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March 2010, St. David's Day, Moving to Auckland

Quick shout out to Tom H. Happy to hear you survived the Earth quake in Chile. No one knows what the future holds...

As always March began with St. David's day and then it was off to Auckland permanently to find a job, a place to live and build some more friendships.

St. David's Day in the Walsh bar right after Canada won the Gold medal. Yikes! Met up with Gareth and Dorit along with others to celebrate yet another St. David's day, which is the Walsh St. Patrick's Day in short. This year I dodged my way out of the Leek eating competition and it was a good thing as it would have come right back up after drinking all day with Canadians. Lots of participants this year with an unlikely winner, Tommy, who finished the leek and beer in less than 5 minutes. It's about time the bar manager stepped it up!

Gareth and the kid. He would have gotten me to eat a leek, but the competition was full. Awww.

The Canadian entry this year, Scottie from Northern Manitoba.

Looks fun so far...

Not anymore...


It's like eating barbwire...

The winner who must have been training, Tommy the bar manager in the middle of the photo. I remember a few years ago when he couldn't even get one bite down before he chucked and now he is the 2010 Champion. Believe in yourself kids.

A few days after St. David's day it was time to say goodbye to Wellington as a home after 4 NZ summers. My home away from home that is, but unfortunately with the "Hobbit" on hold due to a script delay there was no film work for me. How long can I go with out a job? I think this is a new record!

So, I took some advice and decided to head to Auckland where there is more opportunity and most importantly, ICE HOCKEY!

Goodbye Welly with a full car.

An 8 hour trip and $75 in petrol got me to my mate Tracy's place. Most of March I hung there while I was looking for work and a permanent place to live. Near the end of the month I found a spot to hang my hat, but not much on the work front.

Thanks Tracy for having me at yours!

Oh well. So, I became a Shore Boy along with a couple other mates that I knew from before, namely Parks and Senior. Auckland city and the Shore don't see eye to eye, but I love the Shore. Relaxing and newer than the city. It's cool.

Photos and videos of the new place in Birkenhead where I live with Peter a laid back chef who just sold his restaurant after taking it to the top of the Shore eateries. He got a couple of boys that hang out ever second weekend and a lovely korean cutie Annie who stays over once and a while. And he likes his toys buying a zodiac a couple weeks ago. I am looking forward to getting out for some fishing and some diving. Man, my cooking is going to become amazing and fresh out of the sea too!

The house backs on to Kauri Park and is only 10 minutes from the CBD (when there is no traffic). You sure can't hear the traffic from Peter's place.

Vid of driveway and garage.

Vid of entrance, bathrooms and upstairs bed rooms.

Vid of Living Room and Kitchen.

Nice 46" with full stereo. Two stage sliding doors on to deck.

Gas cooking, dishwasher, huge side by side fridge and all the best cooking materials a chef would have. Two stage sliding doors on to deck.

Huge deck.

Vid of my quarters downstairs. I will put a couple more photos up next month when my bed arrives.

It's a flash pad and I pay less than in 2009 when I lived in Welly with 3 yuppie flatmates. Did I mention I have a forest for a backyard! I like this place a lot. Oh, and I finally have room for visitors.

February 2010. 7s, Tongariro, Gold Medal Hockey!

February 2010 I enjoyed the 7s, struggled with the Tongariro Crossing and cried for the Gold during the 17 days of Olympics held in Vancouver. A pretty good month!

As I've told everyone before if you are going to visit NZ, February is the month to come here. The weather is awesome, everyone is in good spirits and the number one event of the year is held in Wellington which is the International 7s Rugby tournament (first weekend of Feb). This is a ridiculous event with masses in costume, masses singing, and masses consuming! Approximately 20,000 pay up for their 7s experience which not only occurs in the stadium, but all around town. Our team started at Taylor, Alex and Tom's place on Oriental Parade, which was a great spot to start and only a 30 to 45 minute boozy walk to the stadium.

Although you may think this event is for the young, the average age is 41 and the games go for 2 days with teams from NZ, South Africa, Wales, Niue, Fiji, Aussie, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, England, Kenya, Tonga, USA, Samoa, Canada, France and Argentina. This year Canada made the top 8 which was a great result. In the Final, Fiji beat Samoa for their first Wellington win in 10 years. Most people didn't even know who won and I'm not sure I knew either until Sunday.

The Sperm team started swimming at Oriental Parade. Across the back Mel, Alex, Steph, Taylor, Shea, Nick. Middle row Jenna, Cayla, Bex, Scottie, Kirsten. Front row Chris, Scotty and Me.

Great deck.

With a view of the 101 Dalmatians.

This photo was taken by one of the Dominion Post guys accompanying an article stating we got second place for the "Peter Jackson Best Execution" Award. Here Condom Scotty protects the crowd from the Sperm.

Bars on the waterfront packed out.

Girls losing their costumes at 1:30 pm.

Beer lines and costume tours in the stadium.

For the girls who drank too much (4:30pm).

My favourite costume of this year, Traffic lights that actually changed when you pushed the button on their crotches.

Day 2, back to the water front.

Drunk Donald!

A goon who kept telling us to sit down. I sorted him out by allowing him to push me down which prompted the cops to throw him out of the stadium. Tough to get hurt wearing a sperm costume, haha.
The crazy crowd going crazy.

Aren't these guys supposed to be flying planes, not directing traffic?

Good times and everyone survived. Most of the sperm suits did not, but a couple of them were saved and sold on Trademe, oh yeah!

In mid Feb I took on The Tongariro Crossing which is a world renowned alpine trek rated in the top 10.
A weekend away from Welly after the carnage of the 7s weekend. Taylor suggested we take a relaxing walk over the Tongariro Crossing, yeah right! As the weather was poor on Saturday we decided to stay indoors and hang at Chateau Tongariro in Whakapapa Village saving the Crossing for Sunday instead of going to church.

Blair, Shane, Taylor and myself battling the huge snooker table.

Back at Alex's Ohakune batch playing semi indoor BeersBee.

Finally, Sunday morning at 6 am Taylor and I set out to tackle the 18.5 km trek. How many km? The sign says it all.

Start of the Tongariro Crossing.

20 minutes in.

Perfect weather as we approach Devil's Staircase.

Top of Devil's Stair case which was my first test.

View from the top of Devil's Staircase.

A side trip that Taylor felt I could handle, Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings). Final steps as I complete the hour of punishment.

Taylor and myself above the volcanic summit of Mt. Ngauruhoe

Looking out towards the massive Lake Taupo.

Sliding down Mt Ngauruhoe's face in 20 minutes. The video does not give it justice.

Shoes full of rocks after the slide down Mt. Ngauruhoe.

All the "Tour-ants" approaching Emerald Lake.

Top of the Tongoriro Crossing at Emerald Lake.

Mt. Ngauruhoe from a distance. I climbed that shit!

Panoramic of Lake Taupo as we begin our descent.

Near the end, not really...

Final words from the final stretch of the Tongariro Crossing

And finally a great video from the Gold medal victory by the Canadian Ice Hockey team over the USA at the Vancouver Olympics. Can you believe Canada won the most ever Gold Medals in the history of one Winter Olympic games! Even more amazing is that the ice hockey gold was the final medal of the games and broke the tie for most Winter Olympic Gold Medals in one games with 15.

If you are Canadian you must watch this!!!