The shuttle leaves at 7:30am to the starting point of the trek – and then there are close to 20km left through hilly terrain (but still just a bump on the road compared to Everest 😉). The trek is rather easy – even the part referred to as Devil’s Staircase. However, I’m happy I brought hiking boots, poles and wind breaker – many other people look to consider this a Sunday stroll with the limited equipment they have brought (again I might be overdoing it with 2 additional layers, first aid kit etc. I did not use, and 3½ liter of water and soda – but I ended up only have 1 liter left in the end).
We pass through snow while we have the look to the surrounding landscape and peaks. The mountain Mount Ngauruhoe was used in LOTR for inspiration in how Mount Doom would look. At this time, I did not carry The One Ring, and we do also not get close to the summit (and doubtfull any fire down there). It’s incredible windy near the top, even coming from Denmark with occasional storms – this is even worse. Care needs to be taken and to stay at safe distance to the cliffs. At the summit there is a nice view to the red crater – part of the mountain which is really red, and also emerald lakes below and a dark blue lake further away. The decent is very steep and with rolling surface and other people land on their butt – why did they not prepare themselves better and walk sideways down.
During the decent I meet the first Danes during my New Zealand trip – a ground of young people who have booked an adventure travel over two months. They have so-far been in Australia (and a bounty island somewhere) and are now in New Zealand before they return back to Denmark. I drive to the first paid camping site – 18 dollars (with 2 in discount). This place at Himatangi Beach has all facilities, so I can get a shower and charge the camper battery for the fridge. I park so I can hear the sea in the distance, but no direct view.