40th birthday or Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Today on my 40th birthday we did something very special: hiking the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing which is a 20km hike from Mangatepopo up to the South Crater of Mt Tongariro next to Mt Ngauruhohe aka Mt Doom in LOTR. On to the extremly windy rim of the red crater, down to Emerald Lakes where all the hot steam and gas comes out of the walls. The central crater was frozen and we passed it to the blue lake. From then on we hiked downwards in the clouds, altitude was from 1900m to 800m! Aching feet, but spectacular!

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