I am now in a little town called National Park. It seems that no one could be bothered to give this place a name - it is inside Tongarino National Park so I guess it seemed like a logical choice.
I don't know if this really is a town or just a group of lodges, ski and snowboard shops and a few bars. However, no one can deny that the views from here are just amazing.
View from my hostelVolcanoes standing in the not too distanct bring back memories of hobbits, elfs and Aragon, and I am expecting to find Gandalf at some point while I am here.
My main reason to come here was to do the Tongarino Crossing, which is meant to be the best trek in New Zealand, but somehow I forgot that we are in the winter, and it is all covered by snow, so my plans have changed slightly. I am still going to do it, but will have to go with a group, and this time I will not be able to climb to the top of volcano as I wanted to. My friend Nat was saying how brave I was to have trekked in the Blue Mountains on my own, well now I am going to have to be less brave and I am feeling a bit out of place.
At this time of the year, the middle of their winter school holidays, there are mainly two types of people here. Snowboarding teenagers, and families with small children that come to ski for a bit and then play in the snow.
It is the wrong time to be here as everything is fully booked and I am having to pay $35 for a dorm instead of the usual $20 as all the cheaper ones have been booked. To make matters worse I have been told I need to leave by Friday as they are completely booked for the weekend.
I spent most of today visiting the area trekking, or as they call it here tramping, by the beautiful Lake Rotoponamu that fills a dead volcano. Then I went to the start of the Tongarino Crossing and realized that it would have been mad to attempt the 18 km on my own as the tracks are covered with snow and ice. So a very early start for me tomorrow at 6.30am and I don't want to think about how cold it will be.
Weather here is pretty mad, one second sun is shinning, next starts raining, though not sure my pick is that clear, lol