Date: Wednesday 20 July 2016
Driving time: 5 hours
Route: New Plymouth to Taranaki NP to Waitomo
I climbed a small rock on the edge of the sea
And there was the world, waiting for me
I saw all the way to the town down below
But not to the mountain, hidden by clouds and rainbows
The way up was steep so I tried not to slip
And I watched as the seagulls turned and dipped
The wind it rushed past, and so I felt free
I climbed a small rock on the edge of the sea.
Climbing/hiking up Paritutu rock was about a 150 meter ascent, which took me 20 minutes. The rock was formed by volcanoes, as were the nearby Sugarloaf Islands.
So I’m climbing up this rock near New Plymouth. It’s pretty steep; at first there are stairs and then it turns to a rock scramble with a chain to help you. On the way up, the person ahead of me drops her GLASS water bottle on the rocks and it shatters. She gathers it up in a pile and is like “oh I’ll pick it up on the way back down.” I’m like “yeah that’s a good idea” and we both go to the top. Their group leaves before me cuz I’m eating and taking pictures n stuff. So on the way back down, of course the green shards are still in a pile on the side of the trail. The thing is, it’s more like a rock scramble than a trail, it’s so steep that there are chains to grab onto. So you SHOULD be using both hands to help you climb down. And also it rained yesterday so the rock is kinda wet still. However, I’m like “well I can’t just leave this here, it’ll probably fall down onto the rocks at some point or get blown or knocked onto the rocks where people are climbing” so I try to figure out how I can carry this down. It’s too much to just carry in my hands, plus there are a lot of little pieces that would probably fall out. So I’m like “oh I’ll just wrap it in my scarf” but then that doesn’t really seem like a good idea. But then I remember my sturdy camera case! So I put all the glass in there. But there’s this one big piece that doesn’t quite fit, so I can’t zipper closed the camera case. So I don’t want to put it in my backpack because then it might just rip more stuff up. Plus, my camera is in my backpack (rarely is it actually in the camera case). I decide to just carry the case down with one hand, using the other to hold onto the chain. I descend slowly, asking myself why I’m carrying an open container of broken glass down a steep rock scramble, and telling myself next time I go hiking anywhere to bring along a couple of plastic bags or SOMETHING. I eventually make it back to the carpark, and sweet heaven there’s a garbage can there! And my camera case isn’t totally shredded! Mission accomplished.
I also visited Taranaki National Park, but Mt Taranaki was covered in clouds. 😦
So I just looked at more rainforest and waterfalls and stuff. The waterfalls sometimes went just right over the trail.
At least the drive to the visitor center was cool.