Traipsing on the Tongariro

Walked 19.4 kms in about 9 hours. I survived, but one toenail didn’t. Here’s what happened.

The British Dictionary defines Traipse (/treɪps/) as:

verb

1. (intransitive) to walk heavily or tiredly

noun

2. a long or tiring walk; trudge

and that’s exactly what I did on and what it was on the last Sunday of January when I (together with the Grizzly Bear, sisterhood and a few other folk) completed the Tongariro Crossing.

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Ilocos : Vigan

This is the first of a series of posts about Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, provinces in the Philippines I visited about a decade ago. Since we (my dad, sister and I) covered a lot of ground in the 3, maybe 4 days we were there, I thought it would be best to split the stories up into bite-sized portions. 🙂

Sometime in 2005, the Philippine Department of Tourism produced several music videos which encouraged Filipinos to travel within the country. The video below (it’s in Filipino, but I’ll translate the words in a separate post) was the first of several, and I admit that it did make me want to travel.

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Pink Star Walk

Yesterday, some parts of the Wellington Waterfront turned PINK as several men and women braved the gale-force winds to participate in Estée Lauder’s Pink Star Walk, an event that’s geared to raise funds for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. There are three Pink Star Walks in New Zealand, one in the major cities of the country (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) and the first of the three walks kicked off right here in Wellington. Participants are called Pink Star Walkers and they have the choice of completing either a 5 km or a 10 km walk. They are trialing a half-marathon walk in Christchurch and if that’s successful they may include that in the Auckland and Wellington routes next year.

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Mount Mayon and the Cagsawa Ruins

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

It’s embarrassing to admit but, even though I’ve lived in the Philippines for most of my life, I’ve never actually seen the country’s most majestic peak, the Mayon Volcano. Visiting Legaspi, Albay has always been on my to-do list but somehow, I never quite managed to get there. Finally, after years of procrastinating and missed chances, I had the opportunity to see this magnificent mountain.

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Easter Weekend Walk (Holdsworth – Kaitoke Track)

Guess who spent three full days out in the bush on Easter Weekend? Yes, you got it! Pretty little princess me! I know! I can’t believe that I went on another tramp – a real one this time (Tramping Partner insists that the first one he took me on was just a sampler, and not the real thing) – and guess what. Not only did I enjoy the Holdsworth-Kaitoke Track (well, I think I did anyway), I have … once again … survived to tell the tale.

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Tiptoeing on the Tip Track

Went on a 2-hour-tramp this afternoon. I needed to try out my new tramping boots and increase my fitness level so I’d be prepared to take on Tongariro in about three weeks. The closest track to home is the Tip Track or the Te Kopahou Reserve. I’ve been told that, even though it will be steep in some places, it’ll be generally a fairly cruise-y walk – and I suppose, in a way, it was. Yeah, I still huffed and puffed for most of the way but I made it to the top in one piece. In an ideal world, I should be walking uphill without stopping but, since I have my camera and there were lovely views – I paused every so often … to catch my breath, have a drink of water and take some pictures! 🙂

Here are some of the lovely things you’ll see if you walk the Tip Track.

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On to Orongoro …

Sturdy Shoes

I’ve just finished applying wax on my *ehem* new tramping shoes. I had sore toes after the tramp last week and I was told by more experienced trampers that, although my shoes were “all right”, they weren’t exactly the best pair for long distance tramping. They weren’t big enough to accommodate my feet when they swelled and my toes were pushing against the tips when walking and when going downhill. If i didn’t want to have black toe-nails (who would want to have those?) and if I would be, as was discussed last weekend, go on other tramps, then I should invest in shoes that would protect my feet. So yesterday … I bought these beauties! I figured, if I’m going to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in mid-March, I might as well get the proper shoes and break them in so that they’d feel ultra comfy on the day itself.

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