Sunday, October 9 (Day 38)
Auckland - Rotorua
I don’t know what it is about this van and underground car park but I have had the most bizarre series of dreams I can remember. I don’t even want to go into the details. At one point in the middle of the night, a security guard flashed a torch through the glass. I don’t suppose they want a car park full of drunken rugby fans. Luckily, George-Michael’s van has curtains and my torso was hidden inside a sleeping bag. My mobile died during the night, so I don’t know if it’s 6am or 3 in the afternoon as I lock up the van and head for the hostel.
Turns out it is 10 when I wake George in Base. Michael is nowhere to be seen. I borrow George’s I-pad and quickly sort myself an online bus ticket. There is absolutely no way I want to hang around with thousands of victorious French blokes (many wearing skirts), and pubs full of whining Aussies all day. It is definitely time to run for the hills. I grab a coffee near the wharf and jump on the noon coach to Rotorua, four hours away.
Once I’m in Rotorua there’s just time to unpack my weathered rucksack, get rid of yesterday’s foul stink and get myself down the Pig & Whistle with Canadian Rebecca, who works at ‘Flashpackers’, for the day’s quarter finals.
The Aussies, as I feared, squeeze past the South Africans, while the Argies give the All Blacks a good run for their money before tying the game up after an hour. Argie Alex texts from Auckland to say he’s gutted but proud of his team. Tony is also in touch to say goodbye before he heads off on Tuesday, while George-Michael tell me it’s a nightmare being stuck in Auckland with all the Aussies and French. I did warn them. After several dozen matches we are down to the last four and most of the new friends I’ve made in NZ are about to start flying home. Those of us that are left are stuck with very expensive semi-final tickets for games not involving our teams. Most of us which we could sell them and use the money for cocktails on the beach in Fiji.