We are on a hike to nowhere

Hello!

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One thing that was on our must do list while in NZ was a horse ride in the Lord of the Rings Land, the very place Boromir lost his life, I name: Glenorchy.

You should see that place, completly lost, mountains and horses, forest and lakes, you won’t even dare to speak cause you feel so small compared to what is around you. It turns out that many movies have been filmed there, from Wolverine to the Lord of the Rings, Narnia or Prince of Persia. The first time I went to Glenorchy, it was freezing cold, the mountains were still covered in snow and the horses really just wanted hibernation… It was just the two of us and the guide, a lovely guy very fond of every thing lord of the rings. He introduced us to all the ‘famous’ horses, showed us all the sights and picked me up from the mud when my horse decided to throw me off its back… No offense taken, I just carried my messed up shoulder till the very end of the trip!

I took my Mom again when we were in Queenstown. We only had a few hours but I insisted she had to see it, that it was way worth the drive. It was a very different sight that Glenorchy offered us that day, the sky was so low it nearly touched the land. It was the begining of Spring then, the whole place was packed with Lupin flowers. That’s when my love for lupins began!

I believe very few words can describe Glenorchy, so I won’t attempt to say any more about it. Just leave you with a few photos!

Have a great week end!

  • In winter:

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  • Spring:

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I have been homesick for you since we met

Happy Sunday!

Tangariro's eruption

Tangariro’s eruption

Today feels like the first day of spring: finally we see the sky and the sun after weeks of cold and grey. It is supposed to last all week, with a peak of 26°C no less on wednesday, so fingers’ crossed!

I’ve been quite busy Friday and Saturday which is why I have missed my weekly date with NZ, but here it is. Today, we have reached, Tangariro National Park. It was most definitly our absolute must see of NZ. I have told before the story (here) of our ‘issues’ to actually get to the park so I will not get back to it.

So what’s to know about Tangariro? Well, it is THE place for all Lords of the Rings nerds, yes, I am of course talking about Mt Doom! You wouldn’t believe how many people told me they took the hike all the way up just to have the immense satisfaction of throwing their own ring into Mt Doom… The Tangariro crossing is among the most amazing tracks that NZ beholds, through three volcanoes.I had heard so many travellers as I crossed NZ raving about it, for being a place outside of this earth, I had come to the point where I was convinced I would somehow be disappointed.

Want to know what I really felt about it? It probably was the best day of my life! It was a beautiful sunny day, not too hot not too cold, and it was just plain BEAUTY. If you have the chance, you must take the trouble to go even for just a day walk. We took the walk starting from Whakapapa village (pronounced FAkapapa), I would say it is around 16-17km, and it took us nearly 7 hours (we are not at all hikers, it is an easy one, don’t be scared). You go all the way to the lower Tamar lake, then the serious climbing begins. It is very steep, and if you think the way up is hard, wait till you have to take that same way down… The view on Mt Doom (I’m sorry but I really cannot spell its real name) with the Upper Tamar lake is just way worth the trouble! On our way back we took the track that goes to the Taranaki falls, where we enjoyed a lovely picnic.

Absolut success of a day!

In terms of accomodation, both times I stayed in National Park Village. We first went to Le Plateau Lodge and until we got to Picton, it was our favorite hostel. It looks like a moutain chalet, has a hot tub, a giant flat screen TV in the lounge, a fully equiped kitchen and clean, individual bathrooms. That’s where we shared a room with sort of a weird English girl, who told us how she used to own a pet care shop, sold it to flee her ‘abusive’ uncle (that sort of things you really don’t want to know especially when it is from a stranger you have not a care in the world for) and how she was ‘thinking’ of Jason Statham every night before she fell asleep because ‘he is the hottest man on the planet’.

The second time, don’t ask me why I did not book Le Plateau again, we went to Howard’s Lodge. That place will always behold the memory of G. dropping on me his C. bomb, but I clearly remember the place how I seen it the first time: cute, neat and cosy. We watched all three Lord of the Rings movies with Mom, of course we did, and FYI, the owner of the lodge has played one of the Orcs in the Two Towers 😉

I hope you enjoy these photos, they aren’t giving any justice to the place really, even though I find them ‘picture perfect’.

Cheers,

M.

The long white cloud from the car

The long white cloud from the car

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Mt Doom

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Yes, we are climbing that

Yes, we are climbing that

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Lower Tamar Lake

Lower Tamar Lake

Climbed that too

Climbed that too

That's Mt Taranaki in the distance

That’s Mt Taranaki in the distance

And climbed all the way there too

And climbed all the way there too

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Upper Tamar Lake

Upper Tamar Lake

The Taranaki falls

The Taranaki falls

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Travel Theme: Pathways

Heya!

I am very exited today about this new travel theme because that gives me the opportunity to share with you a very special place: Tangariro National Park, New Zealand.

This must be one of the most fabulous place I got to see in my life! When I try to rank the places I’ve seen in terms of what was the most beautiful, Grand Canyon inevitably comes first, but I’m pretty sure now Tangariro is the second.

Just as always, there is a story that goes along… I went to Tangariro a first time in May 2012 when E. and I travelled NZ, and I don’t think we’ve ever been that exited in our lives about anything. For this mountain is none other that Mount Doom!! Yes we are Lord of the Rings dorks… The closest we got to the park the darkest the sky… By the time we arrived in National Park village, downpours of rain were falling on us. We asked everyone around, litteraly begged them to take us to the park the next day, no matter the rain, we would face it! They all laughed at us because the park was closed down as ‘the storm is coming’. No one dared to take us there, but hurricane or not, we would have done it! We left miserably the next day for no one was willing to help us…

The second time, it was December 2012, when my mam came to visit me. I flew up to Auckland, three days before we were due for Tangariro, and all of a sudden I decide to watch the news (I rarely do) and there it was: Tangariro has entered into eruption. WTF?? Really??! Let me tell you, I refused to listen to anyone telling me it was stupid to go down there, I took my mom with me, we booked a shuttle to the park, and by the time we arrived the weather was bloody GORGEOUS like I have rarely seen it in NZ!!

Long story short, Tangariro National Park is outside of this earth. You’ll have no clue where you are really, you could be on the moon for all I know. It is beauty itself, it is silence itself, it is the WILD. I love it, and all the tears were worth it!

Now, the few photos I have selected for this week:

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IMGP5808If you want to know more about Travel Theme go to see Where is my backpack?

Cheers!

M.