October 25

We staying up for the All Blacks game at 3:45 am (as the game is being played in London). We headed into Paihia to a local sports bar to watch it. The bar was surprisingly quiet. All of the seats were full, but people were not a rowdy as you might have expected. I was very excited to see the All Blacks perform the haka for the first time. This is the war dance and chanting that they do to pump themselves up and intimidate other teams. I had seen it in the Maori village that we visited, but I loved the All Blacks performance of it. I found that they were very intimidating and extremely precise in their movements. It was interesting to see the camera pan to the faces of the South African team.

Although I don’t understand the rules of rugby, I did enjoy watching the game. I feel that the men who play rugby as even tougher than American football players. They basically do the same things, except without pads. Most of the players are huge; their thighs are the size of my waist! The All Blacks came back to win after a deficit in the first half.

After the game we walked back to our campsite and slept for a couple hours. Then we decided to head back toward Auckland, as we need to be there on Wednesday for Lindsay’s flight out. We drove down the coast and stopped in a couple towns on our way. We enjoyed a nice sunny day and a beach stop or two to appreciate the sun. We ended up in a town called Orewa, which is about 20 minutes from Auckland. We are going to stay here for a couple days; our campsite is right on the ocean and it is lovely to walk on the beach. We even had a little picnic there when we arrived last night!

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