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Tales from the Rugby World Cup

Sept. 9 - Rotorua to Wellington

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 10 September 2011 | Views [656]

Maoris welcome Samoan rugby team

Maoris welcome Samoan rugby team

Sept. 9 – Rotorua to Wellington (Sept. 8th & 9th)

Pushed for time to get to Wellington to watch the opening ceremony and first rugby world cup match (New Zealand vs. Tonga) on the big screen tv at the Fanzone in Wellington we hauled camper van butt south immediately after the Samoan team disappeared into the Maori marae to complete their welcome to the tournament.

Best sensory experiences during the dash south.

Sight: Incredibly beautiful snow capped mountains rising above the blue waters of Lake Taupo and stunningly green fields full of sheep with their spring lambs.

Taste: Fresh from the oven mince and cheese pies at Bonnie Bee roadside café and honey factory.

Feel: Thermal mineral pools at the Oasis Motel and Travel Park in tiny village of Tokaanu which is sandwiched between Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park. The pools are open 24 hours and a great temptation for a midnight dip if we would have had the courage to escape the warmth of our camper van.

Smell: The odors of frying lamb as we cooked our evening meal in the kitchen/tv area at Oasis while listening to a slightly racist Kiwi woman chatter about the areas camping spots, her new camper van, her old camper van, how she ignores all attempts to correct her pronunciation of Maori words, everything  in the car museum in Palmerston North even though she doesn’t like cars, …

Sound: Morning New Zealand talk radio as we careened along the winding highway from Turangi to Wellington. The topic of conversation was the impending opening of the world cup with topics ranging from the host eating the Tongan “delicacy” fried corned beef (their corn beef is like what us Yanks call spam) to discussion over the sad state of rugby broadcasting because of the 5 tv stations covering the opening ceremony and match, 4 of them were going to go to advertisements between the haka and the kick-off.  

Tags: new zealand, rugby world cup, taupo, tokaanu, turangi

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