Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Italy has continued to be absolutely amazing! After leaving Merano I headed to my friend Angela’s place in Oriago, near Venice. I was blown away with her families hospitality! I was very well looked after with Italian coffee, gelato, Wine, pasta and even fresh fish from the Mediteranian Ocean! Unfortunately Angela had an exam to sit, but luckily her brother Mattio was free so took me into Venice to explore. I have never seen anything like it in my life! Venice is just like you see on the movies, with water channels all through the city! Very Cool! I really enjoyed my time at Angela’s and got an awesome insight into the Italian Culture and lifestyle, was awesome. I now feel like I have parents in New Zealand, Czech Republic, Slovakia and now Italy!
Next up I drove to Milano to pick up Mike from the airport. Whilst I have been soaking up the Italian atmosphere over the last week he was in the USA for the Teva Mountain Games, he kicked ass and won loads of cash! Totally stoaked for him! We then carried on to one of my now favourite places in Europe, Ivrea. Ivrea is a small Village nestled in the Valley of some very beautiful mountains. The Rivers are awesome and big and the slalom course runs right through the centre of town! sweeet! Here in Ivrea and further up in the Mt’s Mike and I, along with several other Kiwi’s (Brad, Jarred, Sam and Josh) competed in the Outdoor Teva Mt Games. It was an awesome event that involved several races, incl. Head to head on the slalom course and some grade 5 Individual sprint racing with a 10m waterfall. The Slalom course here is one of the biggest ones I have ever paddled! There was a bit of carnage and entertainment! A Very worthwhile week! Especially for Mike who once again did really well and won over 1000Euro! Sam Sutton, Mike Dawson and Jared Meehan made up the New Zealand team and destroyed their teams races to take out 1st!Landing them with 1500Euro and the title of the World Champion team! They really dominated the others.
After 12hours of driving Mike, Dejan(Slovenian paddler) and I arrived in Spain! Today we went paddling here in La Seu D’ Urgell. This is to be the venue for the 2009 World Championships that are being held in September. Many teams have come from all over the World to train here this week. It is awesome as Mike and I have joined up with the New Zealand Junior team that are here and fellow Senior Paddlers Luuka and Aaron. We are staying in the coolest Italian Villa about 10mins drive from the course and city centre. It is out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by hills and paddocks! Really cool. I have finished 1st semester now and so will be focusing hard this week on my training! The Kiwi juniors have a website that is pretty sweet... http://www.kayaknz.blogspot.com/

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