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Dan Carter's OE: 'Vegas was pretty mad'

Published: 5:51AM Tuesday March 20, 2012 Source: Fairfax

Not for Dan Carter are the tattoos or pierced body parts that signal a completed holiday in faraway lands.

Travelling through Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, the Galapagos Islands and the United States with new wife Honor over the summer, Carter had every excuse to get inked-up in the South American backblocks or puncture his flesh with rings while hanging loose in Las Vegas.

Having listened to tales regaled by friends after their overseas experiences, this was Carter's first opportunity to finally match the exploits that - for better or worse - make travelling Kiwis a unique breed overseas.

For all the recognition, adulation and wealth bestowed upon him since turning professional Carter, 30, has never experienced the privilege of being a travelling nomad in foreign lands.

A third of his life has been dominated by the need to prepare, play and recover from high-intensity rugby matches.

So this trip, which was planned before the World Cup, was surely a chance for the All Blacks star to let rip.

What was the wildest thing he did? Well, nothing too hairy, he insists.

Yes, he flicked a few banknotes across the tables in Vegas but says he was more content to watch others run amok in Sin City.

"Three nights in Vegas was pretty mad," he recalled. "It is a crazy place."

He insists his epic trip through South America and the United States was a sedate journey compared with some of the antics witnessed in Vegas or regaled to him by friends who, enjoying their anonymity, can indulge in.

On the upside, Carter was not in the position of those backpackers forced to scrimp every dollar while dossing in bug-infested hostels; upmarket hotels, a pre-planned itinerary and not having to deal with shonky operators is one of the benefits of being a superstar sportsman.

But unlike a number of his All Blacks and Crusaders team-mates who return from their summer holidays sporting new designs on their torsos, he said he has never been seduced by the buzz from within a tattoo parlour.

"They [tattoos] are very fashionable at the moment, I will give them that. And some of them are very cool and have a lot of meaning but I'm thinking of doing a big 360 and it will be cool not to have them soon. I will wait for that to come around."