So today we finally got to go to the beach! We were up early to meet Michael, a vet student at the University of Adelaide, who had kindly offered to drive us to Middleton Beach, about an hour south of Adelaide. The drive was very picturesque, taking in vineyards and avocado farms. But the real pay off was getting down to the sapphire blue waters, lapping the perfect white sand. We had little time to take it all in, however, as we had serious matters to attend – surfing lessons!
We zipped ourselves into our fetching wetsuits, and lathered up with sun cream. Our instructors from the Sun & Surf School talked us through the fundamentals – what was the front of the board, what was the back of the board and how we should lie on it. Next we were talked through how to stand up on the water, which is the notoriously tricky part… But we didn’t hang around in the sand for too long, we were all keen to get out into the sea. The water was so refreshing, and considering it was 39 degrees today, a very welcome break from the baking sun.
To say that Owen was a surfing prodigy doesn’t really go far enough in expressing his God-given talent. Hawk-like he would spot the perfect 20-30 footer, then with the power of an Ox he would paddle. One, two, three, four. Left, right, left right. Finally, as if being lifted to the heavens by his own maker he rose to his feet. God looked down upon this gnarly ride and smiled. Ottilie was good too… The whole experience was rather exhausting though (just look how knackered we were), no wonder all surfers are so physically fit!
In the evening we headed back to the previously explored Adelaide Oval (read about our ‘behind the scenes’ tour here) to catch the final session of the Ryobi One Day Cup Final between the South Australian Redbacks and the Tasmanian Tigers. Lying on the grass under a setting sun, beer in hand… it was a great way to end the day – especially as it was free! We arrived just in time to see fallen Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, rock up at the crease for the Tassies, chasing a total of 285.
In the end it all boiled down to the last over with the Tassies looking good needing just 5 runs off 6 balls with Ponting in his 70s and his captain, George Bailey, having just made his century. Amazingly, Bailey was given out for lbw on appeal with four balls remaining. More incredibly, with 2 runs required off 3 balls, the Redbacks held out to win the game on the last ball, becoming Ryobi One Day Cup Final champions! Couldn’t believe how good my first game of cricket was!
We headed home across the river Torrens and stumbled across another crowd of 15,000 people congregated for Santos Symphony Under the Stars – a free performance by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
We caught their version of Star Wars before an awesome firework-led finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. An amazing end to a pretty sweet day.