Wanganui to Turangi

Trip Start Jan 22, 2013
Trip End Mar 18, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Monday, February 18, 2013

Woke up hearing voices. Hmmm.  Looked out the window of the upstairs master bedroom, otherwise known as our bunkbed, and saw 2 rowing crews on the foggy river.  Then we chatted online with Carl & Mckenzie and got up to speed on wedding planning and other things.  I'm sure glad Carl and Terri are back at the ranch taking care of things.

Then we hit the road for Turangi.  I thnk I’ve decided NZ is the land of winding roads with 20 mph curves.  We did another one today following the Mangawhero River.  This looked like it would be a killer trout fishing stream.  The Turangi area is world famous for brown trout fly fishing.  We stopped at Mt. Ruapehu before reaching Turangi.  They have a ski area on this volcano that last erupted in 2007 and in 1995 before that.  It’s called Whakapapa. Pronounced fa-ka-pa-pa.  Nice!  Had lunch at the base and then rode 2 chairlifts to another restaurant, but short of the top. The base where we started hiking was at 6,627 ft elevation.  Karen started walking but then we realized in the time we had to get to the top and back down to ride the chairlift down, she wasn’t going to make it.  So she went back down to the restaurant for a spot of tea.  I didn’t think I would make it up and back either.  But after climbing 917 ft  pretty much straight up in 45 minutes, I made it back down.  The climb was over lava rock but mostly volcanic sand.  They said the whole thing usually takes 1 -2 hrs.  I did it foolishly in 1 hr with time to take photos.  Enjoy another side of NZ.  The area we are in is the Tongariro National Park.   It was established in the 1860’s I believe by a Maori chief, and was the 4th national park in the world.  It’s another World Heritage Site.  When we left there and drove on we saw plumes of steam coming off the side of another volcano a few miles away.

After arriving at our campsite we made our way to the geothermal pool for a 20 minute dip in the 40 degree Celsius(104 F) private pool, and then the 36 degree Celsius (96.8 F)public pool.  Just what the doctor ordered after driving almost every day in NZ for 1750 miles so far.

When we pulled into our campground we saw our friends from Holland that we met on the Abel Tasman walk and kayak trip, Simon and Nanette.  We seem to be following each other heading north.  And there were two young women from Holland in the campsite on the other side of us as well.  We Dutch apparently travel in flocks.
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Noma Edwards on

Smart move Karen!

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