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It seems I haven’t posted for a while, so time to drop a line or two!

After a few mad weeks at work, and a few nights working from home past midnight, I was running low on morale in the office.

Some time ago, a mate of mine from work and I decided to do a bit of a climb, as I wanted to do a test run for my jacket, trousers and shoes I got for my trip, well especially shoes, since I will be walking for a few hours every day on the way to and back from Everest Base Camp, it sounded like the right thing to do to go for a hike and see how it all feels. I also got some pressure from a person I recently met, who bless her cares and worries a bit (I guess she actually worries a lot, but tries to hide it).

We left work much earlier than usual on Friday for a 5 hour drive down south to the National Park, as we wanted to do the hike on Saturday, stay the night second night and leisurely come back to Auckland today (Sunday). We had a few choices of mountains well above 2000 meters altitude as a training session. The choice was the 2287 volcano, Mount Ngauruhoe, the “Mount Doom” from “Lord of the Rings” movie location. The hike is about 6.5km from the car park from about 1100m to an altitude of 1650m where the track splits for the famous Tongariro crossing plus the missing few kms steep steep climb on volcanic gravel at about 45 degrees angle up to the 2300m Ngauruhoe summit.

All in all, we had to layer up twice as the temperature started dropping the higher we got. From the point where the track splits, we decided to gear up in some windproof jackets (gore tex for me). The walk itself, without stops, took us about 2.25 – 2.5 hrs to get from the carpark to the 2300m summit, and another 2 hrs to get back. We obviously did a few stops for food and rest, plus lunch break and photos at the top. The weather didn’t look too good, as clouds were at about 1700m, so we didn’t hope for a view, but when we got to the top, walked around a bit, it all started to clear and we managed to get pretty amazing shots! That lasted about 10mins and clouds came in again.

I had my phone on me, which recorded the activity whole activity, altitude, location, steps, timing, etc. All in all about 17.5km hike / climb, with pretty decent weather condition, moment of clearing for photos at the top! Awesome.

Today, we were on the way back and as much as my legs felt tired yesterday here and there during the hike, I didn’t feel anything afterwards. I thought the best thing to do today is to still do a bit of a hike, to let the muscle move around a bit, but not as strenuous as yesterday, so on the way back we stopped for a trek at Pirongia Forest Park and did a hike to a lookout point, which is supposed to be 2 km and 1 hr one way. It took us about 57 mins return.

I missed out on one thing though, which was my usual Sunday date night, but this was a trade off I agreed to take for once, well I had a date night on Thursday!