11 January 2007

Team Sandpiper Update, 11 Jan 2007

Moored Woolich Marina (Dec-Apr), Sydney Harbor, New South Wales, Australia

Since the beginning of the New Year Tom and I have kept us busy exploring Sydney and the surrounding areas. The ferry and bus system make it easy for us to have a full day of exploring. For $31A we get a weeks pass that lets us on just about any bus and all ferries.
The 2nd of January found us in the town of Surry Hills. After a quick bite at a local pub we walked to the Gaelic Theatre. My friend Amy back in California pulled some strings and got us free tickets to the Matt Costa concert. Tom and I had an excellent time meeting everyone from a reviewer for the Sydney Morning Herald, Jeremy Donovan who has his own show in Sydney showcasing his didgeridoo expertise (www.didgeridooboy.com), groupies from Scotland and some local mates that were returning from a cricket game. Arriving home at 5am the next morning made for a most memorable night.
Next stop on our adventure was the town of Balmain. Balmain use to be a notoriously rough neighborhood of dockyard workers but now you’ll find an artsy area of restored homes with plenty of pubs and great shops. I found an all-natural spa and used my Christmas money for a relaxing facial. Tom found us a cheap Indian restaurant for dinner.
A few days later we explored the University area and the town of Newtown. A funky area of town where we felt like we were back in Berkeley. Our mission was to see the movie ‘Marie Antoinette’ and grab a bite to eat. We found a Thai restaurant called Thia-tanic and for $10A we had two plates of flavorful food, our new favorite in Sydney.
Tuesday we went into the CBD (central business district) with Emma, Phoebe and Drake off ‘Blue Sky’. We explored the ‘Police and Justice Museum’, walked across the Harbor bridge and ended the day with a glass of wine at the Opera House cafĂ©. From here you have a beautiful view of both the Opera House and Harbor Bridge.
Yesterday we met up with our friend Angela who lives in Sydney and was our tour guide for the afternoon. We met Angela in Tonga where she had flown in to help out as crew on a catamaran. She took us for our first look at the world famous Bondi Beach. The weather has finally gotten warmer and the beach was packed! However, once putting my toe in the water I quickly realized why so many people were on the beach and not in the water. The lifeguard station reported the water at a temperature of 17’c, way too cold for me. We opted for a nice walk around the cliffs from Bondi to Bronti.
This weekend we are heading up the river to Parramatta. An aboriginal word meaning 'where the eels lie down’, the first farm area of Sydney and home to Emma’s extended family. Here we’ll help celebrate Emma’s Birthday, swim in a nice warm pool and do a couple loads of laundry. Most of all I’m looking forward to just being in a house and not on the boat.
As for any future plans for ‘Team Sandpiper’ well, they are still in the works. There’s talk of coming back to the states in March, maybe a trip to Tasmania, a military flight to Europe or perhaps a hop over to New Zealand.
Stay tuned for more exciting adventures from ‘Team Sandpiper’
Amy and Tom

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