BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 2 March 2021
Advertisement

The Happy Camper: Every cock will crow...

“A future quiz question beckons for a man named captain on his World Cup debut,” quips Sean as the crew move on to Wellington.

Shannon - a home away from home.
Shannon - a home away from home.

DANNEVIRK IS DANISH, literally meaning ‘Danish work’ after the hardy souls Her Majesty dispatched to clear a road through the dense forest way back when.

I know this because I read it… at 5.30am!

Our halting site for the night was in the valley of an eight-hectare wildlife park and it goes off like an alarm clock of raucous bird noise at the slightest hint of light on the horizon, so there was nothing to do but stay under the covers and pull out a guide book. One particular rooster was extremely fortunate that coq au vin is not on the menu tonight.

Through glass, there was little wild or Danish about the town of Dannevirk itself. Perhaps there was a pastry or two available in the shops but that aside the only evidence to be seen was a giant blond Viking bidding you “Farvel”.

A detour was needed on the road to Palmerston North due the road closures in Manatwatu Gorge. It sounds like one of many spectacular views and the Dominion Post’s front page bellows that the closure is “costing the region big bucks.” We are disappointed not to see it until we are taken up the Saddle Road, another mountain pass, this one not as high but just as dramatic as the one which took us to Hawkes Bay.

You lucky, lucky boy.

The road shot violently upward taking us right into the low-hanging cloud; we stop by some wind turbines and I do my Christ the Redeemer pose high atop the mountain. We had been told that every corner you turn here, you find a better view, but this is ridiculous.

Momentum

Tonight we are in Wellington, hoping to maybe grab a spare ticket to see Australia win a game for a change.

On our way along the coast, we hear the Ireland team is named for the Sunday’s game. It’s strong, a great way to continue the momentum the lads have worked so hard to attain. Delighted for Leo Cullen — a future quiz question beckons for a man named captain on his World Cup debut.

Momentum, though, leaves little room for respite, and you can’t help but feel that lads like Keith Earls, Cian Healy (the player not the van), Donnacha O’Callaghan and Jamie Heaslip will be feeling the effects come quarter-final weekend.

I suspect we will be feeling a little worse for wear ourselves when that day comes around, having trampled the length and breadth of these islands.  We’ve spent little over a week here and we’ve already driven down across half of it. We’ve been taken aback by each magnificent vista and the renowned South Island is still to come.

Oh, before I forget, we have a manure update: “HORSE POO $1 A BAG”. I don’t care if sheep shit is better; you just can’t beat an 80% saving like that.

Read the rest of Sean’s dispatches here>

Kidney dismisses ‘scandalous’ fake injury accusations

Leo takes the armband as Kidney rings changes for Russia clash

Expert view: Kidney should have played a completely new team

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS