Singer in mountain challenge
Conquering Womad wasn't enough for one international artist - he he couldn't resist the lure of Taranaki's famous volcano.
UK artist Sam Lee, the rising star of the English folk scene, blew the crowd away on Saturday, just 24 hours after he hit the tracks on Mt Taranaki.
When he hopped off the plane in New Plymouth he took one look at the mountain and knew he would be getting his walking shoes on.
Famous for injecting youthful enthusiasm into the old songs of British Isles, Lee set off for a morning on Mt Taranaki at 8am on Friday.
Although he wanted to make it to the top, he had to settle for meditating in the forest, as he had to be back in New Plymouth by 2.30pm for an interview.
"I'm finding squatting so hard now, my calves are hurting like nothing before. I've never been on a walk like it," he said.
Lee made his way into the heart off what he calls "a magical forest off the track" and sat entirely still for 40 minutes.
"It's an amazing experience when everything forgets that you are there and slowly comes back to life around you," he said.
"What was very present on your mountain was that I was in a sacred place that had nothing to do with me. These birds and these plants were alien to me."
The artist tried to be as light on his feet as possible.
"My interaction has to have no effect on the mountain."
After coming down from Mt Taranaki Lee hitched a ride back to town.
"I could have stayed up there all day if it wasn't for that pesky interview."
Taranaki Daily News