Friday, February 17, 2012

What will be our doom?

It was a long drive down from Auckland today to the mountains, leaving hot sunny weather that still managed to deliver a juddering crack of thunder just as the Baby and I stopped to pick up the Firstborn. As we got closer to the Central Plateau, the clouds darkened dramatically to the left, while it was still blue sky and fluffy white to the right. A shard of rainbow against the black hung above electric green paddocks and trees - all very theatrical, and most effective in heightening suspense over what kind of day this crazy summer will deliver tomorrow, when we hope to be climbing up to the crater rim of Ruapehu, to peer over the edge at the lake in the centre.

The hammering rainstorm stopped as we arrived at the Chateau Tongariro, named after the less impressive mountain to the left in the photo, and I was able to rush out with my camera to snap Ngauruhoe looking typically moody and dangerous - it was, after all, used as Mt Doom in the LOTR movies.

Ruapehu is actually the most dangerous of the three, having last erupted spectacularly in 2007, but it's currently quiet, so probably our greatest threat is lightning - which is the reason this photo of the Chateau is less well composed than I would have preferred. When forks of lightning are whumping down unnervingly near, you don't hang around in the open.

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