Frost, Fire, and Hairpin bends – Whakahoro

11th August

We awoke to a frosty morning and a stunning view over the pristine lake.

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We left after breakfast to deliver the leftover ‘hangi’ to the local school children. The area of Kohutapu Lodge is very poverty stricken. Nads and her family are trying to bring tourism back to the town in order to open up more job opportunities for the children and give them a chance of a better life.
It was a very rewarding experience visiting the children and talking to them. They asked enthusiastic questions about where we were from, what we did and what the difference between the New Zealand dollar was and our own currency. We chatted to them individually and pointed out where we came from on their world map. They were very intelligent children who weren’t afraid to ask us questions but had a genuine thirst for knowledge. Many of them loved Annie from California as they wanted to visit Disneyland. A lot of them wanted to be All Blacks players too when they were older and a small number wanted to visit England!

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They performed a haka for us, which was already very good, we then said goodbye to Nads and hopped on the bus for Lake Taupo.
According to Wikipedia Lake Taupo is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere – bigger than Singapore in fact. It’s like a sea. Surrounded by snow capped mountains it is stunningly beautiful. A more hyped up version of, perhaps, Lake Guarda.

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Maverick and Maverick’s Angels

There was the option to skydive here and those who did had a fantastic day for it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Still working up towards one here. Although after today’s activity (horse trekking) I think I’ve had my fair share of adrenalin rushes.
Taupo to the Blue Duck Lodge in Whakahoro (pronounced fakahoro) was hairy. The lodge is set deep into a valley and the roads are rocky, bumpy and mostly far too close to sheer drops. Tori gained a few grey hairs during that trip. I slept.

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The Blue Duck Lodge is all about conserving those animals that are being destroyed by other wildlife, including the kiwi bird and the blue duck. The lodge lives off of the land so dinner was a freshly killed and cooked goat curry. For us veggies (just me) it was veggie curry. All freshly grown. It was delicious.

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We met Tessa who was staying for 10 days on the farm and found it she was from Deddington! Crazy! A wild night commenced including ‘heads up’, charades and marshmallow eating. And some singing and dancing. Bring on tomorrow. Or not because it involves horses :/
Flo x

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