Tuesday, April 12, 2016

NZ & volcanoes

Someone (a random man with a dog) told us today that there were 49 volcanic craters here in NZ - I'm not sure if he meant in Auckland, or in the north island, or in NZ in general, but that's a lot, and I saw two of them today.  I wasn't listening all that closely as I was actively in recovery mode - as In fact I climbed one of them, with the help of J and R who are also in NZ with me.

I started the day with a bagel, cream cheese and jam for breakfast, which is notable merely because of its fluorescence.  In fact, such was the colour that I couldn't bring myself to eat more than one half, so here I give you The Other Half with my phone cover for comparison.  

After the Jam Experience, we decided to go for a walk, having been up all night for the simulator and getting just a couple of hours' sleep before our late breakfast, we all felt like zombies and decided a good walk would help us get through the day.  We headed across from the Sudima to the Holiday Inn (the hotel that we used to stay in) and from there to the volcano.  I don't know what it's called.

I've been there once before, but that time we drove to it and arrived from the not-so-steep side.  This side seemed about a forty-five degree slope and was quite a quad-burning experience.  I decided R and J should try to race each other up while I videoed them, and I think they managed about 1/3 of the climb before they dramatically slowed down with wheezing breaths... Derived from my video clip, I can determine the winner.

 starting out fairly evenly paced

clearly J gave up first, although slightly ahead at this point, which made R the winner

the view and slope from half-way up (where I also paused)

I have taken a couple of cow-photos for size comparison with the slope!  

looking up from the bottom

looking down from half-way up

The weather was quite pleasantly warm for NZ although it did start to drizzle when we got to the top, giving us a much-needed breather in the shade of a tree with a guy, who told us about the 49 craters.  We were standing on one looking down on a second, filled with water, so it seemed fairly believable.  He also told us about people boiling to death in the water-filled crater of Rotarua... As apparently they didn't realise that the still, clear water was super-heated when they fell / jumped in.  The stuff horror movies are made of.

me at the top... if I look like I'm in pain, yes, I probably was - my lungs felt like they were going to explode

panorama of the crater, and J dying on the slopes - R looking a little less worse for wear although perhaps slightly crushed from the movement of the panorama!

view of the second crater from our highest point - J was not game to follow the crater around and climb any further! 

Anyway, after that we walked back to the hotel, briefly stopping for lunch and a drink at a cafe on the way back, making it a round trip of three hours.  Since then, I've tried to nap (failing dismally) and get ready for my sim which is in the middle of the night again!

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