June 24 - I once again managed to cover a large chunk of Sydney (and walked my apparently usual 9-10 miles). My supervisor and his lady friend decided to take me on one of the beach walks this morning, from Bronte Beach to Bondi Beach right along the coast. As seems to be the norm around these parts, the walk was beautiful along the rocky coasts, and it was pretty much a summer day (actually I meant to compare today’s weather here, on the 3rd day of winter, to that in Rochester on the 3rd day of summer…). It had to be in the mid 60s, possibly hitting 70 at midday (I got sunburned sitting at a cafe because the sun was right in my face).
Interesting things (which are also photographed above): 1) Even though I remembered these from last time, I still find these pools that are just IN the bay to be totally bizarre. There was some sort of swim meet going on today, and it was just so weird to see people swimming laps in the bay with just a tiny wall blocking it out. 2) The avid viewer might notice a stand up paddler in the 2nd photo - there were a few of these guys, and A LOT of people trying to surf (although I didn’t see too many of them actually get on their boards, I don’t think the conditions were that great for it). There was also apparently a flock of whales (or whatever the appropriate term for a group of whales would be) just a little ways out from the beach (far enough to not really be a good spectator sport, but close enough that some woman was excitedly radioing in to her whale watching buddies). Supposedly the whales do come in pretty close to the bay this time of year as they make their way north (still always slightly surprising that in the southern hemisphere you go north to get to the warm places).
We decided to get some lunch at one of the cafes along Bronte Beach, which took us through the park of the great seagull offensive of 2008. This isn’t really that interesting a story, but Blair and I had picked up some fish and chips to eat in the park and were just completely surrounded by an enormous flock of seagulls (who, as previously mentioned, are not shy about trying to steal your food). Anyway, all I really remember is tossing a french fry (sorry, chip) and making a run for it. There were no casualties, but it’s fair to say the seagulls won - they got more of our lunches than they paid for.
After lunch I headed out on my own again to Centennial Park which is a little bit north of campus. “Little bit” might be understating it…with considerable meandering it took me close to 3 hours to make it from the north end of the park back down to the dorm. But it was a really nice park full of ponds as well as normal park stuff (i.e. ball fields, etc.). For the second weekend in a row some devoted Sydneyer (?) decided to profess his/her love via skywriting…there was something written after the “I love you” part, but it was impossible to discern (although my best guess is that it was NSFW, at some point I’ll get a second opinion). About half way through wandering I decided it was ice cream time, which was a good decision as always. A little girl next to me on the bench decided it was her personal duty to scare all of the eels in the pond away (yeah, there were enormous eels in the pond), so she grabbed a stick and started poking them. It was pretty effective.
I would also just like to take a moment to reflect on the wonder that is my navigation ability. At the start of this journey, I had no idea where Centennial Park was (I knew vaguely that it was north of campus). My supervisor showed me a map on his phone before dropping me off, and based on that alone I was able to find my way back without getting lost. This was made considerably more difficult by the fact that the park (or at least the major paths in the park) is a giant circle, and by the fact that there is a large horse racecourse in between the park and the university (which I had to go around). Perhaps more amazing than navigating itself is that I was able to remember the map for 3 hours…
Anyway that was it for today! I came back and was able to listen to yesterday’s Yankees game on delay on the radio - thankfully mlb has updated the radio interface so that it doesn’t show you the score of the game immediately (as many of you know, I hate sports on delay, and can’t watch/listen to baseball at all if I know the outcome). Yankees really need to start hitting with RISP, but I guess for today we’ll take the timely 3 run HR (which I guess was also a hit with RISP). Enjoy the rest of your weekend, since it isn’t over yet for most of you!