Honolulu to Auckland to Taupo

Taupo Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
February 8, 2008

So it's only been a few days, but I'm finally settling in.

Hawaii was amazing. Completely crawling with tourists. But amazing. Picked up a shuttle to a nearby Waikiki hotel and strolled a bit before being picked up by Cherry, my surf partner for the day. Cherry was comfortable and grounded, short and stocky, with beautiful brown, brown skin and a big smile. It was perfect, and finally all of that time at the gym paid off. Definitely a few wipe outs here and there,. Definitely let out a huge scream of happiness or two. I also managed to perfectly exhaust myself to the point where I don't even remember my flight to New Zealand taking off. I woke up about four times throughout the entire flight, which wasn't as bad as I had imagined. Then, finally, I landed.

Let me just say that travel is only as stressful as you allow it to be, and luckily (as someone who tends to get a bit overwhelmed a bit easily) travel doesn't make me as crazy as I'd expect it to.

except while going through customs. sorry. it just makes me nervous. and this time wasn't any different. through all my research i managed to look over a few things. like, say, the fact that I have to have documentation of my flight home.

flight home?

what flight home?


This is the part where my bags all of a sudden feel 300lbs heavier, my fingers slip and fumble through my papers and bookings, my cheeks and ears burn, while I suddenly can't comprehend a word this man is saying to me, nor can I find an answer to any of his questions. For all I know, he is speaking German. Finally he slams down the stamp on my passport, throws me my papers, and reluctantly says I can pass.

So I passed. And sat down. Or, was pulled down, really, from the weight of my bags. And still didn't really believe that I had made it.

Finally, things really began. I managed to hitch a ride to Auckland City from the airport with two Canadians my age, Julie and Kyle, who were equally hilarious and awesome. I could have stayed with them the whole trip as far as I was concerned, but we exchanged numbers and waved goodbye.

After a successful and long bus ride, I made it to Taupo, checked into my first hostel, booked a shuttle to a 9 hour hike for the morning, and fell fast asleep.

By 5:40am I was on my way to Tongariro Crossing. It was pitch black outside as we (myself and a 35 year old bank employee from Holland) went crawling through the mountainside with about 25 other half asleep travellers.

This is the part where I basically can't even begin to describe the next 7 hours of my life. My pictures will have to suffice. It truly was unreal. I hiked, climbed, slid, and practically crawled, up, over, through and between two volcanoes. Black and red rock, orange clay, emerald pools of water smelling of sulfur, steam, leading to streams, and finally, the other side of the mountain—life. The same plant life that was ankle high on one side was now well over my head—black, brown, and red, turned to greens, purple, and white, culminating in rainforest. There were points where I would look up to a higher point, see black, moving specks, realize that they were actually people, and that I had to make it to that point as well.

Overall it was unbelievably humbling. It's now February 8th and my legs are still sore.
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photo by: carpefunk