Trail Note
Happy Australia Day! As this marks the start of three straight days of social engagements, I thought I’d better get in some exercise before the beer starts flowing. Today I headed out on a long run through the city to see everything going on for the holiday. As I jogged down George Street, I was amused to see the number of people wearing Australian flag T-shirts increase as I got closer to Circular Quay. Everywhere along the harbour was just packed with tourists and residents alike. (Only at Circular Quay would people pay money to watch two Aboriginal guys covered in mud smoke pot.) I zig-zagged through the crowd and went past the Opera House, where a big screen is set up so everyone can watch the Australian Open live. I chugged around Farm Cove to the Botanic Gardens, smiling as families spread out picnic blankets and waited for the festivities to begin. I walked up the steep hill to Macquarie Street and found myself in the middle of the Hunter Valley Classic, which featured several blocks’ worth of classic cars and trucks. (Only one made me stop dead in my tracks – a classic red convertible Beetle. My dream car. And it was for sale! Only seven grand!) Soon I crossed over into Hyde Park and had a peek at the food stalls lining the grand tree-lined avenue. There were stages set up elsewhere and families were settling down for lunch. Next I cut over to Castlereagh and followed it down to Belmore Park, where tents were being erected for tonight’s Hawker Food Market (as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations). We definitely need to head back there. Then it was up to Central and back down Broadway to home. Total time: one hour and fifteen minutes. Whenever I do stuff like this, I’m reminded why I like living in the middle of a big city. I’m sure I’ll want peace and quiet some day, but for now, being able to leave my house and jog down to the Sydney Opera House – one of the most iconic buildings on arguably the prettiest harbour in the world – is just too, too good.

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