Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tongariro crossing

Billed as one of the greatest day hikes on the planet--how could I resist?

We most definitely did!
For the eye of Sauron lay heavy on our hearts.

Follow the black cinder trail.Hobbit sign.

Whenever the Path takes us to foreign lands, we always try to go a little native. In New Zealand, this has meant visiting sheep-shearing exhibits and thermal pools, etc. But when given the opportunity to hunt a real hobbit, I, of course, jumped at it. The Tongariro area is one of the last places where hobbits can still be found in the wild. And, even though it means a significant hike and uncertain success, this was definitely on.
Finally spotted one:
He didn't get away.
Near the summit my native guide, Dan, winged one with his first shot. By the third arrow, this hobbit was down and out.
We grilled him back at camp, and as the guest, I was given the dubious honor of eating the "tenderloin." It was quite juicy, surprisingly filling and delicious! Now I feel like a real New Zealander.
Oh, and the hike wasn't bad either.