Today we left the beautiful Bay of Islands and headed south once more. Swapping a night in the Bay of Islands for a night in Auckland meant our plan to spend time at the 143 Highland Games in Waipu (about halfway to Auckland) was easily effected. In short, it was a super day. Hoots toots magroots it had everything... tartan stalls, clan tents, highland dancing, fiddle playing, stone tossing and of course, the biggest toss of all... the caber throw. I am sure it's a little known fact that in 2009 a Kiwi from Waipu beat the Scots on home turf and became the Highland Games Heavyweight Champion of the World. He was the only one today to successfully toss a caber ~ 60 lb 18' length of wood after none of the 2014 contestants could get the pole of end over end. He shrugged off the judge's mantle and showed the adoring crowd in the stands and around the oval how it was done.
Don't get me wrong, to even pick up that caber is a feat that demands respect, let alone even get it to stand on its end... let alone get it to end over end.
So many came so close. The crowd cheered and clapped each time the men in the heavyweight division had a crack...
The lassies were dancing in all kinds of age divisions. There was a mass dance with the mass pipe and drums band but the crowd was 12 deep and getting a snap was nigh impossible. Yep, there were loads of folk there enjoying the day. Of course, not all the lassies were dancing. Some were doing that thing with the stone. Yep, stone and wood played a big part in the games. Items easily available in the Scottish Highlands. (Btw, it's a 16lb stone she is about to heft... some distance I might add.) Her post throw comment to the team was all about the possibility of receiving the large bottle of single malt whiskey on offer as the prize for the winning team.
But getting back to the dancers, one can only admire the ankle strength of the young lassies who lithely bounce up and down nimbly flicking their feet in front and behind the other leg.
So, the eternal question as to what does a Scotsman wear under his kilt... is not really answered here. More what does a Scottish Highland Games Heavyweight Division Scotsman wear under the tartan...