Thursday, March 8, 2012

Walkabout: Australia Day Two

The train! The train!
Southern California needs more efficient public transportation. Most other major metropolitan areas have great trains, subways, buses, rickshaws, not us! Sometimes I feel like Bob Hoskins in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"mocking Judge Doom and his "lame brain freeway idea." That stinking freeway has made everything in Socal so far apart that sometimes we just have to crash into each other to feel something. (I don't agree with this statement. I just stole it from the movie "Crash," which I liked but is widely criticized as one of the worst movies to ever win a Best Picture Oscar.) I digress. After eating a sausage roll for breakfast at the wonderfully titled Pie Face, I took the train and bus to the world famous Bondi Beach. By the way, the sauce packets in Australia are ingenius. They aren't squeeze packets, nor dipping containers, but a miraculous combination that allows you to squeeze and drizzle an appropriate amount of sauce onto your sustenance without getting your hands dirty. More brilliant than Guinness.


I've not heard of this ordinance.
The weather was consistently overcast, accompanied with a most unpleasant chilly breeze, which rendered the ocean too cold for swimming or snorkeling. My sister and I did the famous Bondi-Coogee beach walk. A gorgeous 3-4-mile walk along five of the region's finest beaches: Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly, and Coogee. I thought many of them resembled California beaches like Monterrey, Santa Monica, and Ocean Beach; even the architecture was similar. The water, however, was brighter and more colorful, both greener and bluer than Cali. 
That's my sister.
Bondi Beach. We both look like we're in high school.

The walk isn't what I'd call a gentle stroll. The coastal trail rises and falls like Mitt Romney's approval. (Oh snap, political reference! Edgy!) Several in-shape locals jogged the trail, and if I wasn't with my sister, in Reefs, or basically myself, I would've been interested in doing the same. There are enticing lap pools next to many of the beaches, as well as tide pools for wading. The lap pools provide a calmer swim than the ocean, and include some of the greatest views. Speaking of views, Sydney beaches are pretty much topless. So they've got that going for them. Which is nice.

The pool water was originally blue. Stupid pee-ers.
Gordon's Bay. There's an underwater nature trail here.

Bronte Beach

After finishing the walk, my sister and I killed some time in Coogee. For me, that involved tasting some genuine Aussie vegemite! A ordered a vegemite sandwich at a deli, but he said the kitchen was closed. I told him I'm a dumb American tourist and just want to try it, so his nice co-worker gave me me a spoonful of the sticky icky. It's an incredibly salty, gelatinous, brown paste. It's a taste I have not acquired.
You call that a spoon?
It was at least an hour before the restaurant we wanted to eat at opened, so my sister decided to get a Thai massage. As I sat in the waiting room at this place, back and feet aching, I decided to get one myself, with some foot reflexology, whatever that is. This was my first professional massage. My shoulders were a little sunburned, so when the 4'10 Thai lady started going to town, it was definitely more pain than pleasure. Early on, she adjusted my back ever-so slightly, and a firecracker-like sound popped off. She stopped briefly, probably thinking she paralyzed me, and in a state of bliss I told her that's all the norm for my jacked up spine. It's rather deceptive how strong these tiny Asian masseuses are. They look normal, then they touch you and it feels like a Hulk smash. 
Small biceps. Herculean hands.
One thing I couldn't help notice, when you're getting a massage, your face is in this hole cushioned by towels which covers your eyes but opens your mouth. As you lie there face down with your mouth open, you're predisposed to drooling! I swear, gravitationally, it's practically impossible not to drool in this position!! After the first fifteen minutes or so, I started slurping up whatever potential drool I might have out of paranoia. I didn't want this woman to find a giant puddle of saliva underneath the massage bed after we finished. I can't be the only one this has happened to. Hello? Anyone?? Bueller?
So much meat. That's what she said!! OHHHH!!!

The massage ended happily with a couple cups of delicious hot tea with sugar and milk. Then my sister and I headed to a Brazillian BBQ named Churrasco. It was all delicious, and reminded me of my jaunt to Brazil an entire year ago(!), and of course, I ate too much and felt like exploding. Despite being massively full off filet mignons, sirloins, chicken, and about 90 servings of grilled pineapple (it was the only thing remotely sweet to counter the barrage of saltiness), I ordered another Aussie beer, a Coopers Pale Ale upon recommendation from the bartender. It was a poor choice. I'm sure he had a laugh after I left.

Next up: abseiling and canyoning waterfalls. Here's a preview:

Olympic something in Hyde Park
This was a heck of an ab workout.

1 comment:

  1. can't wait for the next installment. It looks like you had a great time.