12 march Tongariro (NEW ZEALAND)

It's seven o'clock in the morning when they give us the ok... we are loaded, up for an hour, very well equipped...

At last we leave for the big climb of Tongariro Mount...


Aboard an old bus donated by the Japanese Government, Alan comes to pick us and some other daredevil up... Many of them try again the unsuccessful attempt of yesterday...
Alan makes us the latest recommendations, says that there is no need to make the heroes on there, that if one feels he can't manage, he must return back...

We get off the bus and in the distance we see a mountain covered with snow... We immediately start the climbing and although this was my first serious trek, quick step by step, after 45 minutes I am alone... My friends are a little bit behind but I already cannot see them anymore... I feel in good shape and I hope not to pay the price later...


The trail begins to rise up about an hour later... now I am surrounded by snow... I join two boys of New Zealand Airforce that are training over these mountains, but to take some photo I soon remain alone... We keep on climbing and it's getting colder and colder... I have blessed the socks that cover my hands, thanks to the idea suggested me by the Japanes girl of the reception of our lodge... I walk through a large plaza with several sheets of ice alone...

A few later, a 50 years oldlady from of Leipzig (Germany), named Tania, reaches me, she will be my companion for much of the climbing... The wind begins to blow stronger than ever, sometimes seems to go down, the other underpinning... Around us only snow, ice cold... I feel the smell of goose feathers in my jacket which repaired my red face, cracked from the cold... We climbed giving strength to each other... Suddenly a scream... Tania shouts of joy: we are at the top. 1967 meters. As good German then adds: "Sorry!" I smile and look at the landscape around us... A lake on the right... Two more opposite... A valley and snow behind a ravine to the left... The Mount Ngauruhoe (2287 meters), Tania notes that there are so many clouds below our position and laughes... I breathe... deeply that air pure and fresh conquered epicly...

We are only halfway... Begins the descent and it is more difficult than we thought... A few steps and I see Tania on the ground... She gets up but her hand is bleeding copiously... I offer her the only tissue that I have and we continue... Every now and then I offer her a piece of my sesame bar, she, some of her chocolate... We seem Coppi and Bartali on Tonale...

At the third hour we meet a girl from Oregon who came from opposite direction... She asks us for info on the part she still has to do and gives us tips on what we will have to face... Meanwhile, we meet two girls from Sweden, one from Goteborg and the other from Stockholm... They said that they could not believe that until a few day ago they were on the beach to sunbathe and now were in the mountains surrounded by snow... In that land so far away: an American, a German, an Italian and two Swedish... The sun shone and reigned high and I thought about Italy and all the people I knew, I thought to my parents, I wished they had breathed that air, I thought to myself, and I said: "This is my life!"

The stories are interwoven and she tells me when she lived during the Second World War in East Germany and dreamed the world...


We proceed, the descent is hard and the snow begins to be more rare. The nose is hurting me. Damn... I left my sunscreen to Mimmo... After three hours and 41 minutes we reach Ketetahi... The hardest part is gone... We sit down and relax a little... I walk without shoes to cool my feet... I wait for my friends for the lunch sack... Tania expects her husband...
As we all come we tell each other our different feelings, we are all happy and euphoric even though we supposed it was even harder... If the weather was worse there, I dare not think about how we would react...

Two sandwiches and I depart on my own... 45 minutes later and the background completely changes... no more mountains, but a mixed of wood and forest, no more snow, but mud, rather than uphill but downhill...
I am completely alone now... In the company of chirping birds and the flowing of the stream that occasionally crosses my path... There is no longer the sun but huge clouds... I am ready to put on my raincoat and I keep on straight... I thought to the mythical Mike Horn...

1 hours, 11' 3" later I get to a large open space... I did it...
What an unforgettable day. 19 km and 400 meters: Over!

In the evening, in forn of the fire of the lodge, after having shaved my Messner beard, I rest my weary bones and muscles...

 

 

13 march Wellington (NEW ZEALAND)

We get to the capital of New Zealand! The most southern capital of the world! These days I have had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, boys and girls that at some point of their lives they decided to take a break and discover the world and perhaps even themselves. It's cool to see how the result comes from different needs, there are those who, like the German and Austrian that depart before starting the college, a pause of a few months... Damn the study, there is time for that, on the way back they will have a wealth of life much heavier than that of their peers, the Americans and Canadians who do right after college, prior to fully immerse into the world of work and the nice Israeli that leave after years of military service required to find some peace and relax...

[Alessia Visconti from Siena]: "Finally the trip that I have always dreamed of, the one to the other side of the world, in the upside down boot"...

Wellington. The capital bought with 9 mirrors, a few red hat and 2 hoes to Maori by the British. We wanted some traffic, some music from pubs, some asphalt after all that nature...
I admit that I was surprised. I found a very busy city!


I didn't appreciate the confusing museum Te Papa, so much praised by our Lonely Planet, but beyond the exhibition of Monet I found it rather boring... I was surprised by the sepia 4 meters long, the largest in the world, caught by a vessel some time ago for chance... who knows what is hidden in the ocean depths...

After the extra luxe dinner (once in a while also adventurers deserve it) we did a tour in the center, Cuba Street on Friday night is a mess, I seemed to be in England on a weekend night... The same mess, the same cold, same gorilla the entrance of every pub, same row of girls with the ID in hand to enter, the boys in short-sleeve shirt and girls in miniskirt and singlet, the same language, same desire to enjoy... too bad that I had to pack my backpack, tomorrow we leave the northern island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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