Today we did the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (Codename: Hike to Mordor). Turns out, those Hobbits had good reason to be scared. It was fucking horrible. Most people agreed with me that it was the hike from hell, however everyone follows that up by saying “but it was totally worth it”. Ummm, no dude. Not worth it. No views or magical crater lakes are worth the fear and pain I went through to get to them. I’ll google that shit next time. Basically, its a 6-7 hour hike up the side of an active volcano (Mt. Doom featured in the lord of the Rings) and a bunch of crater lakes that surrounded it. Mt. Doom lived up to its name. You have to go straight up for the first few hours. At first, you get stairs. But that doesn’t last long. That’s just a way for the horrid people who came up with this “hike” to trick you into thinking you can do it. Oh, there are stairs? This isn’t so bad. Then, once you get up so high that turning back would just be silly, thats when the rock climbing on loose gravel and pebbles begins. Please keep in mind I was on a bad ankle due to my drunken escapades a few nights ago. Thankfully I was able to rent some bad ass hiking books that probably saved my life. And then when you make it all the way up to the top, you turn a corner, and that shit just keeps going. Up and up, never ending. There has to be a top at some point thought, right? Correct. But then you find out that the downhill is even more steep and terrifying.
Throughout the entire trek I was trying to think of the right word to describe what was happening. It took me a few hours, but I finally came up with it: Irresponsible. Why “irresponsible” and not something like “miserable”, “terrifying”, ect? I’ll tell you why. Because those fucking Kiwis who don’t give a shit about anything (refer to earlier posts on this) tell you the hike is a great experience. They also tell you that it’s considered moderate. MODERATE!!! I called bullshit on that about an hour in. Now, I’m not saying being able to sue anyone you want like we do in America is the answer, because it fucking sucks, but someone should have to pay for the pain and torture I went through yesterday. Stina and I played the “would you rather” game for about an hour during the end of the hike, where one option always had to be doing the hike again. Turns out, there is a lot of weird shit we would do before doing that hike again. Now I may be a complainer, but I’m still a bad ass. And Stina is an even bigger bad ass. We finished faster than pretty much everyone on the bus, other than the 5 people that did the optional summit hike which added another 5km to a 19.4km hike. Fucking morons.
I’m about 99% certain everyone else hated it too, but they all wanted to look like bad-ass hiking gods who could take it in front of eachother. I personally need no validation from some random people on a bus and will fully admit that it sucked and was far beyond my abilities as a human. I am perfectly secure in my bad bitchness despite getting my ass kicked in Middle Earth. Were the views amazing? The lakes like something from a dream? Yes and yes. Was is worth it? Let’s just put it this way, if you put a pot of gold at the end of that hike I wouldn’t do it again. And this is coming from a cheap, money-loving Jew. Thats how you know it was bad.
The moral of this little cautionary tale is this: If multiple movies have been made documenting the pure evilness of a certain area, don’t spend 6 hours hiking through it. Fiction or not. Nothing else to report for this day. We got cheeseburgers and I passed out at 9. For the record, I didn’t cry on the hike. No. I managed to hold my tears back for 4 straight hours. How’s that for self-control?
I threw some pics down below, as Stina and I are in a hurry. We have a beer pong tournament to get to. We are team “mean girls” and have matching “on Wednesdays we wear pink” shirts. And it’s actually Wednesday. Go figure. Up next: South Island!!!