Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Australian Open

Melbourne Australia (Jan 2007)- We're back from two days of the Australian Open in excruciatingly hot Melbourne! It was an incredible two days... watching "the tennis" (that's what we Aussies call it!) on tv is nothing compared to being there in person. The comraderie, proud countrymen, funky outfits supporting different countries, ... fights breaking out amongst the Croatians and the Serbians?!?! Totally uncalled for... Otherwise, it was such a great atmosphere and we only wish we could have stayed longer.

Some notable matches we saw were:
Andy Roddick vs Joe Tsonga (an absolutely incredible match between two great players)
Ivan Ljubicic vs Mardy Fish (we can't believe Mardy won! Ivan put up a decent fight)
David Nalbandian vs Janko Tipsarevic (this was the longest match I have ever seen- over three hours and finally Tipsarevic retired-- looked like he was about to collapse of heat stroke!)
Nicole Vaidisova vs Jill Craybas (no match for Nicole...)
and a bunch of other great matches. We could have seen a lot of the other seeded players if not for the hot weather. They were all cancelled as it was around 40 degrees C and they were all outside in the sun. By the time the matches were played, we were making way to the airport... oh well.

American Express-- thanks for hosting the open and giving us lots of free
paraphernalia! We'll be back next year, that's for sure...

Monday, January 1, 2007

Tasmania - Overland Track Hike

Tasmania, Australia (Dec 2006). Seven days, six nights and 65 km later, Rachel and I defeated The Overland Track in the Tasmanian Cradle Mountain World Heritage Area.

It was an unforgettable physical - you don't know what pain is until you walked with blisters like Rach had - and mental challenge - are we there yet? -, but most of all, an adventure that did not spare with life-long impressions: Hiking through snow on Christmas day, dragging all you need to survive in the wilderness (25 kg each) over mountains, making friends in the various huts along the trail (also with people that snore and smell!), focusing just on life essentials (there is really not that much in life that you need to be happy, and most of it is free), and working together as a team.

After being back in the civilized world we treated ourselves at the Tasmanian Food and Wine Festival in Hobart, a.k.a. "The Taste" (they had real German sausages!), visited the former penal colony of Port Arthur and relaxed at Wine Glass Bay. All in all good times, we'll be back Tassie.