Surf's up!

Trip Start Jun 15, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, January 19, 2012

One of my birthday presents was a private surfing lesson for the two of us and today was the big day. Manly is full of surfers and is considered one of the best surfing beaches around so it seemed to us like a must-do given that we've been living in Manly!

For us there were a couple of reasons to be a little nervous. Firstly the Ocean swell over this week has been huge, so much so that yesterday they closed the beach to swimmers. Secondly, the shark alarm has been off 4 times in a week and there have been 2 shark attacks in Australia recently. This led to a bit of nerves before our lesson, but as soon as we got going we were far too busy being awesome surfer dudes to think about any of that.

Our surf instructor, Matt, couldn't have been more stereotypical of an Australian surf instructor. He was young, thin, tanned, had long died blonde hair, wore his cap backwards and called flip flops 'thongs’. I was just disappointed that he wasn't wearing Australian flag board shorts. 

He was a good teacher though, and because we had a private lesson we were the first of all the learners into the sea giving it a go. I am pleased to say that it went surprisingly well, both of us stood up quite a few times which way exceeded my expectations given my pathetic attempts at skateboarding in the past although it was seriously hard work. With such huge waves it meant that there was a seriously strong rip current which we were constantly battling against and an hour was enough time to be completely worn out
I think I'd have to concede that Katy was better at it than me, but my excuse is that she had one lesson years ago which she can't really remember.... definitely gave her the edge. What was even more pleasing is that Matt reckoned that was the hardest conditions to learn to surf in so we must just be naturals ;-)

Aside from working, laying on a beach and being incredible at surfing, we have been following Australia’s T20 (20 over cricket) ‘big bash’ league. Firstly we booked to see the Sydney Thunder play Perth at the ANZ arena which is where the Olympics were held in 2000. The Sydney team had Chris Gayle playing for them and the Perth team had Herschelle Gibbs and Paul Collingwood in their line-up (2 of my heroes growing up). Sadly the Sydney team were thrashed, Chris Gayle went out in the third over, Paul Collingwood didn’t bat and Herschelle Gibbs didn’t even play….. slightly disappointing but a good night none-the-less.

Undeterred we tried again the following week, this time seeing the Sydney Sixers play the same Perth team at the Sydney Cricket Ground. This time it was an awesome game where Sydney won by just 1 run in a very exciting run chase. (For anyone who doesn’t follow cricket, basically it was a good evening and we had a beer in the sun!)

Next stop for us is New Zealand in a Campervan.
Bring it on!!!
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