What a day! We went on the Shotover Jet Boat Ride – a real adrenalin rush, as they took the boat to within inches of the river walls at 80km per hour, and then spun us around in 360 degree turns. The driver was chatty, and told us that the England rugby team were rafting and were coming on his boat in the afternoon.
After the ride, I took pictures of the stunning Shotover River gorge, and was rudely interrupted by the Sky tv team getting out of a car and running towards some steps in
the cliff. As they did so, Nick Easter and followed by Haskell, Foden, Shaw, Ashton and Hartley rounded the stairs in their rafting gear.
We went for a coffee and Tom Palmer walked in. I politely asked him for a photo, and as I stood alongside, I smelt last night’s beer coming out of his pores. (2 nights on the piss – they were out until the early hours in Dunedin on the Saturday night, and in Queenstown on the Sunday – rivalling Burton Vets for stamina – a proper rugby tour.)
As we sat with our drinks, in bounced james Haskell, with a gigantic black eye. ‘Aah,’ he said to Palmer, ‘The Vomiter’. Tom didn’t quite make the rafting, and in that state, I’m not sure the Shotover Jet was a good idea.
After a poor performance on Saturday, Johnno seems to have allowed them a bit of rope to let their hair down, before preparations begin for Saturday’s game. It was obvious that they had started their campaign badly, and Johnno has decided that a bit of tour fun is needed to release the pressure. We will see the effect of this on Sunday.
The rest of the lads followed. Easter looked at the sausage roll the Sky cameraman was eating and ordered 4. (He is known as Nick Eater on Planet Rugby Forums. He was followed by the others.
Haskell was at the counter with Foden, Ashton and Hartley, and being the ‘groupie’ thatI am, I asked for a photo. Haskell said, ‘of Course, lets do a power pose’, and we all squatted haka style. W couldn’t operate the camera, and Haskell went over to help, by pointing at the button, and saying ‘use the big round button on the top that has been there since the camera was invented’.
Sky asked if they could film the bungying in the afternoon. Haskell said ‘of course, if I die, you can send the dvd to my mum.’ Funny bloke.
The Shotover Jet is a fantastic experience to do, but I can’t promise that the England boys will be there when you go.
In the café where we had lunch, I looked over and there was Matt Stevens, having a coffee – perhaps looking for ideas for his own coffee shop in Bath? I got the phot of course!!!
What is weird is that I made no effort to find out what they were doing, where they would be, and managed to bump into them anyway. After a gondola ride to the top of Ben Lomond by Queenstown, I landed the big daddy photo – Johnno. Its onto Wanaka and Twizel tomorrow – the players can have a rest from the weird middle aged stalker.
Oh what a day – The Saw Doctors. Fantastic experiences enhanced by meeting a great bunch of lads.