Since the last blog update, quite a lot has happened. Nidge has arrived unscathed and we’ve been to 2 live games. We went to the Germany v Australia game and the New Zealand v Slovakia game.
The Germany v Australia match was in Durban and we had category 1 tickets in the Australia end. As we went with my Australian fan mate, Ray, we dressed up in Aussie garb and went the whole hog. The only problem was that the Australian team failed to turn up as they got hammered 4-0. The atmosphere was great and the Vuvazelas were blowing. The Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban in amazing.
I got some good pictures at the match and this is Lucas Podolski scoring the first German goal.
The next day we picked the hire car up and drove the 760km to Rustenburg. One of the highlights of that trip was the Sat Nav saying “In 503km stay right”. You’d be past the Isle of Wight if you did that from Huddersfield! We saw some intesting scenery along the way going up a pass 1,100m above sea level – it felt like we were driving up hills all the 7 hours we were driving.
There’s nothing in Rustenburg and at our lodge it was absolutely freezing. We were in a 2 bed chalet (made from MDF we think!) and it was about 2°c. I ended up sleeping in my jumper the second night it was that cold. We went to see the New Zealand v Slovakia game at Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg. The stadium is not great and the wind was whipping around and was made it feel baltic. We bought a hat before the game and it was probably the best money we ever spent.
The match wasn’t the greatest game ever – New Zealand were well organised at the back, and had a decent attack, but their midfield was non-existent which let the Slovakians attack more than they should have been able to. Once Slovakia went 1-0 up, we expected it to end that way. However, 2 minutes into injury time Winston Reid rose into the air and placed a header into the far corner to make it 1-1 and give New Zealand their first ever point in the World Cup Finals – a point they duly deserved I think. The kiwis went nuts and the Slovakians deflated.
That night we went to the Rustenburg Fan Fest to watch the Brazil v North Korea game. I think it was around 5°c and probably less with the wind-chill. After a boring first half with no goals, one in which the locals disappeared because it was “too damn cold”, we decided to go back to the lodge. We decided to go back to chalet and stay warm in bed rather than watch the second half in which it finished 2-1 to Brazil.
The next day we went to Sun City which is quite a disappointment. There’s not a great deal to do, the casino is akin to something you’d find in Blackpool and is nowhere near as good as SkyCity in Auckland, so we got bored quite quickly. There are 2 quality golf courses where a round will cost NZ$140/£70 so I wish I’d booked in for a round. However, whilst we were in the clubhouse at one of the courses, this bus arrived:
We saw Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick, Stephen Warnock, Matthew Upson, Glen Johnson, Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch, Joe Hart, Gareth Barry, Michael Dawson and James Milner. We got ourselves some pictures with some of them and here’s me with Gareth Barry.
Instead of driving back to our freezing chalet, we decided to have a few more beers and stay at Sun City. We watched South Africa get beat by Uruguay in a theatre in Sun City, filled with 4,000 fans blowing their Vuvuzelas and it was a great atmosphere until Forlan blasted one in from 30 yards (albeit with a bit of a deflection).
Today we’ve driven to Pretoria and we are staying in Centurion, right next to the cricket ground.
Until next time…