by Jorge Sanchez - 10 months, 3 weeks ago
I traveled to Ohakune with the intention to make trekkings to the Mount Ruapehu, in the Tongariro National Park. But I arrived not in the right time; tourists were making preparations for skiing, but nobody went there in May to make trekkings. In the tourist office I was advised not to make long trekkings because of the winter weather. I was not disappointed, I would visit the Tongariro National Park anyway, even if I could not cross the park completely, which was my first intention. Those mountains, I was told in the tourist office, are sacred and have religious significance for the maories.. That afternoon I just made a recognition of the place, leaving for the morning a more serious trekking. The trekkings starts just at about 1 kilometer from Ohakune village. I saw the UNESCO sign and followed one of the tracks, a short one, then another one a little bit longer, but returned to Ohakune when it was starting to become dark. I noticed that the nature inside the park was dense, powerful, Many signs on the way gave you explanation about the flora with the name of the trees. I had booked a bed in a dormitory in a cheap Youth Hostel of Ohakune, but after the second trekking I found out that there was a camping site cheaper inside the park. I made friendship with some hitchhikers from France staying there, and we talked about travels. They were taking an around the world journey, and after New Zealand they would fly to Santiago de Chile soon to complete their voyage around the planet. They had worked in the farms of Australia for a few months and now they had money enough to continue travelling for at least one more year. The next day I went again to the UNESCO sign and walked up a hill until I saw the peaks of the volcanoes. I felt satisfied. Some time later, when the clouds prevented me the visibility, I returned to the starting point, visited downtown Ohakune, known as the Carrot City, and in the afternoon I returned by bus to Auckland.