Before Katie and I moved camps to the National Park we went back to normal life again ? Taumarunui Golf Club!

 


And then NOBO 1 Maja arrived! She also finally brought my new shoes from Auckland. It was really about time now. My ones are falling apart. Not only that the inside is non existent anymore and the sole is more or less gone now.

 

 


So I opened the carton and there they were – my new Salomons. I tried them on and what was that – one was smaller than the other one! I checked the sizes and yes, one was a 10.5 and the other one a 11. The box also said 11. Somebody must have put back the wrong shoes in the wrong boxes. Nooooooo… I was screwed! My old ones will have to survive the next few days I guess. Also the plastic structure made its way through the cushioning why I had to re-cushion it.


I called the store in Auckland and convinced them to send me the right shoe down to the National Park. A little bit of subtile pressure was required but finally they agreed to send it off via express post.
After a good breakfast we started off to our three day Tongario Northern Circuit. What a beautiful day! Finally the NOBO’s are all united again!


The TA officially only includes the Tongario Crossing (Whakapapa Village via Emerald Lakes to State Highway 46). But we will also do the Northern Circuit (counterclockwise) which includes the Crossing (but circles around Mt. Ngauruhoe – so from Whakapapa via Waihohonu the lakes Mt Ngauruhoe and back to the Whakapapa). And I will then afterwards also do the Mountain Circuit which circles around Mt. Ruapehu (Again from Whakapapa eastbound and then around and back). Day one of the Northern Circuit is therefore a side trip and only tomorrow I will be back on the trail with day 69…

 

 

We had perfect views on Mt. Ruapehu and Mt. Ngauruhoe (also known as Mt. Doom in Lord of the Rings).


What a perfectly shaped mountain! We also had a little bit of snow from the last night on the top which gave it a fabolous look! We just enjoyed ourselves and exchanged a lot on what had happened the last weeks. The walk was very scenic and we passed a few lakes and waterfalls on the way.

 

 

 


We looked at the people coming towards us and guessed if they could be possible TA trampers or not. Maja asked some of the not obvious day walkers “SOBO”? “NOBO”? Most of the people just looked irritated back at us and with this a clear sign that they were not TA’s. One girl looked at us with a big question mark, turned around and then said “Erm, jeah – NOBO”. So we stopped and found out that it was Pauline. A girl we had seen in the hut books for weeks and she had always been a few days ahead of me. So the laughter was of course big as we discovered the one and only NOBO we hadn’t met so far with this curious approach! Unfortunately Pauline ends the TA with the Tongario part. One less to continue…


We continued to Oturere Hut and enjoyed the sunset.

 

 

 

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