Carrying on from Tim's blog in Tongariro National Park we unfortunately could not do the crossing on Monday due to the adverse weather conditions. We were absolutely gutted as it is meant to be spectacular. Instead we headed an hour and a half north to Taupo (home of the Craters of the Moon) which is exactly what we did after checking in at our hostel for the night (more of that later). We spent an hour walking around the craters which was interesting. Woody and Tim decided they needed their full wet weather gear for reasons unknown to me. I think they needed to justify the significant amount of investment they had made at Berghaus. Either way we made our way round with the smell of rotten eggs / Tim's natural gases tinker ling the nostrils!
From the craters we headed back home via the Huka Falls (a 20m wide gorge) which is in reality a very narrow section of the Waikato River forcing a lot of water through as very narrow gap causing powerful falls and rapids.
Now at this point I was looking for a quiet night cap before finishing another fantastic day in NZ. I headed to the bar back at base (Taupo Urban Retreat) to pur-chase a pint of Tui and after returning to our room Woody and I thought it would be rude to turn in before checking out the monthly beer pong championships that were going on with a final beer for the evening. At this point Tim was settling into an episode of West Wing and my last words were 'see you in 20 mate'….
Now still under the illusion of this being a last night cap before heading to the lovely place that is Bedington Green we watched a couple of rounds of beer pong and were about to retire for the evening when fate intervened and the guy running the beer pong championships aked if we could 'help them out' and play in place of a copule who had gone home. Obviously it would have been particularly rude to turn the poor man down and, as a result, ended up at the bar again to buy the required jug to play the game.
For the rules please refer here:
Before long we were in the heat of battle up against an Englishman and an Irishman, We weren't particularly good but they were awful and after 15mins it was all over and we were into the next round!
The highlight of this game was the over enthusiastic Englishman who seemed to forget the rules and was literally scrabbling around on the floor to retrieve his ping pong ball!
The next round came round in a flash and we were up against 'Zie Germans'. The English guy running the match made particular attention to this and we were under no illusion that we simply could not lose this one… Fortunately we didn't and actually were starting to find our 'range' and dispatched them within 10mins. The highlight being the typically Germanic way in which after every beer the Germans had to drink they meticulously wiped down the table after before started the game again.
After winning another round and drinking another jug Woody and I found ourselves in the final and by this point the nerves had completely dissipated and my shoulder was feeling loose (Beer had absolutely nothing to do with this!)
Also we found ourselves in an odd position. Our opponents were Canadian pensioners and we seemed to be the enemy of all (Two English students apart).
So let the battle commence… The English Empire vs her colonies!!! The final seemed to wiz by and Woody and I were on fire. We had them down to two beers in what seemed a flash. The crowd, by this point, had a hush call before every Canadian throw and an all round boo when we stepped up. And they made a spirited comeback but after Woody absolutely nailed the second to last beer cup we were in the prime position!
It came to my turn and everything seemed to slow down…. Arm back, elbow tucked in nicely, eyes fully focused on the last beer cup. A 4 inch diameter target from a standing start and a throwing position all of 9 yards away and Boom Game over! After some very sporting celebrations (not including the chest bump!) and hand shakes all round I was about to retire back to bed when Mr Fate intervened again and we were given our prize for winning the inaugural competition - a $50 bar tab at the local 'nightclub'!!!!
Now this for one night only so Woody and I didn't even give it though. The right and proper thing to do was reward all our fans and head to the club and celebrate with all of them.
3 rounds of Jagger bombs later (and a pint of water in between) and we had danced the locals to death! Woody made a special friend and we were both back in the hostel by 2.30am - great night!
The following day we woke up with a not-so happy Timothy Martin. Fortunately, due to a slight lie-in and those waters we got back on the road to Napier. At this point I will pass you over to Tim…
P.S Hi to all. Thank you for your messages via Facebook and this blog. Love you all and see you all again soon (particularly my legend of a nephew Jack!)
Will / Rex