Tramping in the Lord of the Rings mountains and icesurfing
måndag 12 juli 2010
Raglan, Nya Zeeland
So I got to the North Island. I didn’t spend much time in Wellington; instead I caught the bus strait up to Gisborne, where my friend Lawrence met up with me. I met Lawrence when I lived in Bondi and he is kiwi so he was back in New Zealand to catch up with his family. We went for a surf the next morning, and trust me, surfing in New Zealand in winter is freezing!! I got the longest wave of my life so I was well happy, but my feet where not. It hurt so much walking on the rocks coming out of the water… So I decided to buy booties before my next surf…
We drove along north along the so called east cape of the North Island, stayed the night at a hotel owned by a friendly kiwi where they had natural hot springs. Next day we got to the most easterly point in the world (!) and drove along the coast and eventually to Lawrence’s parents who live on a farm outside Hamilton.
We spent the next couple of days relaxing; I was having a real bad cold so I was happy just chilling out for a bit. We took the motorbike up on the farm and drove up and down the green hills saying hi to all the sheep and goats and cows… It is true that there is about 40 million sheep in Nz!!!
Then it was time for more surfing!! We drove to Raglan, situated just west from Hamilton, which is a famous surfspot worldwide (known for having one of the longest lefthand breaks in the world). We hit the waves in Manu bay, and then I found a hostel- Karioi lodge- and Lawrence drove back to his parents again, to return to Australia the next day.
Raglan was a lovely little town. A bit quiet now in winter, but still a chilled out little surftown, and the lodge where I stayed was situated about 8km away from town.
I spent a bit more than a week in Raglan, went surfing every day and met some people who where working at the lodge. There was even an openmic night one night in town, so I got the chance to go on stage again!
I left Raglan for about a week to travel a bit on the North Island. I had met some people who where travelling on the so called Straybus so I could catch up with them once I got to Taupo.
I got to Rotorua – a volcanic place- first, a town with an intense smell of sulphur, everywhere around town you can see steam coming up from the ground. I’ve never seen anything like that before!
I left Rotorua already the next day with a German girl who where going to Taupo as well. On the way we stopped at the Thermal Wonderland, another volcanic place. We watched the geyser Lady Knox erupt to a height of 15 meters! We also went for a walk in the “wonderland”. The lakes in the park where bright orange, green, yellow and all sorts of colours that made the whole place look real poisonous, not to mention the boiling mud in some spots!
We continued our drive towards Taupo, stopped by the clear blue Hukahuka falls, and we arrived to Taupo in the afternoon. Taupo is a nice little town by a beautiful lake. Here I met up with the people from the Straybus, and decided to do the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing- where the Lord of the Rings was recorded- the following day!
The landscape in Tongariro national park was stunning. Unfortunately it was cloudy once we got closer to the summit, so we had to turn around and walk back. But I was staying in the park for a few days, so I got the chance to do the crossing again the next day. That day we had a perfect clear blue sky and we could even complete the whole crossing (which they haven’t been able to do in 2 weeks due to the weatherconditions in winter!!)
As mentioned before, I stayed in the park for a few days, using the hottub in the hostel most frequently, and went for some more hiking before I got back to Raglan hoping to get a surf in before my flight home.
And so it happened. I only had 2 days left on my trip when I got back to Raglan. And suddenly, after 10 month of travelling I was packing my backpack(and my surfboard and guitar…) ready to fly from literarily the other side of the world back to Sweden. I was ready to go home by now, but the experiences and memories I got from this trip will always be with me, and I will always think of and miss all the beautiful people I met.
So I landed in Halmstad early on the 7th of July. It was unreal to meet my family and friends again. And now I’m trying to find an apartment in Gothenburg as I’m starting uni in about a month. So next time I write here I might be on an exchange somewhere in the world!
Uppdaterad torsdag 15 juli 2010