I perused the wall of pamphlets and things to do in Auckland in the hostel until I found a few items that caught my attention. One of these was an adventure over to Rangitoto Island where I could scale volcanoes. How could I pass that one up?!
I hopped onto the computer to check out the ferry details from Auckland only to find myself surprised. No services were running to Rangitoto this week (only) because of pest eradication. What a bummer, yeah? I thought so, too.
So, I went with the second best option and hopped a quick ferry to Devonport, which, from the information I had gathered, had a “volcanic cone” you can walk up. Now, I know what a volcano should look like, but the “cone” part got me. What did that mean?
I immediately saw what that meant when I arrived and saw this mound in my view. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said to myself. Seriously, I’ve seen ant hills bigger than this “volcanic cone”! On the plus side, I well welcomed the challenge of conquering this peak, which would be nothing like the torturous climb of Mount Pacaya back in Guatemala that left me weak and fearing for my life at every step.
Ant hill or not, I still managed to work up a bit of a sweat. Uphill climbs and I are just not friends – heck, we’re not even acquaintances! Luckily the climb was full of peaks hinting of the final view from the top to keep me going… (that and a 75 year old man kicking my ass on the walk). How am I so unfit if I spend loads of time everyday walking everywhere?!
Finally, I reached the top of my ant hill, only to be amazed at how great the view actually was from a seemingly tiny hill.
Auckland, in all of its industrial looking-ness, sat in clear view and whitewashed in a bright sunshine. Some random youngsters took advantage of the great photo moments a strange mushroom field provided. I looked on in envy as they shared their travels together, a feeling I tried to recreate in this weird self-portrait… unsuccessfully (ha). Everyone on top – except for the poor man that lost his dog – appeared to be fully enjoying the feeling of being on top… and conquering an ant hill.