Wet and misty Tongariro Crossing
National Park Travel Blog› entry 55 of 254 › view all entries
Both got up at 7am to check the weather forecast. It looked cloudy and misty, and we had made up our minds that we weren't going to do the walk. When we got to reception we were told that the trip was on, that it would clear up and we would have a good day. We decided to go ahead and forfeit the winery. We rushed around for half an hour getting all our gear together, and got on the bus at 7.45am. As we neared the start of the walk, we still could not see anything. At 8.30am we set off walking. In the mist. We were off first of the 20 people on our bus. We walked along an easy track, feeling quite optimistic about the day, having been told that the mist would clear this morning. After about 20 minutes it started to rain.
Towards 2 o clock the hut began to empty. As we were quicker that most of the other walkers, we stayed by the hater for as long as possible and were last to leave the hut. Back into the wind and rain we didn't linger, and overtook most of the group on the way down. The last part of the route took us through rain forest which would have been very pleasant (as would the whole walk) had it been a sunny day. During the last 20 minutes the sun came out, and we arrived at the car park, wet and covered in mud. We lay in the sun for a while waiting for the bus. It was one of the toughest walkes we had ever done, not because of the distance or ascent, but becaus ethe weather had been so bad.
During the walk, we should have seen spectacular volcanic peaks, craters, hot springs and Emerald lakes. We did get a sense of where we were, due to the occasional whiff of sulpher and warm streams. At one point we could sense we walking across a big crater, and climbing out of it. If we ever get the chance to do it again, we will not listen to the locals, but trust our own judgement. If it is blue sky, wall to wall sunshine, and 25 degrees, we will have another go.
Never have a hot shower, good meal and bottle of wine been so appreciated.
If anyone wants to see what we should have been looking at click on the following link: