Monthly Archives: April 2012

Busy doing nothing…

You know, there are times when I feel that I really should blog about stuff other than my trip… mostly because at the rate I’m going it’s going to be sometime after the Olympics before I get close to finishing… alas, I’m afraid to say that my life generally seems to be fairly boring… that is not the same as not busy though…

It does feel that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and been here there and everywhere. I’m quite sure that at weekends you’re not supposed to be getting up earlier than you do during the week, but for some reason this just hasn’t quite been happening for me!! Indeed, checking my calendar I’m going to be busy every weekend until sometime in July… and that’s only because I haven’t planned any further!!

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been up to Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelmsford and Houndslow… other places I suspect I’ve been to but can’t really remember… Oh…. and there’s been Easter… I’d forgotten about that!!

In the mean time, I promise to either do something more interesting that can be blogged, or write the next holiday blog that has some rugby in it!! Which considering this is a trip to the Rugby World Cup is probably a good thing!!

Transport not included…

Now that we had arrived on North Island the girls headed North by train to go to a spa and visit some cultural things… this left me a few days not to go to a spa and do cultural things. I instead flicked through my guide book and saw a place called, ‘National Park’.

Alas, even though the train passed through NP it was fully booked so I was required to catch a coach there. It was upon arrival that I discovered something very important about NP… it is very small. Small enough that it is possible to walk around the village in under 20minutes. By which I mean around the outside, not just around the centre…

But a nice spot of lunch at the railway station cafe meant that I was about to say hello to the J&P when their train pulled in. And to be vaguely confused how I was unable to buy a ticket for a half-empty train…

Now I realise by now I’ve normally thrown a photograph in, so here’s the wooden kiwi that was outside the hostel with the VOLCANO Mount Ruapehu in the background…

Wooden Kiwi and Volcano

For some reason, living in the UK you just sort of forget that there are places where being able to see snow covered active volcanoes from your kitchen window is perfectly acceptable…

With these snow covered volcanoes there are two main activities that happen… skiing (which I can’t do) a hiking, and there is what is deemed to be the New Zealand’s best one day hike… the Tongariro Crossing. In the summer months I may well have been tempted, at 20km long it isn’t an easy hike, over the first 10km you ascend a height of 1km, and over the next 10km you loose that height. But this being early Spring and there being snow on the ground I decided to be sensible and not to do it. Though so you know, these are the other two volcanoes (Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe), and the hike starts on the far side of the left hand peak (Mount Tongariro), comes around the back, over the col between them and then down towards us… if you want you can make a slight detour and visit the top of Mount Ngauruhoe (the right hand peak) if you wish…
Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe

Now, I understand your general confusion at my suggestion that I was going to be sensible, do not worry. To make up for that I did a little used hike out to the Tupapakurua Falls, taking care not to take a map or compass, nor to tell anyone that I was going… it is by far and away the best way to make a hike more exciting*… more of an exploration!!

As waterfalls go, Tupapakurua Falls probably aren’t going to win any prizes, but it is a nice two hour hike through natural forest… nice apart from after long, steep descent there is a sign at the bottom telling you that you will have to go back up the steep descent… and that it’s a vertical climb of 115m… but if you’ve already gotten to the bottom you may as well carry on to see the falls themselves. but to save you the trouble…
Tupapakurua Falls

Oh, and if you were wondering about the title to the post… well, National Park is small. There are two bars, three places to eat, a shop and a garage/shop. If you go there by bus I would highly suggest that you plan to go there and don’t do it on a whim. If only because you might find yourself stuck in the village with little to do. A useful laundry stop though. And if you do go, and you stay at the HI you may very well find this outside your room….
View from door

Yes… I am standing in my bedroom door and that is a climbing hall…

* – though H&S does mean that I have to advise at all times to take a map, compass and to let people know where you plan to go. I can get away with such things because I know what I’m doing and don’t get lost. And am foolish.

What’s up…??

One of the world’s greatest questions can be summed up in only three words… “How’s it going??” I mean, sure there then the important bit of actually seeing what the answer is and remembering that sometimes “ok” isn’t the same as “great”, but ultimately, as important questions go I think it’s right up there.

I think that sometimes people just use it more as a phrase, or an opening gambit in conversation so they can move on to whatever it is that they want to talk about.

This was going to be a much longer post… I’m not sure how, but I don’t think it actually needs to be…