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Tongariro Volcano Hike

 Day five (final)

David and Raymond Coory 

February 2005

Saturday, 5th Feb

Mosquitoes and popping noises again

I awoke a lot last night, due mostly I think, to the tossing and turning of many of the other sleepers. Also the whine of a mosquito didn't help. Raymond said he thought only male mosquitoes whined, and that they didnít bite, only the females. I wanted to believe this, but Iím not sure that itís true. Iíve never heard it before. I must find out for sure.

(Raymond later emailed me with this note: "Regarding mosquito humming, I was wrong. I can't find any mention of there being a difference between males and females. In fact the male uses the female's whine to locate her.")

This hut also made loud popping noises during the night. It must be something to do with the wood contracting when cooling, or perhaps expanding due to moisture build up in the air from the sleepers and damp night air.

Wayne 'the All Black'

Wayne, the big Kiwi farmer is next to me in his All Black jersey as we both clean our teeth outside in the morning sunshine at the tub. He tells me he had a difficult time sleeping in the rather small bunk last night. He does not look the best this morning.

I suggest to Wayne that he might find his All Black jersey a bit hot in the sun. But he quickly defends it saying that he wears it everywhere. He seems very proud of it. Possibly he has been an all Black. He does look vaguely familiar, and has the build.

He later announces he is going to leave on the walk early, before the two girls, to "get his second wind" on the track as he puts it. He is so large, I suspect that he may fear the girls will show him up on the mountain climbs. They look quite fit with their slim figures. He shortly afterward strides off alone with a small pack on his back.

We set off on the last leg

Before Raymond and I leave, we meet a nice mature couple from Katikati who plan to do the Tongariro crossing walk today.

Eva and her girl friend depart with big smiles.

Not long afterward, Raymond and I shoulder our packs and start on our three-hour walk back to Whakapapa village. It is warm and sunny, and no win, the mountains appeared to be blocking it.

This track is narrow and in poor condition. It does not seem to be used much. In fact we do not see anybody else on it at all.

  Many dry river beds and narrow track

We cross many dry stony river beds with large rounded rocks. Some of them are unusual shapes. We see one that looks like a pig, and just in front of it, one that looks like a dog.

Pig rock (middle) and dog rock (below).

We have to climb down into these river beds and back up out of them again. Many of the river beds have steep banks.

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