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Published: October 3rd 2011
"The only trophy we won this day, was the blood and sweat we left on the pitch.... and it was enough"
This (and I can't quite call it a holiday as I am in serious need of one now) trip, has been quite simply, Epic. I'm bruised, battered, deep fried, and generally discombobulated from the most inner part of my soul through to my 'see you jimmy' hat. Flying home in 2 days from now, with just enough time to see an old school friend, Duncan Shouler, for a trip to my second favourite NZ takeaway, Yes Noodle. I am pretty confident to lay claim that Fergburger will always be my global number 1.
So, Sir Bodly and I got intot the car and headed to Rotorua to see Whitey. Our second chance on the trip to actually wake and sleep in the same location. Not only that, but even went to the supermarket and bought meet and veg and cooked up some nosh, a welcomed change from the alternating fast food venues. Whitey looked after us both in fantastic style. He's working as a senior figure in the Magic Memories company (I forget his actual title,
Aww Kiwi Broo!
lets just go with M&M bitch for the time being) and took us up the hill for an all you can eat brunch overlooking Rotorua and the lake.
Suitably stuffed from a plethora of food types we took a little stroll, well ok, wobble, and hard hatted up for the Louging. As a total novice who's only experiance rests firmly in the days of the N64 Mario cart, I managed a pretty impressive 3rd out of 3 on the beginners track. Being a fine product designer I can confidently argue against the old cliche "a bad workman blames his tools" or at least add to it and state that a bad worker keeps their tools in a state of disrepair, whilest a good worker looks after theirs, my cart was obviously looked after by a bad worker. Either thator the beginers track was inhibitingly easy as we went onto the advanced track next with different cart, sir bodly was no where to be seen and after a bitof duelling with Mr White, I smasehd him into the side of the track and took poll position, sweet as. Our third race and it seemed I was back in my first
The players walk on...
Onto Rainbow springs, where I had been twice before on my previous trip, to see the fish and Kiwis, more magic memories on camera and all free thanks to our reservoir dog and that evening out to a resturant to watch some more of the rugby on the TV and thank Mr White for his hospo. And onward again, this time back up to Whangarei to see Tonga Vs Japan. A great Tongan victory at 31-18. A really good game to be at, although the highlight was some idiot starting quite a large fire just outside on the back wall with some pretty large flames threatenting to spoil the game. All good however and back to Paihia for the night, this time, no police stops. It was a quiet affair that night as the next day we had seats for the South Africa V Namibia game just outside Auckland in the North Harbour. A cricket score, 87-0! Nuff said about that one...
And another chance to sleep, next game was a biggie a few days later, New Zealand versus France! I was in this very city four years ago chomping down a big breakfast, just as
jaded from not having gone to bed, when I was amazed to see France beat the All Blacks. This time round however, the AB's pretty much destroyed them 37-17. A very convincing NZ win and poor performance by the French. But atthis stage it allmeant nothing to me as the next day we were up early to drive 8 hours to Wellington to see ourfirst live Scotland game, against the Argies!
On this whirlwind trip I have had several chances to catch up with some friends. Sometimes its just been a "Hi and Bye", others more of a session of old, sadly in Welly it was very much many Hi and Bye's. Arriving with only a few hours to kick off, we had to go hand in the rental car, drop our bags with old flatmate Sarah (from back at Leith School of art 15 years ago!) get to the Scotland rugby team hotel to pick up our tickets from Paul "The Unit" McGinley (SRU Physio, legend and one of my best mates) and meet Craig and Amanda to give them their tickets that we had to sell. All this ontop of the fact that Sir Bodly had become
ill and so very kindly shared all of his germs with me in the car over the last few days and now had me feeling rather unwell too, had me rather flustered and ashamedly I manned-down and went to game without kilt, flag and hat. It was absolutely freezing and pouring by the bucket load. The stadium is cool, but was only 3/4s full and upon kick-off everyone redistributed themselves around the graounds and took better seating away from the rain. It was a dissapointing result to say the least. But fairplay to the Pumas and their travelling support, they were great. We ended the evening with a few drinks with Craig and Amanda along with Rich Dean and his lovely lady Stacey. Big day the next day so bed by midnight. What lay ahead was an 11 hour drive to Queenstown...
Now feeling really quite under the weather and having shouted my innards out of a very sore set of lungs and throat, we reluctantly rose from a very cosy bed provided by Sarah and Andy. Coughing and spluttering, swallowing every legal substance we could get our hands on that might help us feel even remotely more human,
we fell into Sarah and Andy's car and so very kindly of us for their accomodation, shared our germs with them too as they dropped us at the ferry terminal. Now, the last time I did this 3hour crossing, it took about 7 hours with 9meter waves for the majority of the journey. There are few times I withdraw from myself and act like a little girl, that was certainly one of them. Thankfully this time I kept my diginity as we smoothly crossed to Picton. Sir Bodly slept while filled up on a full breakfast and watched a gannet and dolphin feeding frenzy as we arrived on the South Island. Ready for an 11 hour drive to Queenstown to see a few old friends, indulge in Fergburgers and attempt to be thrown out of several bars...
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