When we all did the Tongariro Crossing, we had to be ready for 5.30 am for the days walk... The earliest start yet! However, our alarm didn't go off! Catherine saved the day by magically waking up at 5.30 on the dot, screaming at me to get ready and getting both of our a's into g! We ran out in bare feet and just about made the bus by a few mins to spare. And that was just getting to the bus.. Now to start the day haha! After an hours journey in the dark we began walking at approx 7.30 am. The first section was an easy stroll into the foot of the valley and surrounding mountain range. The following section was named the 'Devil's Staircase' - the name was the best possible indication as to how strenuous the ascent was! Anyhow, after sweating it out all the way we arrived at the foot at Mount Doom (2300m).
Pete and I decided to climb it while Catherine and Kelly did the other route! Kelly got some snaps of herself and Cath and I bought the iPod to take some photos of the summit. It was the toughest walk I've ever done! It was steep, slippery underfoot and a good 2 and a half hours.. Also you had to watch out for falling rocks. Plus, it didn't help that we went the wrong way for the first hour and we had to walk horizontally across the mountain to get on the right track! It was very tiring but the views were incredible so it was worth it. Our descent only took 30 mins as we ran down digging out feet deep in the gravel so we didn't slip (I've got a video to prove it!) We got to the bus at 2.30pm and slept all the way home and then some at the hostel. The day was a lot of fun and we definitely showed Frodo how to do it properly!
Me and Kelly decided that mount doom didn't exactly look or sound like our cup of tea so we thought we would do the 'easier' walk...in fact it was actually still incredibly tough- we climbed to the summit of Mt Tongariro and also up and down an extremely steep mountainside to get to a blue sulphur lake! In the end we actually walked a lot further than Pete and Fraze but I don't doubt that theirs was extremely tough! spending the majority of the day above a carpet of clouds with the sun blazing down gave us some incredible views though- we felt like we were in another secret world! Both of us had a great day and both felt a huge sense of achievement at the end of it- we'd really recommend it to anyone who wants to do it! :D