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Diary Moves To Auckland

Diary Moves To Auckland


The journey from Dunedin to Auckland was an opportunity to catch up on lost sleep. The previous night he Irish team had joined their New Zealand counterparts in the Dunedin Arts Centre for the post match reception and by the time the formalities were concluded it was near midnight. There was a 6am wake-up call and then our final excursion with Brian Lamond who delivered us, as he had done so well often before safely to the Dunedin airport. There was no need for him to do it, but he hung around to see us off and wish us well and it was also very gratifying to see some of the Southern Cross staff, Vaughan, Tara and Paula, travel out to the airport to bid adieu.

We arrived in a warm and sunny Auckland at about 11 am where we met our new Oceania driver and whether or not the speed limit change on the North Island we were moved at a fairly brisk pace (everything is relative) into the central Auckland. On the way, our bald-headed driver made the near fatal mistake of introducing himself.

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G’day gentlemen, my name is Peter

No it’s not. shouted Alan Quinlan, what’ll we call him lads?
A few choice suggestions were made before Quinny had the casting vote.

We’ll call him Skunk lads.

Could it be they were missing Lamond?

On the journey the new Skunk acted as tour guide pointing out the local sights.

And that hill ahead of us is Mount Eden. It’s a volcanic hill, Auckland is built on volcanoes.

What muppet built a city on top of a volcano. Someone enquired.

Then, when Peter pointed out Victoria Street, Rala surmised aloud that it must have been named after Queen Victoria

No Rala, it was named after Victoria Beckham. said Guy Easterby.

We’re staying in the 24 floor City Life on Quenn Street just ten minutes walk from Princes Wharf and the Americas Cup village. The first thing that strikes you is the huge Asian population that lives in this city. In Dunedin we came across the Hayes sisters, Rosemary and Carmel and the Drogheda girls, and Martin Deasy, Neil Simon from Belfast and champion sheep shearer Peter Casserly, but here there isn’t an Irish twang in ear shot. But we expect them at the weekend and we look forward to their arrival.

The main focus of the day is to overcome fatigue and stay up to cheer on Mick McCarthy’s lads in Japan. That ended in tears but there was admiration from one group of professionals in a hotel 12,000 miles from home for another group just as far away. Both would make you proud to be Irish.