6.57am, Saturday 8th August, Gate 3, Tullamarine Airport International, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Morning folks, here we are with 45 minutes before we load for Auckland, Harbour City, site of next week’s big big big rugby ticket….the Gala lunch launch of Sir Graham Henry’s new book celebrating the All Blacks World Cup wins – that’s the Friday 14th, then it will be the Bledisloe Cup match 2 at Eden Park. With Bledisloe Cup match one tonight in Sydney, I sadly think that the All Blacks will have one in the bag and take game two as well. My heart hopes to be proven wrong, but my head says…..I think that All Black mincing machine will take care of the new Wallabies combo…..just like they do most times we meet! And why am I starting this post with so much Rugby chat? Because folks, I’m about to head a R,it’s the Tasman Sea to the Land of the Long White misty covered chilly bits….Aotearoa…..New Zealand! And seeing as rugby is the lifeblood of NZ and the fortunes of the All Blacks are the barometer of how things are travelling in the whole country…..and its Bledisloe Cup time, on the eve of the 2015 World Cup which starts next month in the United Kingdom……then it’s pretty much the way to go.
We have a stack of events in the South Island to do first though, top staunch fortresses and friends of Yalumba, before we trek up to Auckland….and its to Invercargill, right down the bottom end of the South Island, that we’re starting our Yalumba week in NZ. Now to get to Invercargill is a bit of an adventure in itself. We came down from the Barossa to Adelaide yesterday, and came through to Melbourne last night to avoid a 2.30am start today with 4 flights in a row. So this morning’s 8.30am flight with Air New Zealand – I do like their form, and the big Koru fern on their tail planes – goes through to Auckland. Pick up the bags – extra kilos of wine event booklets customised to each event jam packed with all the right info – check the trolley load!
Through customs and border control, and explain the bags full of suspicious square parcels, all individually packed and taped up! Watch out I could get searched for that TV show! Then it’s Auckland to Christchurch on the South Island….and a quick change to a little plane to do the last jump right down to Invercargill. All going well, that should get us into Invercargill around 7.30pm, just in time to find a bar showing the Bledisloe Cup match. Yep…be brave and watch the game, seriously outnumbered by the locals who will have every reason to believe that their steamroller All Black outfit will get up!
So, what to do for 45 minutes before we load? I think we should try and re capture our youth!! Enter the Sandman say I …..with memories of the entrance of the New York Yankees greatest closing pitcher – Mariano Rivera – that sond was his theme as he jogged to the pitching mound. I was lucky enough to see him decimate the opposition many times with his legendary ‘cutter’. Happy Days!