14 August 2008


For my birthday every year, I try to do 3 things:
  1. Play all day. Birthdays should always be holidays, fun instead of work.
  2. Surf. Because it's one of my favorite things, and a bad day surfing is better than a good day at work.
  3. Travel. Preferably someplace exotic, tropical, and with a nice beach, of course.
So this year, S and I will be spending the first two weeks of November in (drum roll, please)... Australia! We're flying from San Francisco to Sydney, a painfully long nonstop flight which will require some heavy sedatives. (14 hours in a tin can - OMG!) Since we cross the International Date Line, we'll skip over an entire day on the way there, but we get to repeat a day on the return trip - in fact we arrive home in the morning before we leave Sydney in the afternoon of the same day. Weird.

Noosa Heads long ago, before the crowds.

After four days exploring near Sydney, we'll fly to Cairns for a weekend to see the Great Barrier Reef. Then to Brisbane, where on my birthday (waves willing), I'll be surfing somewhere on the famed Gold or Sunshine Coasts. Maybe at Surfers Paradise or Noosa Heads or Maroochydore or Currumbin or Kirra or Snapper Rocks (gotta love the names). The last few days we'll be around Adelaide and I'll surf or at least touch the Indian Ocean for the first time.


A lot of Australians surf - 2 million out of a population of 20 million (the whole continent has 7 million people fewer than Tokyo) - and I've been warned that the weekend lineups near Sydney are as crowded as eastside Santa Cruz on a sunny summer Saturday. But on the bright side, that gives the great whites more choices on their floating buffet - and it will be a real test of the Shark Camo! But Whitey's not the only danger on the island. Deadly jellyfish make an appearance off of northern Queensland in the spring. (November is spring. It's a little hard to wrap my head around that.) And one of the main reasons few people surf the tropical northern regions is the presence of aggressive saltwater crocodiles, scary. Not to mention all the poisonous snakes (watch where you pee, guys). But it's a big country, and we're sticking to the east and south coasts, so hopefully I only have to worry about Whitey, same as here.

Australia seems a vast, less tamed, extraordinary place. I've always wanted to visit and am excited to go. Kangaroos, penguins, the biggest reef in the world. Plus those fabulous accents; I could listen to Australians talk all day. I can't wait!

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