Crossing the Mountain called Tongariro

This post is about my journey across the Tongariro Crossing, with an intro from Kenna.

The start of today came VERY early, as Scott and I wanted to leave Waitomo at a decent hour to be able to complete the Tongariro Crossing hike. We arrived around 11 a.m in National Park Village (the essential base camp for Tongariro) hoping to catch a shuttle which would take us to the trail head and then pick us up at the (quite far) trail tail. Unfortunately for us, there is only ONE shuttle per day at 7:15 a.m which picks folks up at 4 p.m on the other side. The lady told us “you’re far too late in the day to do the hike – it’s 19.7 km and takes most people about 8 hours. You should do it tomorrow.” Well, knowing that we have to drive to Wellington tomorrow to visit with family of mine, and the fact that we have a non-refundable trip booked on the ferry to the south island the day after, this was not possible. So, after some brain storming, we figured it was best if I didn’t partake in the hike anyway. I’m dead dog tired from trying not to die yesterday (and my body is sore to prove it), and I’m still not up to snuff to be very far from a decent washroom at any given moment…not mention my caloric intake is still not high enough to be participating in high impact activities (especially in consecutive days). I knew Scott wasn’t going to be happy if he didn’t do it, so we decided that we’d devise a plan to figure it out.

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Caving with the Glow Worms

Well, Kenna done good today. Having been hospitalized only 10 days ago, still not fully recovered, still eating like a bird (and doing other things similarly to birds too), we put Kenna through a lot today. No less than 1) rappelling, 2) caving, 3) rock climbing and 4) black water rafting. Nevermind that it was all through the same 5-hour tour, I must admit I was a little worried that she wasn’t going to make it out. Knowing that she’s been subsisting on less calories than a devout anorexic for the past 10 days, I kept asking, “How you doing?” to her reply of “I’m just really tired.” This is not a good thing when you’re trudging over sharp, wet, water-sharpened limestone rocks, 60m below daylight, and at least a few km (or at least it felt like it) from the nearest pathway to daylight. Not when a small slip from our gum boots could mean a serious wound or broken bone. Anyway, Kenna did admirably well on this little adventure.

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Rainy Days in Rotorua

Well here we are, huddled in Happy Diwali hiding from the cold, rainy mess that has been our life for the last three days in Rotorua. New Zealand was not supposed to be this cold! At least not until we headed further south! Furthermore, we’re being cheap and staying in a Department of Conservation campground, which is only $6/night, but unfortunately, unlike the expensive campgrounds we’ve stayed in thus far, there is no place to find refuge. Usually, there were big kitchens and rooms with TV’s and internet (which we never used, of course), but now, all we have is a lake and a small (like, really small, maybe 10 sq. ft.) covered cook station.

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The Coromandel Penninsula: Hot Water Beach

We arrived safely after a VERY long and harrowing drive from Paihia to Hot Water Beach. Driving in through the Coromandel Penninsula was amazing. More ups, downs and steep arounds and stellar scenery at every turn.

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Dolphins and Driving

Today’s blog post comes while Scott drives Happy Diwali through the crazy twists and turns of New Zealand’s roads. We are leaving Paihia to start our journey South – today we are hoping to get to the Coromandel Peninsula to see the Hot Water Beach.

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Northern Beauty

Here we are, sitting in Happy Diwali, enjoying the beauty Northern NZ has to offer.

Scott and I woke up this morning at 5:30 to try to see the sun rise over the ocean out of the back of HD. Unfortunately, the weather was completely socked in, and we didn’t see anything too stellar. So, back to sleep for us for a few more hours.

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The fun has started

The fun started at about 4:30pm today. Before that, not so fun. Let me explain.

We woke up really early this morning, 8am, to get our shit together for checking out, and preparing for the airport to let us know if the bag was getting dropped off or not. We had a plan – if they had found my bag, it would be arriving at 9am on the same flight that we had arrived on the day before. If that was the case, they’d be able to drop it off to us before noon and we’d be on our merry way. If that was not the case, we’d spend all morning on the phone with VISA figuring out how much they’d reimburse us for losing luggage. That wasn’t the prefered scenario, but we really didn’t have much of a choice. I had a few things I need to buy anyways, so this would give us a chance to get those things for free!

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Are we having fun yet?

nov 26

So… here we are in our hostel using the last dying minutes of my laptop battery. Today was the first day in our new home abroad, and honestly, it hasn’t been a great day. But really, when the god damn airlines lose your bag, you’re dead tired from flying for 20 hours and just want a shower and sleep, and your room smells like hamburger helper, how can that be a good day? Seriously, it smells so bad we were breathing out the window of our room as if somebody had had an ample helping of beans the night before. And the guys that are cooking it have 3 noisy little kids that are annoying the heck out of poor sick Kenna. The smell isn’t helping her nausea either.

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