New Zealand – Waikato / On the search since what seems like forever, for something new, always wandering, always wondering, sometimes I ask myself what my feet are searching for. Pushed towards the east and away from the sea, we spent some days driving and driving through rain and fog, hardly escaping the van and searching for things to see. We had reached Tongariro National Park at an abysmal time, as it was pouring still and the tropical bird that I insisted on being, I hadn’t thought of packing a rain coat. Of course. Determined, we drove on, and around a volcano, seemingly just forcing a lap in order to kill time, and hopefully return at a time when the sky didn’t seem to want to burst under all its heavy clouds.
Two days later, we climbed that damn mountain, and this is what we saw. Seven and a half hours of panting, cramps, frozen fingers and then some well-deserved awe – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was a little bit like walking around on a giant film set. Instead of following the usual trek, we climbed up starting from the Ketetahi carpark, almost four hours of a solid uphill climb, reached the top of the Red Crater, passed the Emerald Lakes, and returned on the same track from there.
New Zealand just seems to be full of otherworldly scenes. We spent a couple of hours on a rainy afternoon visiting the Waiotapu Geothermal Wonderland in Rotorua, which was baffling and beautiful. Crater after crater of colorful chemical reactions, it smelled like sulphur and in the rain was even more eerie than usual.
Ever the fan of anything that borders on catastrophic, the uncontrollable volcanic smells alone had me riveted. New Zealand does a fantastic job in adding a little education to their natural reserves, and we were sure to soak up all the information in predictable wonder.
North Of Lake Rotorua, we discovered a small trail called Hamurana Springs Reserve, where we took a little grey day stroll squawking at black swans and making a wish by dropping whatever we could find in our pockets that resembled pennies.
Side note: I wish I knew what others wished for at that well. Wouldn’t it be so interesting to know what the world truly wished for? Winning the lottery, world peace, good health?
Spoiler alert – My wish didn’t come true. Guess I gotta get me a more suitable wish.