A few weeks ago was the Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships 2014 in Sydney Australia. About 40 teams from Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia descended on Sydney to try and bid for spot in this year's world hardcourt bike polo championships in Montpellier, France.
For this three day tournament I played with my fellow Polo friends Will and Fran on the team Freewheel Burning. After a well-done first two days and after finishing sixth in the round Robin, we played hard on the third day but ended up finishing 17th.
There was some really great action going on at Tempe recreation reserve and at the end The Fist of Melbourne/Seattle ended up taking all the spoils, with the Alchemists(PER) finishing second, and The Sentinels(BRI) fininshing third.
It was a great weekend of partying and polo! Here is a photoset of team colours! :)
Here I am still in Sydney enjoying every moment of this beautiful city. A reuniting with old friends, making connections that will live long in memory, the first dip in the ocean since arriving, and assimilating in a city with some really great culture.
When I arrived a few weeks ago it was after a month of farm work in Victoria. That means a month of no polo and being away from my friends in Melbourne, so what better way to get to sydney than with a convoy of the Melbourne polo peeps!
(Photo courteous of Dante Kurth)
When I arrived for the purposes of the Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships, I was immidiatly reunited with my good friends Morag, Niki, Lachie, Jono, and Sean. All of whom I had pleasure to spend lots of time with in North America. The week that would follow was filled with lots of drinks, pubs, steak nights, and polo. (A post will follow a bit more in depth about the tournament)
I have been privileged to have all the time in the world while I have been here. So I have taken some opportunities to do the touristy things. Sean and I managed to get out for a ride around the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Royal Botanical Gardens, and out for a bit of Chinese food(I really like dumplings!!!)
My friend Adrian, who is still lingering in Sydney after the tourney, and I managed to get our shit together for a nice day out at Manly Beach on the north side of the harbour. Hot sunny weather, some bike rides, a swim in the ocean(well a dip... I just had a tattoo done, so no salt water for me), and a 6 pack of the local 4 Pines Kolsch made for a pretty memorable day.
The rest of my time has been spent assimilating into the hip culture that radiates from the Newtown, Erskinville, and Darlingoton suburbs. Here are a few great photos from these areas.
My time here is coming to an end but I think I have one more weekend and thankfully a couple more nights of polo!
My travels have brought me to this picturesque area in Victoria that is situated on the western side of the Australian Alps. The valley is about 60 Km long and is bound by mountain ridges to the north and the high mountain plateau of Mount Buffalo National Park to the south.
I arrived in the area via train from Melbourne to Wangaratta, and decided to bike the beautiful rail trail called the Murray to Mountains Trail that slowly climbs from Wangaratta to Bright. It is about 65km long and there are lots of stops at the old stations as well as water breaks. There is also a private bus service that can return you and your bike from Bright to Wangaratta(Bus-a-Bike). Don't forget to stop at the Bright Brewery for a great beer reward after finishing!
The Ovens Valley is a mostly farming and timber producing region due to its firtile valley floors and pine forested hills. The primary agriculture is livestock, grapes, walnuts, and hops. There was also a thriving tobacco industry in the area up until about five years ago when the government took steps to shut the industry down. It is quite obvious of this history when biking or driving through the area due to the number of old tobacco kilns that are still scattered across the countryside.
While working and living on the farm I managed to get up to a few things in the area while working long hours. One major activity I did besides drinking a few microbrews at Bright Brewery and biking around the valley, I managed to get up to Mount Buffalo National Park.
The park is a rather unique formation of sheer cliffs and remarkable granite tors atop a high plateau. The geological features that are observed today were once covered in lava. About 500 million years ago the lava was slowly eroded away exposing the sedimentary rocks that are now breath taking features of the park.
While we were in the park we did some hiking, some swimming in the lake, and we tried to find some geocaches which are things hidden and listed on the internet according to their coordinates. One of my friends on the farm did this for fun with a handheld GPS. We caught an interesting sunset to round off a memorable experience in one of the more beautiful places I have ever visited.
Despite working long hours on the farm and being rather tied down there I still managed to experience a bit of culture and environment around me. It was a memorable place that I hope to be back at next season.