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Published: April 5th 2008
Well that was going to be my title. Walking into Mordor, up Mt Doom and across the volcanic planes. 7 hour slog with occasional stunning views and an amazing sense of achievement at the end. Tongaririo Alpine Crossing, 3 big mountains to stare in awe at. Minor problem, 50 mile and hour winds, not allowed up there. No time to hang around another few days just in case. Sitting around moaning to the wall is my best cause of action right now.
Taupo so far has been a bit of a damp squib. It's "an outdoor town", so when it rains, instead of getting on with it like the rest of us, they cancel everything. Been chatting to the really nice people running the hostel who were struggling to find something for me to do. Going for a walk in the rain was the best I came up with. Eventually got bored of being wet and sloped off home to find Premiership highlights on Sky Sports 2. Just about worth getting up for. Decided against spending money as not got much of it left. Limits the options somewhat. Also, everything available here, I've done either in Queenstown, Opunake or Nottingham.
Where you warm up to escape the rain
300 yards back to car so hypethermia sets in before you reach home
Quad bikes are the most tempting, but I'm not that safe on them so taking the sensible option of staying away.
Highlight of today was the thermal stream. Looked very inviting to join everyone else for a dip. But for the fact that I'd have frozen to death when exiting the water, (and didn't have towel - or blanket to warm me up again) I may have had jumped in.
Yesterday the bus dropped us off near Huka Falls, the main attraction near the town. Impressive, not for their size (dinky in comparison to many I've seen so far) but for the sheer volume of water and the power of the stream as it ploughed it's way through the narrow alley. But for the good chance of drowning, I'd have been very tempted to kayak down it. Only minor concern.
Just been for nice, long, long walk. Decided to challenge myself and walk back to the falls, and on to Ariabiata dam. Map showed it about 4km to dam. Waterfall again impressive, dam pretty dull, and miles away. After 3 hours I stared to get bored. Consulted feeble map, not landmarks so had to guess length.
When finally arrived, the total route was 10km. Doesn't sound like much, but still had to get home. Detoured off to main road in hope of a bus. After walking along road, saw sign for Taupo 12km. Crap, even further this way. No buses, no scenery. Just a petrol station with bog and bottled water (not in the same place) to break up the journey. Since I was being a lazy cow and had a lie-in, didn't start walking till lunchtime. Was very dark by the time I got back to the hostel. Pedometer had me walking 30km. Coudn't even relax my, then very ripe, feet. Colapsed into TV room to watch drippy film, only to have my peace spoiled my some noisy bitches playing ludo, screaching everytime the dice were thrown. Even after I'd ask them to kindly keep their annoying gobs closed for 3 seconds (slightly more politely) and a very nice looking bloke had explained to them that they could play elsewhere and I was trying to watch the movie, still didn't shut up. Fled to room to pack. Should have left my socks under their bed, though the smell may have finished them off.
have bothered packing. My bus left me behind. I'd e-mailed to tell them where to pick me up, exactly where they dropped me so they knew where it was. Unfortunatly, they e-mailed me back much later (around the time the cretins at Tiscali were cutting me off) to say they were changing where to pick me up. The far side of town. Didn't get message, sat on curb for half an hour like a plank before calling to check where they were. Told to try again tomorrow. Well gee thanks, and who's paying for my acco
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