One does not simply walk into Mordor. One takes a bus with 50 other people, hike for about eight hours, then take a bus back.
The suggestion came from Yvi, a soft spoken German-Swiss girl, as we soaked in a river fed by hot thermal waters in Taupo.
“You never heard of the Tongariro Crossing,” she asked, incredulously. “It’s considered the best one-day walk in New Zealand.”
The lure of the superlative. Since we arrived in this country, we hadn’t embarked on any grand adventure that demands courage, stamina, or strategy. Apparently our time had arrived.
Santiaguito erupting right on schedule.
The four-hour hike up Volcán Santa Maria starts at 1 am sharp. They tell you to bring a flashlight, but for much of the trail you don’t need it. The full moon exposes every rock, root and crevice.
Climbing a mountain at night is intensely film noir. The lush vegetation and earth [...]