03.02.2016 30 °C
So for the past two days it has been hot, sunny and glorious so I have had the days on the beach.
Yesterday was a trip to the beautiful Manly. This area is on the other side of Sydney, across the water and the best way to get there is via the ferry, regularly run by the Transport for Sydney people (the same ones that run the excellent trains and buses) and I got on the 10am ferry for the 30 minute trip over to Manly.
After a very smooth crossing with gorgeous views I arrived in Manly and it was a short walk down to the long sweeping beach with clear blue waters. There were signs warning of the currents and also that there had been a shark sighting earlier in the morning! Despite this I went for a swim in the surprisingly cold sea and I am still here to tell you all about it. I stayed on the main beach until lunchtime but after a sandwich I moved around the corner to Shelly Beach, stopping on the way at a couple of coves for snorkeling. This part of the beach is an aquatic reserve and I was able to see all manner of sea critters, in particular I got to see a large eastern blue grouper and several other smaller groupers. On the walk round to Shelley Beach there were a couple of water dragons to see as well.
There I stayed for the rest of the afternoon until the heat got a bit too much and I went for a short walk to Little Manly Point. This is where an old gas works was but this has now all been demolished and a nice park is now in its place, before getting dinner of king prawns cooked in garlic then the ferry back to Circular Quay where I was able to get some nice photos of the Harbour Bridge at sunset.
Today the sun was out in full force again and I was off to the very famous Bondi Beach and also to complete the walk from Bondi to Coogee. A short train ride to Bondi Junction and a bus down to the beautiful beach, this one being larger than the one at Manly but with the same stunning blue water and warning signs of currents. As I wanted to get started on the walk to Coogee I only paddled in the sea then started my walk along the coast path.
The walk took me along some really stunning views, both of the sea and rock formations, together with those ever present brightly coloured flowers. At places I was able to clamber down the rocks to go rock pooling where I was able to find crabs, fish, starfish, oysters and sea anemones, all in minature! I stopped for a swim at the gorgeous Tamarama beach and was able to first hand witness the huge waves that the surfers make use of and also the strength of the current, as it pulls back against my legs. Once rested, I carried on along the path past Waverley Cemetry, Clovelly and Gordons Bay.
By this point I was really beginning to notice the heat and that I was getting quite hungry! Keeping hydrated is not a problem around Sydney as there are water fountains everywhere but I gave myself the goal of getting to Coogee before getting something to eat. Although I passed a couple of other beaches I didn't stop, but I was able to see one thing that I hoped I wouldn't, large spiders!!!! There were a number of them but they were all at a distance and happy on their webs so no threat!
I reached Coogee and went in search of lunch. I decided on a restaurant on the seafront and opted for a Souvlaki Special, described on the menu as three pieces of skewered chicken, chips, pitta, salad and some dips. So I was expecting three small pieces of chicken on a skewer, a few chips, a couple of lettuce leaves, slice of pitta and dips. What I got was a huge mound of food, 3 seperate skewers, a large greek salad complete with olives and feta, more chips than I could eat and a full pitta bread sliced up. It was utterly delicious and the best meal I have had so far on my travels. Needless to say I have not needed to eat for the rest of the day!
My evening finished with a quick trip into Circular Quay after dark to see both the Harbour Bridge and Opera House all lit up, together with a cocktail from the outside opera bar. Tomorrow the weather is due to get a little cooler so I am off to the Blue Mountains, which requires an early start for the 2 hour train trip but I am looking forward to seeing a different side to this area of Oz.