The landscape was beautiful in early winter. The trees stood tall and quiet under the clear blue sky, all seemed to reach out for the mere beam of sunlight. Underneath, laid carpets of shrubs and bushes shaded in hues of red, violet and yellow. As we journeyed the road to Rotorua, our eyes and minds chanced to feast on these magnificent panorama, like a kaleidoscope of colours that seeped through the windows of our van. It was as if sitting for a tourism presentation but the difference was, we're in it.
We left Taupo with a heavy heart, many sights and sounds were not thoroughly enjoyed in that town. But the place we were about to go next promised us even more excitement. A to do list that has to be checked with much gusto for me. A place that would make you feel on top of the world whilst singing the "what a feeling" song.(ha ha ha for me at least, bet my sis wouldn't want to be included in this).But first, to scream out "what a feeling", Mount Ngongotoha we must climb and scale with our bare hands and feet. The journey against the cold icy wind, trudging through the rocky terrains of the mountain just to reach the top of Mount Ngongotoha would complete our leg of this trip. With our bags packed and provisions(of cookies and baked pretzels and berry soda water) we began our small steps for mankind ....via the gondola that was ha ha ha
Kids enjoying the ride up.
The view from the peak was fantabulous. The town of Rotorua was in miniature scale with its lake flowing as far as the eyes could see. The climb in the gondola was nerve wrecking for some but exhilarating for most. As we dismounted our gondolas, we ran and skipped to the luge counter to seize our helmets. Everyone had fair amounts of chances in them, trying out all the available tracks provided from the scenic to the advanced. My kids had a go on it too and someone even terbabas into the shrubs! ha ha ha. The tracks took us around many corners with views of the lake and the winding shrubby paths. It was fast, it was furious, it was painful to your tush sitting so near to the floor of the track. But most of all it was satisfying to just let ourselves go and go speeding through the cold wind on our faces and screaming our lungs out.
Picture of the luge track taken from Tim Booth
If going down the track was fast and furious, the going up was just the opposite. It was a slow and steady, feet dangling kinda ride (not for the faint hearted). The chairlift rides were somehow very spiritual for me. The silence and the ambiance would pull anyone one into deep meditation. I ascended 4 times on those chairlifts either in solitude or with my husband, daughter or my son.
Going down on the luge and back up again on the chairlift. My almost 70 yr old father didn't miss it too. Proud of him.
At the end of the trip folks, one ticket was left. I had to choose either to bring my son on the slow and scenic track or to use it on me alone on the advanced track. My son was already all geared up with the big helmet nestling heavily on his head waiting for me to lift him onto the luge. I was already prepared to try the most difficult and the fastest way down the hill. But as I was about to walk into the aisle I could see from the corner of my eyes this little guy getting all teary eyed. He refused to take off his helmet and just stood there. And so as you have guessed it, both of us cruised down together on the scenic lane. The wind managed to dry my son's tears and to hear him scream out of happiness all the way through was probably as exhilirating as it was to be racing down on the advanced track.
Some pictures on Mount Ngongotoha
What A Feeling!!!!