The Iowa Hawkeyes Men's Basketball team is touring Australia this summer, and senior center Jared Reiner was kind enough to take some time out of his trip to document some of the cultural, social and other aspects of his journey. Here is the latest installment of Jared Reiner's Aussie Diary
Our journey from Iowa City to Aydney, Australia was only 31 hours and included a 15 hour flight from Los Angeles and a run-in with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Tuesday, Aug. 12
We arrived in Sydney at 6 a.m. local time and went straight to motel and had breakfast. Our group included Robert and Elizabeth Allsop, who are close friends with the Iowa program, 10 players, three managers, five coaches, tour guides Erik Evans and Steven Sundin, and the backbone of Iowa basketball, John Streif.
After lunch at the Hard Rock Café we checked in to our hotel and then took a ferry to Manly Beach. Almost everyone went to bed early since we lost August 11 due to travel.
Wednesday, Aug. 13
We toured the famous Sydney Opera House and took a ferry to the Sydney Zoo before heading off to practice at the Angelican Grammar School. After a short practice we went on the Captain Look dinner cruise that went all throughout the Sydney Harbor. We have found the Australian people to be extremely friendly and that Australia is extremely Americanized. The weirdest part about Australia is the fact that they drove on the wrong side of the road and there are hardly and SUV's on the road.
Thursday, Aug. 14
We woke up and some people in our party toured Sydney on Harley Davidson motorcycles. We then toured and climbed the Sydney Harbor bridge. The entire climb took over three hours, but was well worth it. There were only a few people that actually "admitted" they were scared, but since we were all chained to a bungy cord cable thing, and hundreds of meters about the ground, we were all scared.
We played our first game tonight and won in overtime against the Sydney Kings, 100-99. The game that we played in had dim lights, a dark wooden floor and seating for about 500 roudy fans. We started off fast, but with early foul trouble and jitters, they led most of the contest.
Saturday, Aug. 16
We traveled to Brisbane, which was about a two hour flight. It was raining, so some of the guys tried their luck at the casino instead of going to the rugby game. Strength Coach Bill Maxwell knows the strength coach of the Brisbane Broncos (rugby team) and was able to get some tickets.
Sunday, Aug. 17
We played the Brisbane bullets in their new practice facility in the afternoon and had the rest of the day to ourselves. Some people used the free time to walk the mall next to the hotel, and the rest of the players went back to try to resolve some issues from the casino from the previous day.
Monday, Aug. 18
Today we took a bus (about an hour ride) to try our hand at surfing. Almost all of the guys rented surf boards and wet suits, and gave it a try. It is harder than it looks and some people were definitely having some major problems. Later that night we played the Brisbane Capitals and beat then pretty handily.
Tuesday, Aug. 19
Today we were back on the airplane, traveling to Caines. We had the whole afternoon to ourselves, so most of us just hung around the hotel, which had a huge pool with a water fall. After a relaxing afternoon, we dined at Barnacle bills Seafood. Some of the guys tried crocodile and kangaroo meat, which received mixed emotions.