There's a Volcano Up There........Somewhere!
11.02.2008 21 °C
A brighter start to the day meant we packed up and left quite early, but not before I sorted out my camera problem after visiting the “camera shop”. It appears SLR's are somewhat unheard of in the smaller places and try explaining you need a sensor cleaner to a shop worker who thought that my camera had been brought back from the future! I got lucky though and it's now fixed!
We popped back to the Huka Falls so we could take a few photos while the sun was out. A really cool rainbow was just above the falls from all the spray so we were glad we went back as it looked much nicer today.
The drive to Turangi was easy but pleasant. The road winds its way around the Eastern shore of lake Taupo, cutting close to the waters edge in places and climbing high to some lovely viewpoints of both the low lying North and mountain rimmed South shores.
The hostel is heaven compared to last night! A QUIET, friendly little place with a climbing wall as part of the facilities! The owners, a lovely if slightly crazy couple, pointed out a few walks that we could do (I had wanted to do the 18km “Tongariro Crossing” but my broken ankle and Sarah's groin rehab has put pay to that. A real downer for me as it takes you 1800m up and over the heart of the volcanic plateau and is reputed to be one of the best day walks in the world.) so with this useful information to hand we went off for a wander.
First stop was up into the Tongariro National Park to hopefully at least see the three active volcanoes of Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and the 2797m Raupehu. It's certainly a different world up there, the area is quite barren with boggy heathland either side of the solitary road that encircles the central volanic region.
Sadly the cloud cover meant we could barely see the base of the volcanoes, let alone the summits! At least we weren't the only ones missing out on the crossing walk today it would seem!
We made our way back toward Turangi for a supposed “lake walk” near Mt Pihanga. After 40 minutes of the supposed 2 hour “lake walk” we had no sight of the lake so gave up on that one! It was clear from here though to see how the weather is different in the national park region. North of Pihanga the sky was a patchwork of blue sky and fluffy clouds but the moments the mountains rose the cloud builds into the grey mush we experienced near the volcanoes themselves.
Back in Turangi we wandered along the river for a short while before Sarah promptly got eaten again! The bites are driving her mad while I have the odd one or two!!
Some pasta filled the gap in my tum that had grown from our walking before retiring to our palace of a room (compared to Taupo)........not the most interesting day, but at least we weren't rained on!