i just came back from Tongariro National Park. It's where Mt Doom in Lord of the Ring was shot! i went for the Tongariro Crossing which takes about 8 hours walking on flat land and climbing up and down the mountains. it's a good track. the thing is i wasn't informed of how steep the mountain can be and there is nothing u can hang on to while climbing the steep mountain. one wrong step and u fall all the way down the mountain. i was struggling my way up as i am scared of height! i had both thigh cramps cos i was using too much energy! and not to mention carrying a heavy backpack with me (food, plenty of water, and jackets) we all were carrying heavy backpacks! 8 hours tramping became 11 hours cos we had too many stops in between and were busy taking photos! half way through the crossing, we realized we will not make it for the 5.30pm shuttle bus pick up at the other end of the track. we called the ppl were in charge of the pick up and they refuse to send us another shuttle. unbelievable! we told them someone was injured and they can't do nothing about it! we met this 2 guys, brit and israeli, they were so kind to wait up for us as they got their own cars! one of them have a self-made walking stick with them and i borrow it from them. it helped a lot with my walking as my legs were almost giving up and the cramps on both thighs keep coming back! as we were 3/4 from the track, it was already dark in the jungle and we decided to give it a run back to the end of the track. silly me fell and twisted my left foot and from there i slow my group down. the 2 guys were already far from sight. so happen we have only 1 mini torch light shared by the 4 of us. one of us have a sony ericsson which comes in handy as it has a "torch light" function. we walked as fast as we could and my pain in both thigh and feet didn't feel so bad as i was only worried as the walk to the end is as if a never ending walk. it was dark and i guess everyone in the group was feeling slightly vulnerable and just want to go home.
when we got out, it was already 8.20pm. thank goodness the 2 kind souls were waiting outside at the carpark for us. i can't thank enough for them. if not i think the 4 of us will have to "camp" in the wilderness with no tent what-so-ever. 2 of my friends followed the 2 guys to get our car at our lodging place and 2 of us sit back and wait for the rescue. while star gazing with another friend waiting, we saw a car and a guy came out and ask if we were the groups of 4 who called them earlier for shuttle bus pick up. i saw the guy's face and i recognize he is the guy who works at the lodging place. he said he is going to bring us back! what a day!
did i mention the last night at Tangariro, i was kicks from beneath my bed and loud coughing across the room! hmm...not very nice (i know i snore but that's grrrrrrrrr....) it's not like i snore on purpose!
more photos here, here and here!