Tongariro Crossing

Got to Lake Taupo, on the north island of New Zealand.

Join a trekking group and do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing if you love the idea of hiking for 12 miles over volcanic rocks and landscapes that will make you feel like you are in Lord of the Rings.  Bring the Lord of the Rings books with you and read them on the plane.

Hike with people from various countries.  Just hike.  Take photos of the crazy colored pools, the red rocks, the waterfalls.  Write when you’re finished, because there won’t be time to write much on the trails.

This is a physical journey.  A way to challenge your body.  A way to see some fantastical landscapes to give you a taste of what it smells like, what it feels like, to walk over mountains, right along the sky, with the wind on your face.

If you’re feeling strong and it is early enough in the day when you reach the slops of Mount Ngauruhoe (otherwise known to LOTR fans as “Mount Doom”, pictured below), climb them on your knees with your hands in the dirt.

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