L and N and I drove up to Owhango on New Year’s Eve in preparation for walking one of New Zealand’s Great Walks– the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
The Crossing is a 20km hike though NZ’s oldest National Park and World Heritage Site. It starts from Maungatepopo and proceeds up to and over the saddle between mounts Ngauruhoe and Tongariro, and wends its way past steaming volcanic craters to Ketetahi Hut and down to the Ketetahi roadend.
So, all we did on NY Eve was share a bottle of Lindaur NV, and be in bed by 10pm so we could rise the next day at 5.15am to get ready for the walk…
…which was truly magnificent. The weather was perfect, the scenery was breathtaking, and L and I agreed how lucky we were to experience it.
Because we added in a walk to Soda Springs and an ascent to the top of Tongariro (1997m), the walk length grew to 23kms, and almost killed us. We were in bed that night by 9.30pm, shattered. I even brought a special bottle of Syrah from my cellar to drink in celebration, but it was laid aside as all I wanted was beer!
A day later, I can still barely walk. And I call myself a cyclist!? Still, as a cyclist I don’t use my leg muscles to descend, whereas on the Crossing I descended about 1200m, so that’s my excuse..
A wonderful, wonderful way to bring in the New Year!