‘Don’t worry the horses aren’t suicidal’ – Blue Duck Lodge, Whakahoro

12th August
Today was the day I had been looking forward to. Flo, not so much. This can only mean one thing; horses.

Flo emerged resembling the Michelin man, dressed in every waterproof layer money can buy, well padded for the 4 hour ride that lay ahead.

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We were handed our steeds with Flo on Mick and me on Tiger. None of the horses were particularly spritely so I was under the impression the ride wouldn’t be particularly exciting. How wrong I was.
Mud, TINY tracks, steep drops and stream crossings made up the majority of the ride. The horses seemed to enjoy our fear, getting as close to the edge as possible. It passed in near silence although I’m still unsure if it was terror or the spectacular views that kept everyone so quiet.

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Flo looking uncharacteristically calm on a horse

After hanging back for a short canter which resulted in a mouthful of mud, came Flo’s shriek of fear for her life, ‘can the lady come in front please then I feel I won’t die’. To give her her due this was her only moment of weakness in what must have been a pretty terrifying day.

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When we stopped for a short break the horses were just let go in the woods, some disappearing really quite far. Flo was quite hopeful that we might not find them again and would have to walk back to the lodge. This did not happen.

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More narrow paths, more mud, more near death experiences and a bit of excitement between Annie and Flo’s horses and we finally made it back. Alive. Sadly this was not the case for Laura’s goat…

Flo couldn’t hide her relief at finally being on solid ground.

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Laundry time! I realise this may not sound exciting but oh my the bliss of a washing machine. It brought happiness I didn’t know I could feel about laundry. Clean and dry clothes. Living the dream.

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That evening we had a whānau meal. The boys (mainly John) cooked us a brilliant meal. Thank god John is here to look after us, he is definitely our group dad. So after tuna tomato pasta and microwaved garlic bread it was time for the evenings entertainment…Flo’s iPod… Ground Force and Working Lunch theme tunes were among the more tragic moments. A twerk lesson from Laura put us all to shame and then it was time for bed to get ready for our 5am start in the morning.

Tori x

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