From dreary Hamilton at 8.30am..... to gorgeous Raglan at 9.15...
Monday, October 3 (Day 32)
It is getting to the stage where I am getting up at the crack of dawn and literally legging it from some of these hostels. I just can’t put myself through the torture of using their showers and hanging around here one minute longer than I have to. No shower now since the day of the South Africa game.
The Hamilton Monday morning rush hour is a depressing spectacle. It is grey and chucking it down and makes me want to be elsewhere. I sit at the bus stop and watch all the local kids go to school in the torrential rain and then catch the 23 to Raglan. I need a lie low. I want to be somewhere chilled, off the beaten track and near the sea. I also don’t want to travel far, and so the 50 kilometres to the coast is just the job.
Talk about Beauty and the Beast: once out of dreary Hamilton it’s almost immediately back to gorgeous scenery and when the completely empty bus (i.e. only me on it) reaches Raglan, I seem to be in the most attractive little town I have seen in all of NZ. An almighty thunder storm takes out the town’s electricity and I hide away in Orca, by the waterfront, enjoying the coffee, sea views and the lightning show.
The joy of modern communication – me working 10,000 miles away in a library in a small surf town, proofreading a Latvian magazine. I get five hours solid work done and go for a stroll.
This is the most charismatic town of the trip: quirky shops, interesting colourful buildings, palm trees and views of the harbour, mountains and sea. There is almost a touch of the Caribbean about this little gem of a place.
I am content in the evening to cook myself a big meal and lie around munching chocolate at the surfers’ backpackers. I feel done in and want a lie in.
For the record, here is the quarter final line-up:
Saturday, 8 October
Ireland v Wales
England v France
Sunday, 9 October
South Africa v Australia
New Zealand v Argentina