Taupo + Blue Duck Lodge
Trip Start Apr 16, 2011
69Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
So we were heading for Taupo, our stop for the night. En route the snow started coming down heavier, storms were brewing. I'd put my name down for a potential skydive here, but though things were clearing a little, it didn’t seem the best time to be jumping out of a plane. After checking-in we headed out in search of warmer clothing as advised by the driver. I was after a hat, and though the charity shops had some quirky stuff, unfortunately nothing practical. I ended up having to settle for a woolly ski hat that I didn’t particularly like, but got the validation from Jay and Jamie on it
Back at the hostel we indulged in the on-site chilli con carne as we froze in the pathetically heated and insulated bar, to the soundtrack of horrendous heavy metal. Hang the blessed DJ! Pool with Point 5, some beers, and then a fat, English, heavy metaler slides across our table lying in front of the girls. He muttered something like "how you doing?" which probably made everyone a little sick inside. He then turned to us lads asking if we wanted to play beer pong. I immediately hated him so told him absolutely not. Minutes later me and this lad we’d met there were heading up for the first game; there wasn’t a lot else to do and prospect of winning got me up for it.
The rest of the bar sat round to watch the epic match. My aim was on, and so was this lad’s Sam. We were nailing it and comfortably took the game. “Re-match?” A reluctant yes it had to be. This time we fell apart a bit, and the two bellends took it. Really there should have been a decider, but I wasn’t going to pipe up, back on the bus in the morning.
Throughout that day and overnight New Zealand had faced record snowfalls
We then got off the main roads and started taking some acutely winding, narrow roads to our stop for the night, The Blue Duck lodge. This was a remote site in the national park area, where a family run operation took care of the many, many acres of the park. The name of the game was conservation here. There were too many goats, so I was only too happy to sign up and help the cause. With no time for food, I got the waterproofs and gumboots on, grabbing 3 cookies for the ride. The ride was on the side of one of the workers quad bikes. Eating the cookies proved not to be such an easy late lunch after all. As we got deeper into the farmland, onto muddy tracks and up steep climbs I was holding on pretty tight not feeling so sturdy perched on the side.
Once out in the wilderness, the lad hands me this shotgun and tells me to shoot some heap of mud in the distance. I struggled with the sight at first, but nailed that mud in the end. We spent the next 30 minutes or so bombing about the hills in search of goats. Seemed they were all hiding. As we rode to the peak, the scenic background surrounding us crept up on me. On view were the snowy mountain peaks of the surrounding National park area. A couple of snaps, but it was back on with the conservation task. The guy spotted some lonely goat far in the distance with his binoculars, quite a way for us to go. Using just my eyes, I managed to pick up some animals, potentially just sheep in the distance. But it was verified, they were goats and my eyesight was immense. This was our new target and so we made our way over.
Being some way up a hill, it made more sense to climb it on foot, stealthily. I was pretty much all over the shop in the gumboots up this steep climb, trying my best not to seem pathetic in front of this experienced farm hand. Finally we made it up and re-spotted the group. Among them, Billy Goat Gruff was our target, apparently. I couldn’t see him. Moving round, and the gun handed over, it was my time. Again I re-struggled with the eyesight. Plus Billy was having none of it, he went over the hill. So we waited for the group to go out of sight, and then followed them down slowly, keeping low and quiet.
The guy passed the gun back to me, and said billy and friends would be there waiting as we walked over the crest of the hill. Now, this truly was my time. Creeping up, they came into view. There was Billy, but I could only see his backside in the eyesight. I wasn’t happy this would be a clean shot. I waited 30 more seconds, Billy turned, and as previously instructed I quickly moved the crosshair up his front leg to the body, BANG!
All of the goats scarpered off including Billy going out of eyesight. Waiting a bit, we then climbed down, and though he’d made a run for it, Billy was dead. A good clean shot it turned out. The next part may sound pretty gruesome, but I wasn’t shocked, I’m a meat eater, it’s what happens. So he gets out his knife, slits the throat, little blood, another indication of the good shot. Then he began to rip out the insides, cutting out the arsehole to aid this. Picture time, holding up the goat I’d just shot. I was then asked if I wanted to carry the goat. Apart from being nearly unable to get myself down the hill, I also thought better of getting goat’s blood all over Emma’s coat I needed for the rest of the trip.
Then all 3 of us drove back through the hills to the lodge, me on one side, Billy hanging off the other. I received yet more validation as the land and lodge owner Dan passed us. As we got back some of lads took a look at Billy. Then the guy asked me if I wanted some meat to take. “Er, well, yes, though I don’t know what I’m going to do with it.” Regardless, he starts hacking off the leg. At this point, vegetarian Jamie was walking back. You can imagine how that sight went down for her. Then there I was, just standing there with a goat’s leg in my hand.
A good shower, and some mulled wine done by the girls in a rice cooker was a good drink to chill out with after a heavy day’s hunting. I think Jamie took on the lion’s share, most probably after seeing Billy hanging there. We all headed over to the main lodge for dinner, and goat curry was on the cards. No not Billy. Anyway I was slightly disappointed, the curry itself wasn’t that flavoursome and goat needs some help as it is. Later we had a good old fire, where Jay got sausages stuck in there, Alex with his wieners, and Jamie on the s’mores. We sat around, drank and had a jolly old time.
A German girl, Christina had been staying here and was hopping on our bus the next day so joined us. As it got later, and she headed to bed, she managed to take out a wine glass, then stumble all 20 metres back to the rooms. We thought she’d been drinking tea out of her mug the whole time, but instead she was a phantom pisshead. She would turn out to be a bit weird. Soon it was just the 4 lads left up, so me, Jay, Alex (Point 5) and a Cornish lad Ben, who sounds ridiculously like and even looks a fair bit like Ross Vowels. Anyway, Alex had previously told us he’d split up with his girlfriend mainly due to a difference in minds. Alex, 19, revealed that his ex-girlfriend was 15. No wonder he didn’t connect romantically with a child. We all tried to refrain from laughing and dissecting the whole situation, but pretty much did anyway. With no more tunes available but Jay’s horrendous mix of pop and Korean pop we headed for bed.