Missing fingers, fights and freefalls
What is it about rugby and beer that inspires young men to turn into absolute t1ts?
Last night we stayed in a place called River Valley Lodge.
Quite imaginatively named I noticed, considering it’s a lodge, next to a river, in a valley.
Getting swiftly away from the sarcasm and cynicism that runs in the Bloomfield family, the lodge to give it it’s due credit is absolutely beautiful. It’s about 45 minutes drive from the nearest town, and is sat on the bank of a river. The atmosphere when we arrived was totally relaxed, and there was smoke rising gently from the chimney from the log fire they’d lit inside in anticipation of our arrival. ‘Nice touch’ I thought, as I was greeted by a lazy jack russell. I could like it here.
Little did I know that later that night it would all go crazy. The owners of the hostel had brought in a projector screen and Sky especially for the Lions tour, and a teams of Kiwis on rugby camp were staying in the valley at the same time as us.
We were outplayed and from the final whistle onwards got ruthlessly mocked by the Kiwi staff and rugby boys for our performance. Booze was flowing heavily, and in a dispute over the captaincy, the captain of the rugby team had punched his teammate in the nose and broken it. Later on another Kiwi who’d been trying to use the ‘Flying Fox’ (a pulley type cart thing that slides you out on a cable strung up over the river) had managed to take off half his thumb (to the bone) by getting it caught in the pulley.
One of the guys off our bus, Rob, had been bothering to put up an argument against all the jibes from the Kiwis and had soon got himself nicknamed ‘Jonny Wilkinson’ by them. They drank him under the table.
The dorm we were staying in was like one giant bunk bed, the top bunk being about 7 or 8 feet off the ground. You all chuck your mattresses down and rough it for the night.
However, in the middle of the night, Rob was so drunk he decided to wet the bed. Nice. Probably realising through the fog of booze and sleep that peeing where he lay might not be the best idea, he got up and walked towards the door. Unfortunately for him, he was on the top bunk. One of the guys witnessed it, and apparently he just walked off the end of the bunk and dropped like a stone.
I awoke to an almighty thump and loud groaning. Everyone woke up and put the lights on, and we checked he was ok. Somehow he’d managed to fall seven feet onto his face and survive with hardly a bruise.
Anyway, after a heavily disturbed but ultimately amusing nights sleep (thankfully the top bunk although enormous was divided into 4 by wooden partitions, so the mattresses on our side were nice and dry) I got up and went whitewater rafting on grade 5 rapids in the river. This was top class, but not as scary as I imagined it. I think if there had been more rain recently it might have been a bit more severe, but it was still really good fun. I didn’t fall out once.
I am now writing this from Base backpackers in Wellington.
I have met Claire (‘Merry’, who works here and posted earlier) and, true to her word, she gave me a load of drinks and internet vouchers. I have only nice things to say about her. (mainly because she crept up on me when I was typing and made me jump by shouting ‘You better be saying nice things about me!).
Fingers crossed for the tickets to the Wellington game, we’re waiting on a text from a couple of girls who are waiting on an email from a couple of boys, so it’s looking a bit of a long shot.
Will let youse all know.