Friday, April 15, 2011

South Island Here I Come

So I just wanted to write you all a quick farewell blog.  And I mean quick!  My internet expires in eight minutes, AHHHHHH!  But anyways...  So tomorrow (Sunday April 17) myself and four others will be leaving for a two week long excursion to the South Island.  It's gonna be awesome!  I may just come back broke.  Hopefully our extra bag charges from the airlines will be refunded soon after that.  If I haven't mentioned that before, it's pretty self explanatory.  Along the way to the South Island we will be joining up with three others, and possibly two more once we get way south.  It should be an experience to say the least.  I will try my hardest to keep track of everything and then post it here as soon as possible.  Wish us luck!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mt. Doom Today, Not a Bad Place!

Yes.  Here it is.  The first of the cliche references to Lord of the Rings.  I doubt it will be the last.  I was actually criticized by a kiwi the other day when I named a photo album with a LOTR reference.  My only defence?  It took me almost three months to get to this point.

So last weekend I took a trip with the alpine club (hereto referred to as MUAC) to go tramping up at Tama Lakes.  (tramping = hiking)  What I didn't know, and didn't bother to find out before hand, was where exactly this was.  I honestly didn't care, I just wanted to go.  Anyways, come to find out, we were to be tramping across Tongariro National Park to reach the Tama Lakes.  We started our day by gathering at the bus terminal at 6:45 in the morning.  Yay.  From there it was a three hour drive to the Park.  It was an extremely scenic drive.  The back of my eyelids were gorgeous that day! 

Upon arrival, everyone suited up, or down in this case since it was a wee bit warmer than expected, took a quick look at the map, and headed out.  It didn't take me five minutes before I was tripping over myself.  Once I got over that, and we got out of the brush, we were greeted with this lovely view...

That there is Mt. Ngauruhoe.  This beautiful volcano played Mt. Doom in LOTR.  And we were hiking towards it.  Woo! 

After walking for about an hour, we reached Taranaki Falls.  First we walked over the bridge at the top of the falls and admired Mt. Ruapehu in the distance for a little bit...

And then we headed down about 80 stairs to see the falls themselves...

I hope you agree with me on how pretty the falls are.  If you don't, I don't really want to hear it. :)  Anyways, we spent a good ten minutes admiring and taking pictures of the falls, as well as sitting down and taking a little break.  From there we climbed back up the stairs and headed out on the two hour trek to the Upper and Lower Tama Lakes.  Somewhere during this two hour time span, I slipped and fell into some mud which was hiding some lovely sharp rocks or something.  We'll just say I was a bit scratched up.  But moving on!  Along the way we saw such things as...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oh Time, Where Have Thou Gone?

Hello readers!

So I apologize for not blogging in a week... or two.  I swear the time here goes by about 2x as fast as it does at home.  It's absolutely crazy!  I just wanted to inform you all of that.  So please don't be mad at me.  I've been super busy. 

Two weekends ago, April 1 and 2, myself and four other friends took a bus up to Lake Taupo.  We headed out Friday morning and got there in the afternoon.  We stopped at this cute restaurant called the Gumboot Manor for lunch.  Our orders looked a little something like this...

The food was absolutely delicious.  I got "one piece of fish and chips" expecting a light meal.  Oh no.  That piece of fish was half the size of the plate.  A full size dinner plate.  And the chips (fries) were falling off the other side.  It was some of the best fish I've had here.  And I've had quite a lot.  So after finishing our bus ride and getting to Taupo, we checked in to our hostel and then wandered the area.

Great place to sleep for cheap!
Not only is this a McDonald's plane, it's actually part of the playplace.  No Joke.  Best playplace ever.