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  SHRIMPS TOUR DIARIES
Five test matches, several hundred Shrimpers, and literally millions of beers. That adds up to one hell of a tour, and this part of the site is intended to capture all the best bits. This page is home to the Shrimps Tour Diaries. The plan is for it to become an amusing, alternative view of the Ashes tour - with stories, opinions and piss-taking from many contributors (English or Aussie!)



TOUR DIARIES - PART ONE

See below for tour diaries from Melbourne onwards, or read the past diaries
from Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.




THE BEST CITY ON EARTH?
Posted by Scrooge
Tuesday, 9th January 15:00


Whoever arranged the Ashes schedule clearly had us tourists in mind, as they're made sure we saved the best to last as the tour reached Sydney. All of us have been really impressed by the city, to the extent that 10 days really isn't enough and nobody wants to leave! The Sydney leg has been quite a mixture, and has included...

The mandatory sightseeing - the surreal moment of walking round 2 of the world's most famous landmarks, with the amazing city skyline in the background.

Beach cricket & sunbathing - Sydney is blessed with a number of nice beaches - and although they are more crowded than elsewhere in the country, we found space on Manly to set up a wicket and have an excellent session of beach cricket. Our performance in the Ashes was matched by our performance on the beach, where a random Aussie asked to have a bowl, and took out Potter's middle stump with his first delivery!

A helicopter trip - Without doubt the best way to see Sydney, we flew out over the city and over all of the beaches. The best bit was that they recorded the entire trip on 5 different cameras, and burned it onto DVD for us to take away... complete with our own commentary as we all had microphones on the trip!

Drinking (obviously!) - Potter's birthday was celebrated in some style, as we explored some of the many bars in and around Darling Harbour, had cocktails on the 35th floor of one of the hotels, and ended up in a nightclub across the city.

The tour finishes tonight with the twenty20 international game at the SCG, then it's the long flight home tomorrow. A further picture special coming soon to tour diaries!




HAPPY NEW YEAR - SYDNEY STYLE
Posted by Scrooge
Saturday, 6th January 17:00


It's taken a while to post a tour diary about new year's eve... not because of a 5 day hangover (honest) but because there's so much to see in Sydney we haven't had a spare minute. Fortunately the cricket finished early again - England have been so bad we're quite grateful to Australia for the quick death, giving us more time to do the sightseeing!

We flew into Sydney on New Year's Eve, and by the time we had checked in we suddenly realised it was early afternoon and we had absolutely no idea what we were doing in the evening. More by luck than judgement, we ended up timing it perfectly and having a great night. We got to the harbour at about 4 o'clock, just as the crowds were starting to gather. Without tickets to any of the pubs, our only option was to bag a spot on the grass and wait for the midnight show.

With 8 hours to kill, we thought we'd better get some drink in to make the afternoon more interesting. In true paranoid aussie fashion, they restricted what you could buy to 4 cans of beer per person - to try and stop people getting too smashed I guess. However, Aussie logic is usually flawed somewhere (they're not the brightest of people) and sure enough we soon found out that the wine limit was 2 bottles per person. So, with two bottles each in hand, we found a spot high up on the grass and drank, chatted and sang for 8 hours until the spectacular fireworks show began at midnight. The pictures you see on TV and in the papers don't really do it justice, it was an awesome setting and a superb show.

So, a pretty good start to 2007, and a new year's eve that probably can't be repeated anywhere else in the world.




LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW
Posted by Scrooge
Saturday, 30th December 09:30


"The coldest Christmas on record" wasn't exactly what we had in mind when we planned to spend the festive season in Australia, but that's what we got as Melbourne weather proved itself to be even less reliable than England's. Despite the temperature hitting 36 degrees on our first day in the city, Christmas day itself didn't get above 15 degrees. That, plus the biting wind and showers meant the barby and beach cricket had to be postponed. Would you believe that some parts of Melbourne even had their first snow in years, but unfortunately that didn't include St Kilda where we were camped, so we missed out on the 'White Christmas'. (By the way, if you think this is a wind-up, see theage.com for proof!)

Undeterred by the weather, the Shrimpers still gathered on the beach in true English style. You can't come all the way to Australia for Christmas and not head out to the beach, so we braved it out for a couple of hours over lunch-time. We then went back to true English tradition, and spent the afternoon in a warm pub drinking beer. The strangest Christmas Day we've all ever had was then completed by drinking random cocktails in a bar back in the city, and then a late night Chinese meal - China Town was the only part of the city that had open restaurants!!




GREAT OCEAN ROAD - PICTURE SPECIAL

Posted by Scrooge
Thursday, 21st December 23:00


1) Rod Hull, Bob, OTPT, Scrooge, Aggro and Potter - with the Great Ocean Road in the background.


2) Our first wild koala! Much more Australian than the hundreds we've seen in zoos and wildlife parks...


3) The Twelve Apostles, a set of rocks just off the coast


4) Mandatory sunset photo!


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