Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

smoky ponds
Lagoons and fumaroles at the base of the Tongariro volcano.
A family of Kiwi hikers climbs the trail towards the Tongariro volcano.
ridge glimmer
Top of Mount Ngauruhoe still lightly snowed after the end of southern summer.
Hikers contemplate the summit of Mount Ngauruhoe.
mountains of fire
Sulfuric slopes of the Tongariro volcano.
Property Lagoon
Nook of a lagoon at the foot of the Tongariro volcano.
family achievement
Hikers family about to reach the top of Mount Tongariro.
Ngauruhoe 2291m
A sign indicates Mount Ngauruhoe, with an altitude of 2.291 meters.
defrosted strand
The sun-baked side of Mount Ngauruhoe, virtually snowless.
Family walk
Family walks up the rocky path that leads to the base of Mt Ngauruhoe.
Tufts of Gold
Resilient vegetation grows in tufts on the volcanic soil of the Tongariro National Park.
solar silhouette
Silhouette of one of the mountains in the Tongariro National Park.
A peak at hand to sow
Mount Ngauruhoe and the plaque that identifies it and informs you of the height of 2.291m from the summit.
volcanic mirror
Reflection of the Ngauruhoe volcano in a lagoon in Tongariro.
fire mountain
The Ngauruhoe volcano, reddened by the warmest light of the sunset and highlighted on a plateau in the Volcanoes National Park.
In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.

The guest house manager doesn't have good news for anxious guests: “I'd like to give you better news but things seem complicated.

Even stronger wind is forecast for tomorrow. If confirmed, the rangers close the trail.

Affected by the news and infected by the communal despondency that sets in, we are impressed by the powerful hissing, audible inside despite the building's isolation.

We understand, more and more, the reason for the existence of the Polynesian name attributed by the natives to the domain that we all wanted to cover. “Tonga” meant south wind. “Laughing”, taken. To the detriment of our sins, the weather pattern did not seem willing to let up.

Due to the strength with which it persisted, it made even the mere road discovery of the surrounding scenery risky.

We let this day pass in the comfort of the inn, given over to different online tasks and pleasures, international socializing and cozy drinks. Not to vary, we go to bed late. We have more difficulty than usual in waking up at dawn, but, curious to see what fortune the new day would bring, we ended up forcing ourselves to get up.

We peek through the misted-up window and no longer see the swaying vegetation.

Silhouette Mountain Volcanoes PN Tongariro New Zealand

Silhouette of one of the mountains in the Tongariro National Park.

The golden sky remains as clear as ever, but with the relentless wind, so is the dust that had blown away before. We hardly believe in that bounty of the gods Maori. We pack what we have to take in our backpacks and hit the road.

The Meteorological Blessing That Granted PN Tongariro

We arrived at the park entrance in three times. We parked and interpreted the panel with the trail map and other notices. Excited by the enormous significance of that walk, we inaugurated the 20 km of Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

The first few hundred meters are flat, traversed over a wooden walkway, among resistant yellowish bushes. But, at a certain point, the trail gives way to the lava rock and makes its way to the mountains. We surrender to the steaming heart of Te Ika A Maui, the north island of New Zealand.

More than a mere volcano, the Tongariro stronghold consists of a volcanic massif that groups 12 cones around the homonymous hill that reaches 1978 m.

It was ceded by the all-powerful Maori chief Te Heuheu Tukino to European settlers in order to appease long-standing conflicts and avoid commercial exploitation of the place, with the sole requirement of respect for indigenous beliefs.

Little by little, we approach its base and the trail turns into a ramp as sinuous as it is painful.

hiking family Ngauruhoe volcanoes PN tongariro new zealand

Family walks up the rocky path that leads to the base of Mt Ngauruhoe.

It elevates us to a brown, semi-snowy plateau and to the proximity of its even higher neighbour, the Ngauruhoe, a colossal secondary cone of Tongariro that has erupted on more than 70 occasions since 1839, but which, unlike the main one, has remained calm.

The Unpredictable Fury of Tongariro Volcanoes

During 2012, there were two powerful eruptions from Mount Tongariro.

The second, at the end of November, six months after the inaugural, forced Professor Lomi Schaumkel and a group of 90 students who were only 1 km from the crater to run, worried as never before for life: “we were very close and it was really awesome and scary to see all the ash being thrown.

summit, mount Ngauruhoe, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Top of Mount Ngauruhoe still lightly snowed after the end of southern summer.

It looked like one of those atomic bomb explosions. It made an impressive underground sound.”

On that occasion, the authorities had to evacuate another 40 to 50 people from the trail as we continued to advance. These were not the only setbacks.

On a much more contained scale than what happened with the counterpart of the Iceland Eyjafjallajokull, the Tongariro eruption also caused the disruption of much of New Zealand's air traffic.

family, hikers, top tongariro, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Hikers family about to reach the top of Mount Tongariro.

Back to the Trails of PN Tongariro, winding between Volcanoes

We find on the slope that wears us out, two or three groups of trampers that recover energy by devouring energy bars and chocolates next to the orientation signs. We join the meal for a few minutes.

Restored, some of those hikers veer off course to conquer the imminent Ngauruhoe. Others, like us, stay on the main track.

Plate Mount Ngauruhoe Volcanoes PN Tongariro New Zealand

Mount Ngauruhoe and the plaque that identifies it and informs you of the height of 2.291m from the summit.

Once the plain is over, a new ascent is announced. The second half of this slope is covered with ice and loose stones that slide. Shortly thereafter, we reached the high, sulphurous domains of Monte Tongariro.

We glimpse, hidden in the shadow, the Red Crater, so called because it is covered with an ocher rock filled with oxidized iron, surrounded by the dark lava released by the various eruptions.

slopes, sulfur, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Sulfuric slopes of the Tongariro volcano.

We access the problematic section of the route, the one that most justified closing the trail if the strong wind had been confirmed.

There, the trek is made along a narrow ridge of the ridge where any oversight could mean dropping many meters into the steaming interior of the crater.

lagoons, fumaroles, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Lagoons and fumaroles at the base of the Tongariro volcano.

No wind to disturb or excessive tiredness, we proceed smoothly. Until the beginning of the next descent, which we make almost running and half buried in a dusty slope of sand and grey.

The Blue Lake Te Wai-whakaata-o-te Rangihiroa

Halfway down the descent, three lakes are revealed that occupy holes opened by ancient volcanic explosions. The trail continues and arrives at another lake with a bigger dimension and title to match, the Te Wai-whakaata-o-te Rangihiroa, blue lake in the simplified western version.

lagoon, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

Nook of a lagoon at the foot of the Tongariro volcano.

We stop at the top of an intermediate slope with a privileged view. We observed the views that were left behind. Below, beyond the lake, extends a lunar surface with a dark scar of lava that stains the yellowish base of a dry bed. We also detected the sharp peak of the Ngauruhoe, detached from the surreal landscape.

Dantesque Scenarios that Illustrated the “Lord of the Rings Saga”

It was in these strangely grandiose panoramas and, in particular, the enigmatic look of Tongariro's sharpest mountains that Peter Jackson was inspired to recreate Mount Doom, the incandescent and feared dwelling in which JRR Tolkien had Sauron forge the mighty Ring One.

Ngauruhoe Mount Volcanoes PN Tongariro New Zealand

A sign indicates Mount Ngauruhoe, with an altitude of 2.291 meters.

In the longer shots of the sequel, the black mountain was, however, represented by a large-scale model or a computer-generated image.

Despite already being divided between the good and the bad of the work that passed to the screen, Peter Jackson had to submit to another power, that of secular mythology Maori.

Indigenous New Zealanders believe that the Ngauruhoe volcano was named after Ngatoro-i-rangi, a mythological high priest who colonized Aotearoa (New Zealand). They also believe that Ngatoro-i-rangi summoned to that mountain the fire of his Hawaiki spiritual homeland for the purpose of ending the chill that chilled it and the surrounding realm.

National Park, Tufas, Volcanoes, PN Tongariro, New Zealand

Resilient vegetation grows in tufts on the volcanic soil of the Tongariro National Park.

The volcano has long been taboo. Okay, the bosses Maori they didn't allow it to be filmed. Kiwi director Peter Jackson found alternative solutions in computer-assisted technology and on the slopes of Tongariro's third great volcanic mountain, the farthest and still highest volcano Ruapehu (2797 m).

The lingering controversy over the possession of the Sacred Territory of Tongariro

But neither the respect for ancestral culture nor the resounding success of the saga that promoted New Zealand throughout the world, contributed to resolving the old controversy.

As most indigenous people see it, the passage of sacred territory into the hands of the pakeha (Europeans) resulted from a hasty decision of the boss Te Heuheu Tukino. Today, after nearly 127 years, many Maori remain revolted by the offer.

reddish volcano, Ngauruhoe, volcanoes, PN tongariro, new zealand

The Ngauruhoe volcano, reddened by the warmest light of the sunset and highlighted on a plateau in the Volcanoes National Park.

They argue that, by leading only the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe, the chief could not have alienated the mountains in default of the rest of the indigenous nation and claimed in a court in Waitangi, a direct participation in the fate of their mountains of fire.

As we make our way back to the car park, long after the scheduled time, exhausted and half lost in the pitch that has set in, it flashes through our minds what the demonic Sauron would have thought of all this mess.

Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fire

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

The Divine Earth Shard of the Banks Peninsula

Seen from the air, the most obvious bulge on the South Island's east coast appears to have imploded again and again. Volcanic but verdant and bucolic, the Banks Peninsula confines in its almost cogwheel geomorphology the essence of the ever enviable New Zealand life.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s - Calhambeque Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.
La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Architecture & Design
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Mdina, Malta, Silent City, architecture
Mdina, Malta

The Silent and Remarkable City of Malta

Mdina was Malta's capital until 1530. Even after the Knights Hospitaller demoted it, it was attacked and fortified accordingly. Today, it's the coastal and overlooking Valletta that drives the island's destinies. Mdina has the tranquility of its monumentality.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
Pitões das Junias, Montalegre, Portugal
Montalegre, Portugal

Through Alto do Barroso, Top of Trás-os-Montes

we moved from Terras de Bouro for those of Barroso. Based in Montalegre, we wander around the discovery of Paredes do Rio, Tourém, Pitões das Júnias and its monastery, stunning villages on the border of Portugal. If it is true that Barroso has had more inhabitants, visitors should not miss it.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

With pompous names or mere road codes, certain roads run through really sublime scenarios. From Road 66 to the Great Ocean Road, they are all unmissable adventures behind the wheel.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

São Nicolau, Cape Verde

Photography of Nha Terra São Nicolau

The voice of the late Cesária Verde crystallized the feeling of Cape Verdeans who were forced to leave their island. who visits São Nicolau or, wherever it may be, admires images that illustrate it well, understands why its people proudly and forever call it their land.
Navala, Viti Levu, Fiji
Navala, Fiji

Fiji's Tribal Urbanism

Fiji has adapted to the invasion of travelers with westernized hotels and resorts. But in the highlands of Viti Levu, Navala keeps its huts carefully aligned.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Estancia Harberton, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina

A Farm at the End of the World

In 1886, Thomas Bridges, an English orphan taken by his missionary foster family to the farthest reaches of the southern hemisphere, founded the ancient homestead of Tierra del Fuego. Bridges and the descendants surrendered to the end of the world. today, your Estancia harberton it is a stunning Argentine monument to human determination and resilience.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
On hold, Mauna Kea volcano in space, Big Island, Hawaii
Natural Parks
Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea: the Volcano with an Eye out in Space

The roof of Hawaii was off-limits to natives because it housed benevolent deities. But since 1968, several nations sacrificed the peace of the gods and built the greatest astronomical station on the face of the Earth.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
UNESCO World Heritage
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Kirkjubour, Streymoy, Faroe Islands
Kirkjubour, streymoy, Faroe Islands

Where the Faroese Christianity Washed Ashore

A mere year into the first millennium, a Viking missionary named Sigmundur Brestisson brought the Christian faith to the Faroe Islands. Kirkjubour became the shelter and episcopal seat of the new religion.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Etosha National Park Namibia, rain
PN Etosha, Namíbia

The Lush Life of White Namibia

A vast salt flat rips through the north of Namibia. The Etosha National Park that surrounds it proves to be an arid but providential habitat for countless African wild species.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.