awoke full of nerves and anticipation, and with sandwiches and thermos packed we checked out of our little hut. The driver arrived to pick us up and informed us there would be no crossing today due to high winds, however if we wanted he had another walk, 17 km that passed between the mountains and was less windy
At this point we started on the track, a big group separating slowly into kindred groupings with us three bringing up the rear. Safe to say about 5 minutes into the walk we all took a wrong turn. After over two hours in the wrong direction we were all questioning our route! "I don’t think Gandalf meant for us to come this way!" We had decided to stick together but at this point we peeled off with a Norwegian couple, and the others all headed in the direction they felt was best. Cross country is an understatement! We climbed through bushes, trees, and then landscape that resembled the Moon. Short version is we took over 4 hours to walk to the hut, and that should only have taken an hour and a half – whoops! We phoned the driver and said we might be a bit late, and bravely decided to continue and not turn back to the start. We had already walked 12 km and had a further 5 hours to go!
At this point we decided to become the Fellowship, with Pk as Aragorn (he had a walking stick that resembled a sword), James became Gimli (he had a beard), and I became Legolas (I had the best eyesight)!
It was a beautiful walk, the mountains and waterfalls were stunning, however come the end we had walked from 9am to 6pm straight, covering a total of 27 km (16.2 miles)! That is a new personal best for me, to say we ached would be a lie, we couldn’t move! The driver thought this all hilarious and swore to tell future walkers for months about the group that made 27 k out of 17! In addition we discovered that the other members of our group never actually made it – they headed back to the start and were collected at 2 pm.
So we still hope to do the Crossing before we leave, but next time we’ll follow the marker posts and not get lost!