"Find life experiences and swallow them whole. travel. meet many people. go down some dead ends and explore dark alleys. try everything. exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life."

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"We're Domesticated Now"

The Rugby World Cup is in full swing!  Auckland has a new life force pulsing through the city.  Last Saturday, my Irish flatmate convinced us to dress up in Ireland's colors and go skipping down Queen St to the wharf--there are lots of tents set up with live music, large screens playing the matches, and bars.  Ireland was playing Australia that night--Ozzies were favoured to win.  So we went down Queen St, singing "Molly Malone"---people kept cheering "Go Irish!" at us, I of course, played along and pretended I was Irish... We ended up watching the game in an Irish pub, Munster's.  The energy in the pub after the game as all the people who were at Eden Park came flooding into the bar was amazing.  A live band took the stage and started playing Irish melodies all night (Ireland won! If that wasn't clear...).  After that night, we decided we should just dress up as whatever country was playing that night and walk down Queen St :)

On a different note, yesterday I went canyoning about forty minutes outside of Auckland in the Waitakere ranges.  Our program coordinator from Australearn took about ten of us out there on the trip, so it wasn't commercially done.  We were "just a bunch of friends having a good time"...in case the warden asked.  We hiked about 40 minutes up a trail in our wet suits--we got some pretty funny looks.  We walked down the river for a bit, occasionally reaching points chest deep (we had been warned of eels, but no worries, we didn't see one....until the end).  At one point, Gavin, our coordinator, dug out some brush underwater, creating a tunnel we could swim through.  Obstacle one, check.  We slid down rock slides and jumped off several ledges.  The tallest jump was about 10 metres.  You couldn't see the jump until it was your turn and you walked up to the ledge--- I looked down, looked at Gavin said "Are you serious?", he nodded, and so I took the plunge.  Not only did we just jump off a massive ledge, but we landed in a canyon.  We had begun our descent underground.  We stopped and ate Mars Bars, a local favourite, and tried to keep from freezing, as Gavin set up the abseil.  We then repelled down a waterfall, water rushing in our faces as we went down the slippery rocks.  Now, completely underground, we took one last leap off a log protruding out over a ledge. It was a pretty sweet day--although very cold!

While we were driving back to Auckland, Gavin said " You guys are pretty much domesticated now after two months-- regular bunch of kiwis."   I have come to understand and love this kiwi life-style.  Where else in the world do you go swim down a river on a Saturday with a bunch of friends just cause you can?

About to abseil down the waterfall

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