Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Zealand - the "one DOES simply walk into Mordor" edition

Previously, Ness and I explored some thermal stinkiness, visited an epic waterfall, and drove a really long way. Also, we stayed at a hotel that was far too posh for us, and we were the youngest people there by at least ten years.

We got up to be greeted by a gorgeous sunny morning. And, I discovered that if you were willing to stick your entire upper body (and your SLR) out of the window and twist around to the left, this was the view from our hotel room:

Not too shabby, huh? We kitted up, grabbed some breakfast, and headed out to do a couple of short walks. We'd originally been planning to do a longer one, but the forecast was for the weather to get crappy by early afternoon, so we figured it was probably best to not set out on a walk that would require us to spend three hours walking in the pissing rain to get back to the hotel.

We figured we'd do the longest one first to make the most of the good weather, and so headed out to Taranaki Falls. The walk itself was pretty easy - a couple of biggish hills, but with proper steps and plenty of places to convince yourself that you were stopping to admire the view:

After a little over an hour, we reached the Falls. They were a lot more impressive than I'd anticipated and I kind of wished there'd been a path down to the bottom so that we could see exactly how cold the water was. I mean, water that clear tends to indicate snowmelt, but it looked SO NICE...



Hiking fashion is not like regular fashion

The walk back took us past Mount Doom Ngaurahoe and Mount Ruapehu but was generally less pleasant than the walk TO the falls, due largely to the lack of shade. Still, the views pretty much made up for it:

I still giggle every time I see this


When we got back to the hotel, we jumped straight in the car and headed a little further afield. We started out with a walk that was meant to take 20 minutes but in fact took us less than five. It wasn't particularly picturesque either, so it's hard to imagine it taking 20 minutes even if you loitered to look at the scenery.

So we headed on to the walk to Tawhai Falls. It was a lot smaller than Taranaki, but you could get right up close. We spent 20 minutes or so clambering about the rocks and just enjoying things before a couple of middle aged tourists appeared and we thought it best to head off.

And then we decided to walk the Ridge Track. That proved to be rather steeper than we were anticipating, and by the time we reached the top and its (apparent) panoramic views, it became abundantly clear that there was some very heavy rain approaching. So we hightailed it back down the ridge (overtaking an incredibly annoying group of French people who abruptly stopped talking when I overtook them with a "Pardon. Merci!" on the way) and arrived back at the hotel juuuuuuuuuuust as it started to pour.

After showering and generally de-hiking-ing, the rain was just as bad. So we grabbed some books and headed down to the lounge where we spent the rest of the afternoon partaking in tea, cheese and crackers, and cocktails (Black Forest hot chocolate? YES PLEASE).
This is not Black Forest hot chocolate. Obviously.

We also did laundry because we're rock and roll like that. I mean, what else do you do while in Mordor???

Next up, we go on a random roadtrip of randomness. Because we can.

K xx

4 comments:

  1. The title of this post makes me happy.
    Those waterfalls are spectacular. There's some not too far from me that I visited when I was little, and this makes me want to go back and see them now that I'm old enough to appreciate it. The forest and mountains aren't too shabby either :)

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  2. So much pretty in the waterfalls :)

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  3. Shame they make you need a wee if you stand near them for too long............ ;)

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  4. You should go back - you really can't go wrong with a good waterfall!

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