Monday, 26 February 2007


When planning this trip initially the one important date I had to plan around was this one, Feb 21st, the day Raymund (with a u) was giving up his life of drunken debauchery in exchange for wedded bliss with Amanda. The venue for the big day was a small village on the edge of a lovely vineyard outside Aukland. I arrived very early on the 19th, having left South America on the 17th. As for the 18th, well it kind of got wiped off the records by the international date line. Jet lag wasnt too bad going this way (even though it was 8 hours difference), so spent a lovely day with Ray and Amanda and some of the wedding party which included climbing a little volcano (i got to climb one!). To add a little challenge I agreed to push up the buggy containing Frank's daughter Ciara which was harder then it sounds on that gradient. All Frank's kids were great posers and I spent some time practising my portrait skills.
Nerves were definitely starting for the happy couple to be, but they were both keeping them under wraps well enough. Next day saw most of the others arrive, and we spent the day getting suits and stuff together, and later having a few final drinks in the aptly named O'Hagens bar.
The day itself was lovely, and the setting ideal. There were just enough clouds to keep the sun from burning too much, and both Ray and Amanda looked chuffed and pretty relaxed, and Iain's performance for best man speech was top notch - thanks for all who contributed ideas, I'm only sorry we couldnt use all of them...

Later on we even managed to get Ray on the floor (he's famous for his lack of dancing, but the sounds of Disband's hey baby got him out). All in all it was a really great night, and one of the most laid back weddings I've been too.
Ray even stayed pretty sober, until the shots tempted him...

Next day we were bussed back to Auckland. I hadnt really got any concrete plans for New Zealand travelling, and as Damien, Coley, Julie, Sue and Carl were hiring a 6 berth camper van for the next few weeks I was able to invite myself along for the trip, much to their dismay. It should be top notch.

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