Bilbo was sadly reflecting that adventures are not all pony-rides in May-sunshine…
–The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
So this isn’t a vacation.
We knew this. You knew this.
It’s an adventure.
What’s the difference, you ask? Well, it’s simple really. Vacations are relaxing. Adventures are awesome. But occasionally adventures also suck. And like the word “awesome” sometimes it means amazing, sometimes it means intimidating. When you’re trying to cram an entire country into 13 days, you’re going to experience a lot of highs, but also a lot of lows. Like our friend, Bilbo Baggins, we’ve experienced quite a bit of both over the past few days.
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, while incredible and awe-inspiring, did a real number on both Ariel and I. Two days later and we’re still sore. I’m sunburnt, my thighs hurt and I have blisters on my feet. Her knees are painful. On top of that, yesterday, in addition to taking a relaxing yet amazing flight over the very same route we trekked a couple of days ago, I insisted we trek up to the Putangirua Pinnacles, which was the film location for the Dimholt Road (pictured at the top of this post).
It was a really cool experience (also to be fully detailed in a later post), but it did add an extra two hours of hiking on rocks to the 10 miserable hours we did the day before. On a normal day it would be no big deal, but in light of the grueling prior 24 hours it definitely set back our healing time.
Then yesterday, during our all day tour of the film locations around Wellington, whoever it is that rules the weather in New Zealand decided to dump about 3 inches of rain on our heads.
Whatever, it was still awesome. Just exhausting.
Today, we have a ferry to catch at 7 am, have to return our garbage rental car and transfer all of our damn stuff into a the new car they’re giving us. And it looks like more pouring rain. Fun times!
Highs and lows. Pony rides and grueling slogs. We could slow down and miss out on stuff we want, or we can decide to maximize the time that has been given to us. Which would you choose?