(Written two days ago but lacked wifi to post, enjoy!)
After my visit to Hobbiton, I thought nothing I’d see on the tour could ever be as amazing as that magical place was. But as it turn out, I was pleasantly surprised. Because it wasn’t a lovely sounding place like Lothlorien or Rivendell that wowed me–it was none other than Mordor.
Today our tour headed towards Mount Doom. I cannot tell you how awesome such a sight is, even with all the hundreds of photos and videos I took. It’s massive! Snuggled up close by also happened to be Mount Tongariro, which erupted only 5 days ago, and we were able to see it still all smoldery, like a good little volcano should be. But what was really magnificent was the mega mountain next door.
Mount Ruapehu is where many Mordor scenes where filmed. As it happens, our bus driver and tour guide, Scotty, actually worked on the site when Jackson and his crew came to film! So again, we got a special tour with all kinds of insights into how things where filmed and where.
Remember when Gollum first climbs down the rocks to snatch The Ring from Frodo in the night, while he and Sam were sleeping? We were there! Remember when Sam dragged Gollum along the rocky path using the Elven rope? We were there. Remember when Saron had his finger and the ring cut off? WE WHERE THERE.
You see, Scotty was in charge of making sure the protected plants in the area stayed nice and protected while the hundreds of crew and staff filmed, so he saw all these shots happen right before his eyes. I never thought climbing through Mordor could be so exciting. I suppose this would be the appropriate time to say, you can simply walk into Mordor, ’cause we certainly did.
Among the other sights today was the spot where Andy Serkis, dressed up in his Gollum wet suit, had to splash down a steam to catch a fish. If you’ve watched the behind the scenes, then you’ll know that on that particular day of filming the cast and crew woke up to realized it had snowed during the night and thus spent a good deal of time trying to thaw the stream out in order to get their shots. Well, during one of those shots, Andy hit ice and nearly slid off the cliff. Yes, cliff! The stream ends up suddenly as a very long water fall, as you can see in the photos I took. Good thing they caught him in time!
Right down the road a bit from the stream sits the lovely Powerhorn Chateau, which we’re staying in tonight. In case you didn’t know, this is the very hotel where the cast and crew stayed, and guess what? I am typing this post up from bed – in the very room Billy Boyd stayed in! Others in our tour group have Sean Astin’s room and Dominic Monaghan’s room. Needless to say, we were all ecstatic about it.
Tomorrow we head to Wellington, where we’ll be visiting our friends at the Weta Cave and settle in at Wellington for The Hobbit premiere, only days away.
Cheers from Billy Boyd’s bed!
What??? It’s 100% true!
Click here for Arwen’s last post from Middle-earth – Seeing Hobbiton With My Own Eyes