I managed to get myself out of bed early enough to enjoy one last sunrise in Tongariro, and once again it was breathtaking. It was another cloudless morning, crisp and beautiful. So leaving behind the National Park I drove North for a few hours to Taupo. Taupo is a little tourist town by the lake, and most of the backpackers who come here have some cash to spend which they throw from a plane.........by skydiving. I even condisered it, thinking perhaps it would help me get over my fear of heights. If I could jump from 12000 feet there would be nothing for me to fear anymore. Well, thankfully, I came to my senses. I just could not justify spending £130 doing something I would probably hate.
So, after a stop and short walk around town, I went over to Rotorua, the smelliest town in the planet, and considering I have been to Kolkota that's saying something.
Now that I am here, I can't comprehend why people want to live in a place that feels as if God is constantly above them on a fart-athon!!! It reeks, the smell of rotten eggs is everywhere.
Sometimes it recedes just to hit you later in the face when you least expect it. You don't even have to be near one of the vents to get a whiff of the rotten eggs.
I have spent the day doing some of the local walks, some of which are of an eerie beauty, the barren Sulphur Bay brings to mind images of a post nuclear war planet.
On my way, I came to realise that I am now at the equator of my trip and I am starting to make my way back.
Oddly, the next few countries are scarier to me than South East Asia. I have never been to Central or South America and, although I speak the language, they are probably as alien as Malaysia or Thailand could be.
After 12 years in continuous employment I was 'credit crunched' in November 2008. I decided that I wasn't going to stay in London wasting my redundancy money and fighting with 500 people for the 3 jobs that might become available throughout 2009.
I have always wanted to go away for a substantial period of time: travel the world, go to those places that you that really can't experience properly on a 2 week holiday, Laos or Indonesia for example.
I am also planning to do some enviromental charity work in Costa Rica.
At the same time I also felt that I needed a break from London. As much as I love the city and its opportunities it was wearing me down. I need a little time to regroup my thoughts and decide what to do with my life.
I hope someone out there will read this and enjoy it.
And please, I'd really like to hear your comments, any feedback would be highly appreciated.