Are we still in Sydney or not? Some say that we are but we feel that we’re a million miles from the hustle and bustle of Sydney city although we are only on the other side of the harbour. Obviously Sydney Harbour is absolutely enormous, but all we did was catch a ferry from Circular Quay in the heart of Sydney down the river to the lovely little town of Manly.
Waking up in a New Bed
One of the strangest things about our life now is that when we move on to a new location, not only do we have a new place to get to know but we also have a new host and a new home. It’s exciting and slightly nerve-wracking when we are on our way to an unknown place to live for a while. Now don’t get me wrong, every single one of our Airbnb hosts has been fabulous so far and some have become close friends but it’s still an odd feeling just before you meet the stranger that you’ll be living with.
It was no different this time as we climbed the stairs to a second floor apartment to meet Phil. Who knew if we’d like each other and get on? No worries there as Phil is a great guy that we both clicked with immediately, he’s an elite endurance mountain biker originally from England. Unfortunately he’s also an Arsenal fan but that’s the only real problem!
Manly is a cool surfing seaside town, very laid back with beaches and bars at every turn. Everyone appears to be on their way to the beach or on their back from the beach. We love it. So a couple of days lazing on the beach, Shelly Beach one day and North Steyne Beach another, plus the obligatory visit to a few bars such as the Bavarian Bier Cafe on the Wharf and the fabulous Yardarm Taphouse right on the beach. Some serious people watching went on there, Olympic standard people watching in fact!
Scenic Walkway to The Spit
We love a bit of a walk don’t we? You all know that, so the only serious walk around these parts is the Manly Scenic Walkway. It’s a two part walk, each bit 6 to 7 miles, that goes from the town around the coastline. We did one on Wednesday and the other today. I’m not going to run through every beach and lookout point but just have to tell you that they were both incredible. Tough going as lots of steps and brushland walkways and rocky paths, but the views from almost every place were just breathtaking.
On our way to The Spit through Sydney Harbour National Park we paddled in clear blue waters, sat and ate our lunch on overhanging rocks, passed hundreds of Australian Water Dragons, got shouted at by Kookaburras, posed for far too many cheesy photos, and in the end just ripped off our clothes and dived into the sea! Well Jo had a swimsuit, that’s all you need to know. One of the best days ever …………….ever.
Fairfax Lookout and Another Moment
Today was almost better as we crossed Manly and yomped our way up through North Head. Crazy hot today though so a fair amount of perspiring was going on but as we walked out to the edge of the Harbour National Park to Fairfax Lookout we were blown away. The view of the Pacific Ocean and the rocky coastline took our breath away.
I always go on about moments don’t I? Well we had another at Fairfax Lookout. We stood with a load of other people watching the ships and the wildlife when a school of dolphins swam round the the rocks far below. That was great and so good to see them actually free and in the ocean but it wasn’t ‘the moment’. About 15 minutes later we just happened to be the only people there. Still daydreaming and looking out on the ocean we both said how wonderful it would be if the dolphins came back just for us.
Well they did. Seconds later about 15 of them came jumping and playing and splashing around below us. For several minutes it was just us and them and they didn’t swim past, they stayed playing right below us. Crazy I know and obviously just pure luck but we like to think they came just for us and no-one else. We hardly took any photos as we both just stood with huge smiles on our faces enjoying the moment. Unbelievable.
We have 3 or 4 more days here in cool and trendy Manly before heading down to Bondi Beach for another 3 or 4 days next week. Then it’s off to Melbourne on Saturday for ‘All Our Yesterdays’ when Jo will be coming face to face with someone from her past.
14.10 – 18.10.2015