Posted by & filed under Travel Country: New Zealand.

15/2/2012

I was so glad that I decided to walk the Ridge Track yesterday because today it just poured out of the heavens all day. There’s not much to do in National Park village when it’s raining, so I just worked a bit on an article about Christchurch that I want to get published. The next morning I made my way to Wellington via the Desert Road and that will always be one of my favourite stretches of road in New Zealand.

My shuttle bus from National Park village to Turangi picked me up at 9am. We stopped on the way at this scenic viewpoint looking over the bay of Turangi. At this time of the morning, there was a mist on the lake and you could see that the sun was trying hard to push its way through the clouds. From Turangi I picked up an Intercity bus to Wellington, which was going to take about six hours. The road from Turangi was windy for the first ten minutes but after this, it opened out into this broad valley, surrounded by mountains. We were back in Tongariro National Park again, only this time we were taking the Desert Road on the eastern side of the park.

Even though I couldn’t see the peaks of the mountains, the view was stunning. The valley was a mixture of colours: from the light coloured tussocks, to the dark green bushes with their pink flowers, the hay coloured bunches of toi toi bending in the wind and the brown hues of the mountains, smothered in dark clouds. It was dark and foreboding looking and the rain pelted on the windscreen of the bus. It was so wild and remote here and I thought to myself “I’m sure there are places like this in Ireland.” I wished that the bus could have gone slower so I could have more time to take it all in. And there went my heart again – jumping for joy! To me, this scenery was gorgeous.