Sunday, January 31, 2010

Australia Day

I joined the ranks of over 500,000 people that called in a 'sickie' earlier this week to take advantage of the Australia Day long weekend. Australia Day celebrates the colonisation of Australia, which first occurred in Sydney with the arrival of 11 ships full of convicts in 1788. The impression I've gotten so far is that Aussies are just now starting to embrace their convict past and it was a source of embarrassment for a long time.

It was my first national holiday in Australia, a great day filled with meat on the barbie, beer and the beach. With 4 days free, I went to Blueys Beach north of Sydney with a handful of friends. We rented a beach house with a gorgeous view and had a wonderful getaway.

So there are lots of beaches in the area we stayed and it was a nice change from the hordes of people you find on Sydney beaches like Bondi. But the true highlight -- diving with sharks! More to come but let me just note there was no cage, there were grey nurse sharks 6-9 feet long and I definitely was stared down by more than one shark.

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