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Tales from the Rugby World Cup

Oct. 22 - Eve of World Cup Final

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 23 October 2011 | Views [569]

Possible IRB player of the year Ma'a Nonu with fan

Possible IRB player of the year Ma'a Nonu with fan

Oct. 22nd -We spent the eve of the World Cup Final at the Ellerslie races in Auckland. Despite being sure we had chosen all the winners, we only succeeded in the last race when Apache Sky landed us $2.90. However it was a fun afternoon and we had wonderful roast ham sandwiches while we waited for our ship to come in.

Yesterday was the Bronze Final, Wales versus Australia. We met Huw and Celia for lunch and spent the afternoon mooching round the bars close to Eden Park. Sadly Wales didn’t live up to the promise shown earlier in the tournament and despite an exciting try in the last minute, they never really got into the game.

The day before we had intended to take the ferry to Waheke, an island close to Auckland. By the time we got ourselves organized it was almost 1 o’clock and we decided to abandon the trip. Searching for something to do we wandered up to the Sky Tower and decided to have lunch there. We rode the glass  lift to the 52nd floor and ate a wonderful lunch in the revolving restaurant, and watched people jumping from the floor above. It was quite amusing to see bodies flying past the window, pausing to have their photos taken then plunging to the small target 53 stories below. After lunch we came across some All Black players relaxing in the afternoon sun and stopped to request a photo to which they happily obliged.

Despite frequent heavy showers  on Wednesday, we took the ferry to Devonport, a 10 minute ride across the bay. In between showers we managed to climb Mount Victoria and take in the impressive  360 degree view. After attempting a walk to see the sights, we took shelter under a couple of yachts on the foreshore and decided to abandon the walk and head back to our cozy hostel.

On Tuesday we said goodbye to our campervan. Despite the joys of not having to run out in the cold and rain to use the bathroom or have a shower, we had become quite attached to it. Huw and Celia said the same, s o we didn’t feel quite so weird. On the way to the depot we passed a sign for Villa Maria wine which we often drink at home so decided to take a detour for a tasting. Even though it was in an industrial area close to the airport, they had created a rural looking space with rows of  vines, sculptures  and a natural amphitheatre. We managed to get the van back in one piece and moved on to life using public transport which to date has been easy to figure out, on time, and not that expensive.

We are now looking forward to tomorrow and hoping to see the All Blacks raise the Webb Ellis trophy to a packed stadium. While Tom enjoys himself in the press box for the last time,  Carolyn gets the special treat of hearing one of her favorites, Hayley Westenra sing “World in Union” before the match begins.

Tags: auckland, devonport, sky tower, world cup


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