Thursday 10th May
Journal brought to you by a very tired and exhausted Sophie
Â Guess what time we got up today??? Â Not as early as the hot air balloon ride but pretty damn close.Â Half four in the morning.Â Yes half past four in the flipping morning.Â I cannot cope with this - it is far too much like hard work.Â I am meant to be on holiday for goodness sake!Â This is because we were tackling what is known as the Tongariro Crossing.Â It has been given the status of being one of the top ten on day walks in the world and passes over volcanic terrain along the slopes of the active volcanoes Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro.Â It takes about 7 hours to do and is hard work.Â It should be mentioned that Mt Ngararuhoe is actually Mount Doom out of Lord of the Rings!Â So people Tamara and I were literally walking over a film set!Â Yey.Â The walk was fantastic.Â We spent the first part walking through a green valley and then ascended the Devil's Staircase which was quite hard going but fun all the same.Â The next bit was the hardest bit of the whole experience so it was good that we got it out of the way at the beginning.Â The freezing wind was howling past our faces and it felt as if it was attcking us with needles and scraping the skin off.Â We were being blown from side to side as we battled over the rocks and the scree, slipping and sliding all over the place.Â The cold invaded all warmth of our bodies - we could no longer feel our hands or lips.Â I accidentally got my hair wet and it froze and frost was accumulating on our hats and coats.Â Yes this may sound dramatic but it is what Tami and I endured and conquored.Â At the top the views were masked my a mist that opened and closed as quickly as you could count to three.Â We walked over some mudlands and then skidded down the side of the mountain to the Emerald Lakes, so called because of the sulphur that could burn your whole skin off in a matter of seconds.Â They were beautiful and intensely green though.Â Isn't it strange how some of the most beautiful things in the world are the most dangerous.Â I am including Tami in this statement too.Â Although she is not beautiful, just dangerous.Â But you get the idea.Â Â We stopped for lunch in a small hut in the middle of a field of corn where many other hikers were sat shivering around the small heater.Â We were way in front of schedule so stayed there for a while eating our food (peanut butter and cheese sandwiches, not together obviously, for those who wish to know) and played cards.Â Â The last bit of the trek was through the forest and was very pleasant.Â It began to drizzle but only slightly and did not ruin it at all.Â We made it in 7 hours exactly and we were very proud of ourselves.Â It was definitely worth doing because the terrain was so different - we went from mudlands to forest to valleys to rocky mountain sides.Â It was amazing.Â Â
To ease out our muscles we bathed in the hot tub, had a long hot shower, watched a lot of junk tv and ate chocolate with Roy (the guy who works at the lodge) and then went to bed.Â Brilliant day, truly brilliant.