Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Ice In The Water Jug And Then, A Sterling Blue Day

We awoke to an outside temp of 29 degrees F, ice sloshing in the water jug we keep outside the door to fill our water bottles and electric kettle. (Fill the kettle now...) We're camping on the banks of the Whanganui river and the fog in this photo is just part of the weather system here, along with the morning cold.

As a NZ friend says: Rug up and keep warm.

Art started the grill before the fog lifted. Everyone knows temperature influences appetite and this is a steak-and-vegetables morning.

Longtime friend Bruce commented on yesterday's post about our plan to head tomorrow to Tongariro National Park:
Beautiful! I still remember trying to climb up/over/around Mount Tongariro and having to turn back because of the rain/fog. I was staying at the only hotel around, a big white plantation looking building, located at the the entrance (?) to the park. Are you going to be doing this hike?
Coincidentally, this morning I stumbled on a postcard in the campground lobby that shows the very hotel Bruce mentions, Chateau Tongariro. Here's a link for more info.

Bruce, your poor-cousin friends will be staying in the same wee village as the chateau...only we'll be lodging in our caravan at a powered campsite at the Whakapapa Holiday Park. We will definitely not be walking the famed Tongariro Alpine Crossing, even though this NZ Great Walk looks unbelievably wonderful and we hope you were able to do much of it.  Here are some pix.

The winter warning for this walk couldn't be crisper:

Tongariro Alpine Crossing--

6 June 2019: Winter conditions

Sub-zero temperatures, snow and ice are present on the Tongaririo Alpine Crossing. These conditions will continue until November. Alpine skills and equipment, as well as warm and waterproof clothing, are essential to hike the track. Consider the Tama Lakes Track or a guided trip if you aren't experienced or equipped for winter alpine travel.

There are countless other walks in the park and we plan to be on at least several of them. Staying in the village of Whakapapa right in the park lets you go outside and...start walking.

Once the fog lifted this morning, the weather was exquisite, warm in the sun, the world in sharp relief.

I went for a morning walk. Look what popped up around a bend and took my breath away. The imposing, snow-covered Mount Ruapehu, the highest (at 2797 meters, 9176 feet) of the three active volcanoes that make up Tongariro National Park. The other two volcanoes include the one Bruce was seeing on his Great Walk attempt.

Tongariro National Park has earned an unusual UNESCO dual World Heritage designation, on both cultural and natural grounds. To Maori the volcanoes were tapu, or sacred. More history upcoming, but look at these monsters (photographer credited in photo). We're quite excited to get into the park.

Down here on my walk the stream was tinkling past, the sun warming me quickly, but I couldn't keep my eyes off that majestic volcano.

We went into town to get some cold-weather gear, apparently having left some of ours in Chicago. I got a new possum and merino sweater, the warmest and coziest sweater I've ever worn. It looks just like my old one except it doesn't have holes from wearing it virtually every day since I got the last one two years ago. Prepare for me to never take this one off.

And at the bookstore, the latest Atkinson. Jackson Brodie returns--hooray!

No comments:

Post a Comment