After a night of barely any sleep, and a full day at the cricket (and the prospect of a long day of driving the next day), what better way to end the evening than with a few beers? Even though Sophie and her friends were pretty knackered after sitting in the sun all day, they were keen to hit their local pub for a couple.
The Coogee Bay Hotel is just a short walk down the hill from Sophie’s place (and a middling to difficult stagger back up it, depending on how long you stay there). Sean and I walked back to our hotel from the cricket, showered up and, using Sophie’s excellent directions, found the pub with no problem.
And what a pub it is! Sophie’s fiancé, Rob (a Kiwi, but he’s actually a great guy) told us it might be the biggest pub in the southern hemisphere and I’m inclined to agree with him. No less than 5 separate areas to enjoy – the restaurant, the posh bar, the nightclub area, the sports bar and the huge outdoor beer garden (where we found ourselves). There’s also accommodation upstairs for those who like to be close to where they party (and the beach, of course).
The beer garden was busy when we arrived around 7:30pm, but Sophie, Rob and friends (Sophie, please help us out here: Yogi, Esther and ???) were already there and had snagged a table for us all. Being a Sunday, a quiet night was on the cards. But as usually happens when you set out to have a quiet one, the double jugs of beer started arriving and the funny comments and stories started flying back and forth.
Sophie and Rob have been in Australia for a couple of years now, seeing some of the country, and living in Sydney. Their time is up soon though and they’re planning on returning to sunny England to take over Sophie’s dad’s business. It will be great experience for their eventual dream, which is to start a motorcycle touring company in New Zealand.
After an hour or so, Sophie’s friends left to meet up with some other folks they had met while traveling and we were joined by an old Brisbane friend of mine who had since moved to Sydney. Shelley and I studied the same degree at university but she has done a much better job of applying what she learned than I have. She’s an accountant with the massive Macquarie Bank (although I’m sure she has a much fancier title).
As the jugs kept coming the conversations tended to diverge from the logical. I think I waxed lyrical for some time about the Coogee Bay Hotel’s toilets and how they had mini-plasma screens above the urinals, showing movie previews. I understand they have the same thing in the ladies’ (the plasma screens, not the urinals).
PS: Thanks to Sophie for emailing us the photos. Sean’s camera batteries had died that night.