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Wild Cat

We joined one of my friends, Mariana, at Tongariro National Park's Kiwi Camp with a beautiful outlook on Mount Ruapehu.

Ferrari considered the vast area of flax and bush that lead to the mountain her personal playfield. Initially checking in every two hours, early this morning she decided to venture a bit further. I used the "Tractive GPS" app on my phone to find her. She was further than normal and after crossing a little ditch and walking through a vast area of uneven terrain (where I'm sure I was not supposed to be). I found her. My shoes were caked with mud inside and out and was promptly washed - I don't think they'll be quite the same again.

I found this episode a little nerve racking and attached a 10m lead to her collar so that I could keep stricter tabs on her. This led to a lot of complaining about my unfairness. Feeling guilty about being an OCD, panicky pet parent I decided to let her go again. This time she went to what looked like an abandoned storage area not too far away. She came back to check in once and went off again. It started to rain so I went and called Ferrari. She followed me back to the motorhome and at the moment is lying peacefully on the bed above me. I'm amazed at Mariana's patients with me and my cat.

The facilities at this camp site is really unbelievably tidy and user friendly - toilets, showers, kitchen, clothes washers and driers. You need a little kiwi cash disk of $5, usually obtainable from information sites. You go online to register and load money onto it and tap it for water or electricity or showers or whatever you need.

There is a little railway station with a station cafe if you feel like a little treat. If you feel adventurous, you can get picked up by a van to walk the Tongariro Crossing (it is also where the InterCity stops).

The Four Square, also within walking distance, holds a large variety of items from basics for camping to food, toiletries and hats (and of course lollies).

The only drawback for me personally is the noise of the trains from time to time. They don't simply move through, there is the screeching of the brakes and all sorts of other loud sounds even at night and the early morning hours.

God willing Ferrari and I will stay for one more night before we head for Mangaweka just outside Taihape tomorrow morning.

Camping together.

Ferrari's playfield.

The ditch I crossed to find Ferrari.

Staying out of the rain - when I went to call Ferrari she was in this area (left) keeping dry by hiding under the wood (right).

Beautiful sunrise this morning around 5:30.

Tidy kitchen facilities.

Clean toilets, showers and laundry.

Little train station with cafe.

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