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Study Break: Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Wai-O-Tapu, and Cathedral Cove

In New Zealand they don't give students a dead week, you get a true study break. Many students have early exams and spend it studying, but lucky for me my exams were on the back half of the two and a half week exam period. So, like almost all international students I know we headed to do some traveling.

One of my goals coming to New Zealand was to spend more time in nature and become a better hiker. I set a goal of being able to finish the Tongariro Alpine Crossing by the end of my time here. Unfortunately I pulled my groin two days before I was supposed to do the hike, but decided it was in decent enough condition to go up the mountain. My friends had underplayed the difficulty of this hike and the summits in the hike. I definitely had a false sense of confidence heading into the hike.

I was told the Tongariro Alpine Crossing would take roughly 7 hours. I came in just under 6.5 hours and am quite sure another hour would have done me in. While it was a long hike, with some brutal …
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