Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tongariro Bound!

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I AM POOPED!

We did Lake Waikaremoana last week, drove (in the worlds windiest, ickiest drive EVER – I didn’t barf, but it was sooooo close!) to Rotorua, spent a couple of days in Rotorua, and then drove from Rotorua (stopping in Taupo for lunch) to Whakapapa Village – in the Tongariro National Park. Every time I’m introduced to a new DOC guide or media person they ask me, “How are you holding up? You look tired!” – which isn’t a compliment, but I don’t have a ton of pride left as far as looks go. And the reality is, I am tired!  

I left home two months ago today. I think the fact that I’m just now longing to be alone, or with my friends and family at home (not that I haven’t missed you guys!!!) says a lot about the great dynamics of our group. I love them so much, but none of us have spent this much time with anyone – let alone perfect strangers. Of course, now they’ll be dear friends for life… (No, there haven't been any blow-ups or arguments - nada.) 

I don't really have an excuse for not writing a proper post about Waikaremoana. I loved her! I've spent the last four days letting myself just be with myself. Feels good, actually! And then I realize I'm kinda proud of myself for wanting to be with myself and going with the flow and decide I don't need an excuse for not writing a proper blog post on Waikaremoana. (Welcome to the Ferris Wheel inside my head...) 

We start Tongariro in a few hours - our last track. I've started to recognize that the little habits I've gotten into as we've prepared for the next track will be missed. This is the last time I'll pack my pack, worry about whether I have enough, or too much, or wonder how my legs will hold up. I went for a trail run on the Northern Circuit trail yesterday - just to check out the scenery and burn off some energy. I ran with music and sang and danced and cried because I felt so alive. 

Of course, gratitude abounds. Happiness prevails. 

Surely, in the next few days I'll have some kind of comprehensive list of things I've learned and things I've loved from this 9 week journey. For now, I'm off to climb my first active volcano!!! 

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