It was difficult getting there hitchhiking, but I managed. Though when it started raining while I was standing on the side of the road, I wasn't sure why I went there. But everyone told me that I should walk the Tongariro crossing. So the next morning I am in the back of a van with about a dozen others who will walk the crossing as well. A few other minivans arrive more or less at the same time.
I talked to a young couple of locals, who had never walked here either. We end up walking together. The walk amazes me. I am not a big fan of tracks. I prefer roaming the streets of an unknown city. Yet today I am stunned several times. The first two hours climbing is difficult. We skip the top of the volcano, no real track available. The flat on the top is impressive. The volcanic lakes later as well. The walk back down full of variety. I am amazed at myself. Not that I can walk 17km, but the fact that I am really enjoying myself. What an incredible walk. Certainly one of the highlights of a trip full of great days.