Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trout-o-rama and random thoughts

Turangi to Wellington

We headed out of Turangi at the crack of 10:30 this morning. Our guide, John, from yesterday dropped by to give us a disk of our pictures and to tell us happy travels. We then got the campervan loaded up and headed out to the Tongariro Trout Hatchery to tour the historical grounds and check out the fly fishing museum on site. They have a great fly rod display with reels from 1898 and lots of split cane rods on display. Very cool stuff. The hatchery doesn’t put any fish into the Lake Taupo/Tongariro Drainage, but instead sends the trout off to the other fisheries around the North Island. The trout in the Taupo/Tongariro area are all wild, descending from trout introduced in the 1880’s-1890’s. The rainbow trout were introduced from the Russian River in Northern California and the brown trout were introduced from Scotland via Tasmania in Australia.
Nerdy information, yes, but I found it quite interesting.
We had a nice drive south today. The highway south of Turangi is referred to as “The Desert Road”. If you have seen any pictures from our trip so far, you can see it isn’t even close to a desert. You can imagine my surprise when we drove through 30 kilometers of desert south of Turangi. We couldn’t figure out if was due to a rain shadow effect from the volcanoes nearby or a scorched earth area resulting from those volcanoes. It was pretty desolate though.
It is a pretty small world down here. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth before I turned in for the night and ran into a guy I had spoken briefly to in Russell a week ago. He is heading over to the south island tomorrow and doing close to the same circuit we are looking at. I wouldn’t be surprised to run into him and his wife again.
Tomorrow is my 33rd birthday. I have a thing about being an age divisible by 11. I think it will be a good year.

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