Day 41/72: sledging and TongariroDecember 7 in New Zealand
We woke up, as promised by Peter (who ran the campsite) with a loaf of warm bread outside the door. It was wonderful. After the fun of rafting the day before we had signed up to do sledging with the same company. It was just me and Tom and 2 guides in a group, and we hiked to the same stretch of river that we had rafted the day before, only just below the huge waterfall. We watched a few rafts come down the waterfall: one flipped over and no one managed to hold on. Amateurs.
Then we jumped in the water with our sledges and flippers and kicked our way down the huge rapids. It was so much fun, diving under the rapids and getting pulled around. Our guides pushed us into the insane bits of the waterfalls and cruised ahead to catch us when we eventually got spit out.
At the end of the stretch of river they announced we were going to do some river surfing. This involves going straight for the rapid from underneath, and balancing on the bit where the water falls down the short waterfall on your sledge. Absolutely great, and we both nailed the flip the first time, something the guides were impressed with.
One near drowning incident and one swollen and huge nose (Toms- very amusing) later, we got back on the bus and headed back to our van. After buying Tom a bag of peas to put on his face, we started the drive to Tongariro: the mountain area we are walking from tomorrow to do the Alpine Crossing. The drive was beautiful; going past Lake Taupo and the mountains in the background.
When we got to the campsite we both decided to go for a shorter walk to warm up for tomorrow, so headed out on the trails to a waterfall about 2 miles away. The trail was beautiful and the sky was blue and cloudless.
After a huge dinner, we settled in early for the night. Another action packed day ahead of us!Read more