Sunday, 2 September 2012

Week 16 - High Tea at 'Might Doom' (when open minds lead to adventure...)

On the way to Mount Doom!
Good evening from Wellington! It's been another beautiful week, reaching 16/17 degrees most days, and this weekend has been no exception! (....and they call this winter...).

Today, I have driven along the coast line, through forest, countryside, desert all leading to 'Mount Doom'. That's right, I have done the 'Hobbit' Journey in just a day - 3 films/books was just dragging it out! The reason for this journey takes a little more explaining, but it's all about keeping an open mind, and the company of strangers...

Prior to receiving an email on Thursday night, and pretty much right up until Friday evening, I had planned to make an 'EPIC' journey of my own to Lake Taupo and repeat my skydive there, the jump I did 10 years ago... however, a phone call changed all those plans...
The email I received on the Thursday night was from a English Occupational Therapist called 'Flo', who had met my good friends Jenny & Mark whilst traveling around the South Island a couple of weeks ago. They gave my details to Flo who emailed me Thursday to say she was hoping to arrive in Wellington on Friday. I heard nothing more until a pone call about 6pm on Friday, leading to meeting up for drinks in the city. We were also joined Alex and Charles, friend's of Flo's. Alex was also from the UK, and had reacted to losing his job by deciding to make the most out of this difficult situation and decided to go traveling! Quite inspiring I thought. So after some drinks and chatting, about Flo's upcoming trip to South America, I decided that I wanted to stick around in Wellington and enjoy their company a little longer...

Mount Ruapehu
Mount Ruapehu
Having access to a car this weekend, courtesy of my good friend Jess, who so unselfishly said I could use the her car whilst she was away, was a huge help (Thanks Jess - that's another one I owe you). So I played the 'tour guide' role on Saturday as me and Flo, and Alex and his mate kept crossing paths around the various sights of Wellington, (including the quite fantastic and famous 'Te Papa' museum). Not to sound too British, but after drinks and dinner we finished the evening off with a cup of Tetley's Tea, and some ginger nut biscuits to dunk!

Flo was planning to hitch hike up north on Sunday, and I was hoping to have a drive in that direction, so I thought I should share the goodwill shown to me by Jess, and help Flo out. So we set out early(ish) for destination: - MOUNT DOOM! from Lord of the Rings! (aka Mount Ngauruhoe).
First Sighting - Mount Doom!
Me & Flo by Mt Doom! 

To get there the drive took us along the West Coast line, before heading through farmland, (The Shire), Tree covered hills and forest  (Rivendell), the desert, and then to Mount Doom itself, based in the wonder that is the TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK.... I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking! Though I just have to say before heading back to Wellington, we had a cuppa and some soup in a little cafe the little village that Flo was going to stay in. I had the thought that if Frodo, Sam, Gollum, and the rest of the cast of the films had just done the same thing, they would have settled their dispute over a cup of tea, and saved us all 9 hours at the movies!

Mount DOOM! (Just imagine 'eye of sauron' above it).
Mount DOOM! 
One ring to rule them all...
If only the Hobbits had a car! 
The journey back was pretty eventful, and long, as I hit traffic (I know.. traffic I didn't know existed, though as there are such few motorways I guess that was not unsurprising... one funny thing I noticed, other than the sunset, was the "merge sign' on the motorway... just incase you did not know what 'Merge means' they give you an example! lol....
In case you don;t know what 'Merge' means!

After finally making it back to my friends place to drop her car off, I found myself stuck on the outskirts of Wellington with at least 40 minutes to wait for a bus! I was obviously getting carried away with the adventurous spirit, and tried hitch-hiking back to the city. Unfortunately the 25+ cars that left me stood on the side of the road did not share my sense of adventure. The only thing left to do was go to the nearest chippy (fish and chip shop) and get them to make me a 'chip barm' ( they put chips in a burger bun). Oh dear oh dear....

Now I am home and wondering what adventures lie ahead next weekend!
Regards from New Zealand!

1 comment:

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