A Volcano Alone and Separated From Love


One more Volcano post.  A sad one.  This is Mt. Taranaki who is basically isolated from all the other volcanos. He is at rest on the coast near New Plymouth. He lost at love and some think he is waiting for revenge.

The Maori tell the story that originally Taranaki was with the other three volcanos in the center of North Island.  A foursome.  This is the area where I was tramping about the 3 volcanos.  At one point Taranaki feel in love with a nearby beautiful lush green covered volcano, Pihanga.  Mt. Tongariro, who was also in love with Pihanga was not pleased and a battle ensued.  Taranaki lost and rift with jealousy and grief he ripped up his roots and left.  He left a trail of about 100 miles of churned up earth in his wake as he neared the coast where he now rests.  This 100 miles is the territory where I drove on the Worlds Forgotten Highway and where the Republic of Whangamomona is. It explains why it is so remote and hard to traverse.  Maori do not live there, because they assume that Taranaki will return and battle Tongariro again.

If I was Tongariro, I would be worried. I hiked through the remains of Tongariro’s top.  He blew it off years ago.  It is now 3 craters that 100s of hikers go through a day. He isn’t looking so good.  Meanwhile, Taranaki is looking pretty buff.  Quite handsome.  They even made a bridge that was designed and positioned to frame him.  I would imagine that Pihanga is wishing he would come back.  But that is in the future.  Currently he is alone and a weeping river comes out of his side.

It was cloudy when I was at the bridge. I added an image from the internet to show the view. The photographer was not credited.

It was wonderful to learn and really understand a narrative by driving 100 miles through desolate churned up land.  Much more experiential.  You have to do it to understand the story. You leave the battle ground, drive through his trail of grief, and then see him boldly on the horizon.  I tried to get my own photo, but it was cloudy and cows keep getting in the way when they do selfies.


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