Two Simply Walk Into Mordor

(yes, both Amy and I have basically made the same joke)

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We drove up from Wellington via Palmerston North, which houses the New Zealand rugby museum. This is a relatively small but well curated set of memorabilia from a century and a half of rugby. If it has a slight tendency to forget that other countries play rugby and occasionally not against New Zealand, we’ll forgive them that.

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We stayed overnight at the Sportsmans Lodge in Turangi. This is the self – proclaimed Trout capital of the world and the was many a photo of a grinning fisherman on the wall. We ignored this and got up early to head to the Tongariro Alpine crossing. This is one of New Zealand’s great walks, a 6-hour tramp up and over a pass between volcanoes. The scenery is extremely varied, from scrub at the start through a rocky Mars – scape past Mount Doom.

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From the top, an infernal smell greets your view of stunning turquoise lakes. We wound or way quickly upwind of them before stopping for lunch. From there it’s a hustle through an active volcanic region before finishing through a long, winding forest. Really quite stunning.

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