The things I do to get the shot I want .... I’m sure any photographer or DP knows this and I sure do as I work in the film industry back home so I’m forced to wake up at disgusting o’clock on a regular basis but this is different because it’s for my passion and not to support my passion . Ok they go hand in hand but you catch my drift ! I dragged Kathleen out of bed around 4:30 am so we could catch a taxi to the Sydney harbour to find the perfect spot to get dressed and take these pics in the ultimate spot with the ultimate backdrop and at the same time getting there before all the other tourists wake up to inhabit this area that I’m positive does not have so much space to attempt this feat . Sunrise is 5:45 am so we get to the harbour around 5:15 am to find the spot and we get dropped off in an area with a fence blocking the view but we spot another area around the bend with no fence obstructing the view .... there is a photographer there already with his tripod set up . We did our best to not encroach in his area and we begin chatting with him and I mention as I’m getting dressed that he probably will never see a view like this , he agrees and once I’m dressed I get into position out of his shot and he grabs his tripod and moves it , looks at me and asks if he can take pics . I gladly oblige and this becomes an impromptu photo shoot with our new camera man and Kathleen taking pics from every angle . We soon find out that this mystery camera man is named Paul and he comes down to take pics every Tuesday and Friday before going into work and this is a hobby of his ... here is his Instagram profile ....https://instagram.com/billion.pixels?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=8zbdjhtjoh3d
When Paul leaves we stuck around and got more pics .... I’ve got a ton ! But the one above is the first one I posted online and it started to get a lot of attention online and I’m sure will get more as the years go by . Someone online asked me on my blog how do I choose these places to take these pics the other day .... well think about Australia and what’s the first monument you think of ? Like for Toronto , when you think about it you think of the CN Tower and yes I have pics in front of it 😝 that didn’t get so much attention as I’m guessing most people already know hockey is a big thing in Toronto and Canada where as Australia , Egypt , Portugal are not your hockey hotbeds and that is why I’d say those pics get more attention and trust me I’m planning to do some stupid shit in New Zealand over the next few weeks in my gear hahaha ! And if anyone is wondering about my pics in front of the Sydney Opera House and asking if I’m wearing skates .... yes I am ! And I’m sure I’m going to be asked if it was hot and again I will say , yes it was ! I sweat through my gear and when it got too hot I got my gear off and we hiked it to grab a taxi back to our hostel . it was beginning to get busy with a lot of joggers and early risers gawking at me in my gear which is always fun but I’m not hear to do any busking so the main event is over 😜time for the crazy guy in hockey equipment to take a shower and get on with his day .
After getting back to the hostel , having a coffee and a nice shower we decided to get back on the streets and walk to the Royal Botanic Garden to visit The Calyx to see their exhibit with carnivorous plants . Little do you know but I have a bit of a green thumb and back home I do have some Venus Flytraps that are my babies and at the moment I am hoping my neighbour John is taking good care of them .... I’m sure he is but while I’m here I’m super intrigued with seeing some other species . Our walk to the garden lead us through some underground tunnels as we are taking different turns every time we leave the hostel to see more of the city which I personally think is a great city . In this tunnel was a bunch of art and one of the murals is the pic I posted above and the whole tunnel was covered in murals and unfortunately stupid tags on all of them from half wits that have no idea what art is . I love graffiti but not the shitty stuff where people just scribble their names on walls or write notes to express their political ideas ... only to ruin the true art . Stick to scribbling on the backs of seats on buses if that’s your thing .
By the time we arrived at The Calyx I was drenched and of course I wore a grey shirt which looked darker then it actually was because of all the sweat that poured out of me ... yuck ! The plants there were pretty awesome and I had a great time needing out on plants that eat bugs and some small animals in some cases and thankfully there were some fans that I took full advantage of there but the best part of it all was that it was free . If you’re on a budget here definitely go visit the gardens and spend your time wandering around as the groundskeepers take great care of this part of the city . Now that I’ve saved some loot I think it’s ok to go drop $100 on lunch ? Kathleen mentioned there is an oyster bar near the Sydney Opera House called Sydney Cove Oyster Bar bar and after those gross oysters I had the other day I think it was only right that I give the local fare another shot but at a much better establishment . We got there just in time to get a seat as it seemed as though you needed a reservation to go to this place and we were seated and soon after the place was rammed ! The service here was world class and the oysters were scrumptious.... I gobbled a dozen and Kathleen who was still turned off from the day before opted for a salad and some fries with a glass of wine , I didn’t have any alcohol as I’m on the ice later on and don’t wanna be drunk or anything before my ice time and after we finished and paid our bill we decided to get a closer look at the opera house so we walked over and got up close and personal but didn’t go in as the only way to enter is for a paid tour or for an event . We weren’t interested in either and instead opted to start our hike back to our hostel and on the way back stopped off at Woolworth’s to grab some grub for our room ... after $100 lunch I had a $5 dinner consisting of some fantastic noodles and a slurped from 7-11 . Now here is the crazy thing about Sydney , a bottle of cola here at the cheapest is around $4 and a slurpee is $1 .... I know these aren’t healthy choices but I need a bit of a sugar kick here and there especially when everyone else is having other drinks and I’m trying to lay off the beer . Back to the hostel to chill ...
Justin Harrison once again to the rescue ! This guy has sorted my ice time and picked me up for both ice times and has dropped me off after both and is a really top notch dude but he’s rocking a bit of a nagging injury that he feels is partially due to the rocker on his knees in his pads being too high and he is pressing down on a muscle causing him some pain so he’s been off the ice for a while and currently is waiting ever so patiently for his new custom gear to get to him before he heads to Michigan for a goalie school he’s attending . The crappy thing with any custom gear is that we as goalies all know that they never show up on time for anything and his gear currently is past it’s due date and time is running out before he gets over to the USA and he really wants to give them a working in before going on his trip with his new much more comfortable gear .... any goalie out there that does any travel would know that we’ve all been there . Kinda feel for him as he is planning to go to some extremes to get his gear . This is the first time he’s on the ice with me at the other end of the rink and we are playing at the Ice Zoo with a group of dudes he knows that are all pretty good . Now the Ice Zoo is an interesting rink with no dressing rooms , no showers and the craziest part is ... you can tap the rafters with your twig if you reach upwards lol ! There is a garage beneath the rink and a bar in the rink with a pro shop downstairs so it’s a pretty neat facility but the rink is smaller with a much more enclosed area and the pipes don’t run outside of the ice surface which you can always tell because you would see ice outside the boards when this is the way the rink is built and at rinks where the pipes end inside the boards you will always see holes just before the boards where pucks sometimes can disappear and usually the ice is angles downwards at the boards . Once everyone arrives and we get dressed we watch the mini Zamboni clear the ice and we jump on .
I took a lap and bailed so hard 😄it’s always embarrassing but I’m gonna blame the ice lol ! Got stretched and warmed up with some shots and found some dark spots on the ice .... by dark spots I mean spots where guys were taking shots from where the puck was hard to track because it was dimly lit there . The lighting on the ice is not even across the rink and I can only assume that this is to keep it from melting . In these conditions I’m sure the rink management has to find every way to control the ice ... it’s probably not the easiest task but it’s always nice to see the effort put forth to have ice to play on in these countries south of the equator . Justin sure took his sweet ass time getting his white gear on .... yeah even his pants are white , told you I’d bust your balls about this buddy lol ! I got lucky and ended up on the team that at least played defence and our team lit up Justin but I could tell he wasn’t going down to his knees and I’m sure he is either still hurt or his pads are still hurting him even though he did some major surgery to them to adjust the way they handled his knees . For me at the other end I was doing quite well but the air was beginning to get thin and I felt almost claustrophobic out there on this smaller rink with the walls in close to the ice surface and the ceiling so damn low , there definitely is less air flow in there and I could actually even feel the fans blowing air from the ceilings unless that was just air flow but regardless I was dripping in sweat by the time I had to flip sides with Justin and play for the side that was clearly the weaker of the two . I think the score was around 14-3 at one side in my favour then around 5-5 when we switched ends but I’m sure I would have given up more goals if I had more time at that end so what I’m saying is don’t judge Justin by the score line .
I played well but a couple guys got the better of me on breakaways and I could’ve done better but didn’t .... all in all I would say I was happy with the way I played 🏒
After the ice time I met a couple people that actually read my blog and I want to thank Roxy Leu for taking some pics for us and it was great meeting you and the rest of the gang that hung around to have beers after the skate . I can clearly see that there is a strong camaraderie amongst you all here playing hockey and I hope to meet you all at another point in our lives hopefully on another ice rink as it’s almost time for me to move on . As I’ve said before it’s always hard telling people that I can’t guarantee that I will be back ☹️and it’s not that I don’t like it here and I don’t want to come back , it’s that there are so many other countries I am dying to visit and play hockey in that I can’t guarantee that I will be back and before I stop writing I want to also say it was nice meeting you also Ethan Roberts .... I know you tried really hard to score on me hahaha ! Maybe next time eh ?