SXSW 2007

This is my travel blog. It started as a way for people to keep up with my trip to Australia to watch the 2006/7 Ashes series, and continued with my trip to SXSW 2007 in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas in March '07.

Monday, January 01, 2007

There are 3 ways to get the best views of the NYE celebrations in Sydney Harbour - Firstly queue for hours to get the best spots around the harbour. You can count on at least an 8 hour wait, probably 10-12. Secondly own your own boat. Then you can sit in it in the harbour and enjoy the show at your leisure. A bit of an expensive option. Or you can take the third way as we did and book onto a cruise boat that takes you around the harbour all night and gives you great views of the city and the fireworks. It's not cheap but in terms of bang for your buck it's worth every penny. We were booked on to one of the paddle steamer type boats, and were on an all in ticket. All food and alcohol included. I think Moz and Tutes took this as a challenge. As I write its about 12:30pm here and Moz is still in bed. I suspect he maybe there for a while yet. I have a great picture of him sprawled on a bench in the metro on the way home. I'll try to upload if I can. As for Tutes, well I left him at Jason and Fizza's hotel in Darling Harbour. They were drinking champagne as a celebration of Jason getting engaged to his girlfriend earlier in the evening, also on one of the party boats. Tutes had to get back to Kings Cross where his hotel was so I hope he made it.
Our evening started when we met Tutes in the metro as we were heading towards the quay to find our boat. Only he was heading in the opposite direction.
"Where are you off to Tutes?" "Oh I've forgotten the booking sheet. I've got to go and get it" "You won't need that, come with us. You won't make it in time" "Yes I will. Don't worry, I'll be back."
So off we go to the quay, find the boat, find out we don't need any booking number. Ring Tutes "Come back Tutes you don't need it" Eventually he makes it back about 15 minutes before the boat was due to set off. Under questioning admits would not have made it back in time if we hadn't rung when we had. Not the best way to have spent NYE - on your own, knowing you should be out on the harbour having a ball.
Anyway, everything went very well after that. The food was excellent - I had expected nothing too fancy but we had a 4 course meal, served in stages over the evening. The alcohol, well that flowed freely as you might expect. One strange thing that occurred was as our boat left Darling harbour, we were standing up front outside. A catamaran passed us and as I looked down on it I saw a bloke standing at the front of it that looked just like Monty Panesar. "Oy Moz that looks like Monty Panesar" "Yes it is. OY MONTY MONTY PANESAR" yelled at top volume. I've never been so embarrassed in my entire life, the situation not improved by the fact that it was actually Monty, together with the rest of the team. Well I assume so, as we saw Freddie, Jimmy Anderson and Geraint Jones as well. Amazingly Monty gave us a wave anyway. Perhaps if they got a pissed as Moz and Tutes did last night they might play a bit better!
The fireworks were superb, with 2 shows, one at 9pm and the other at midnight. The theme was A Diamond night in Emerald City. So called because the bridge is celebrating its diamond (75th) birthday in 2007, and Sydney is also known as the Emerald City. So lots of green and white fireworks, all the boats decorated with diamond and emerald shapes. All in all a great show.
Back to more mundane matters the news has just announced that Justin Langer is retiring as well after the SCG test. So that makes 3 retirees after this series. Just Hayden and Gilchrist to go.


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