Crater Climbing: Mount Eden
The bus drove away along with my hopes and dreams of getting an early start. My hesitation to ask the bus driver if his was the proper bus to Mount Eden cost me a half hour of waiting. I plopped onto a nearby bench, pulled out Cloud Atlas, and took a deep breath. The schedule said the next bus was due in about 35 minutes. Half an hour came and went and so did the second bus. Apparently, if you don’t stand on the edge of the street and wave your hand, the bus doesn’t stop. As I waited in frustration for bus number three, I weighed my desire to go to this place. Would it be worth the wait? Am I even waiting for the right bus? Bus number three finally stopped for my waving arm and I paid the driver $2.50 for the lift and for his advice to “get off near the hospital.” I got off quite far from where I was headed, but head there I did… in the rain.
Mount Eden or Maungawhau, the highest natural point in Auckland, is a volcano overgrown with grass equipped with a killer view of Auckland CBD and the surrounding suburbs. The climb to the top isn’t difficult. The ascending walk is relaxing but hard enough to make you feel good when you reach the top. I saw several people completing their morning runs or walks up and down the summit. I was probably one of ten people walking around the huge crater rim, which, in a world where tourist attractions are usually overstuffed with people and cameras, was quite refreshing. I snapped photos, ate an apple, read my book, and just took in the view. Yes, this view was worth it. I have been recommending it to everyone I meet who hasn’t gone yet and I’m recommending it to you.