New Zealand Tour 2008

Another dull draw

Kia ora everybody


Imagine the scene. We are in Napier on our day off planning the next two weeks accommodation with Lonely Planets, mobile phones, credit cards and diaries spread all over the internet cafe.


During about our fifteenth rejection from trying to book a motel in Hamilton a scouser appears at the next terminal to us and sits down.


He must have regained some confidence after the Barnsley debacle and offered us the following useful advice (remember you must say it in scouse) ' Aright lads yez might find it defficult gerrin accomodayshun in 'amilton for thez days. Thez the cricket on yer know'.


I won’t repeat the advice the three of us gave him simultaneously in return. He got the message very swiftly and did one.


In fact I wont repeat any swear words in this report, as I can see that some people had issues with the last missive - apologies - I didn’t realise the word les***n attracted the computer police, maybe I should just have used the term 'gay woman' instead! Or is this just the Guernsey computer police?


As they can be ordained as a priest I do think it’s all a bit unjust but there you go.


To be fair, there wasn’t much in Napier. The beach is black and volcanic with nobody on it and everything is one-storey after the earthquake (or was it a volcano I’m getting confused) although we’ve had great difficulty booking onward accommodation for the test match and have finally sorted a modest B & B called the County Hotel.


Even the game itself was dull and boring and I’ve no pictures to show from it as I decided to go 'on a mission' that day given we would be returning to the ground in more sedate fashion for the test.


So it was that all England’s batsmen fired (except poor Owais Shah) as we watched from under the scoreboard and we built up what we thought would be an unassailable 340 - 6.


As well as the usual suspects Graham and Mike were there from Oz - the latter without his fetching blue fur bikini.


When the Kiwis batted we feared the worst - How did that muppet score a century against such fine, accurate bowling?


With four overs to go Kiwis were in fact favourites but full marks to Jimmy Anderson from Burnley for coming back well from his earlier slappings at the death and especially to Luke Wright for a lot of bottle in bowling the last over with only 7 needed.


Also full marks to our captain for the inspired miscalculation in allowing him this privilege.


The day after the game we set off for Wellington and the ferry to South Island which left at 6.30pm. Another clucking boat trip, I thought, but how wrong can you be?? The exit from North Island is spectacular enough, but the approach to South Island is mind boggling. The journey in all takes about three hours and as we steamed along the fjord the sun set slowly in front of the boat and the moon rose quickly behind it making for a surreal atmosphere and I hope some half decent photos.


We were accompanied on the boat by a Hells Angels chapter from Paeroa - remember them - the ' Filthy Few'. Yes, before you ask, there are more than twelve in the group.


Simon engaged with a couple of the dirty bikers and explained that he used to be a Mod when he was younger, and had they heard ' Quadrophenia'? I thought that was rather brave.


They are going down to Invercargill for the weekend so I gather and passed us again on the road en-masse out of Picton, which we now assume must be no more than a mass of smouldering ashes after being pillaged & torched on their way out - if you see anything on the news to this effect let me know.


Our Corolla has now done 3,000 KM since hiring and the tyres resemble those liquorice wheels you used to be able to buy at the sweetshop. Driving is a pleasure on South Island - like scalextric but for real. Garages are however as uncommon here as on the average scalextric circuit so you need to fill up at every opportunity.


We’ve discovered a design fault on our car too , the windscreen washers come on when you indicate to turn , but normally only when George is driving.


Today we are in Kaikoura and Simon and George have gone quad biking (must be the Mod emerging) although they haven’t explained to me yet how they will be able to ride four bikes at once.


I’m in for a bit of whale watching this afternoon – let’s hope they don’t see me!


Regards



Al



Click here for other tour diaries