Beaches, Bush and Beer

Another brilliant day in Oz. They just keep coming. We’re absolutely loving it here and there is just so little time to do it all.

Big tick on our list today though, doing the Spit Bridge to Manly walk. Got a lift from the guys to Spit Bridge in the morning. They went of canoeing whilst we had a coffee and a bacon butty first, then started our walk at 11am by walking across the bridge and then all along the North shore of the ever widening Parramatta River.

It was a 10k walk under trees through a number of nature reserves and past quite a few beaches. Some were bigger, some smaller. Countless boats from very small ones to big super yachts gently rocking in the crystal clear turquoise water.

Up and down the path went through changing bushland sometimes more cultivated with the most expensive (we’re talking millions here) modern architecture houses lining the steep rocky shore, at other times the well built path led through less thick but more wild and diverse fauna with the sun relentlessly sending its hot rays down onto us.

We saw a medium sized lizard at one point but otherwise no animals other than hearing a few unfamiliar birds. But we found more small flowers and some interesting trees on the way. I was like a child in a sweet shop, I think Rich suffered a bit from the heat towards the end of the walk.

Wild Life
At times thick bush around us.
Dobroyd Head
My favourite part of the walk

After like two hours or so we made it into Manly, a peninsula right at the mouth of the Parramatta. It took another half an hour to reach the harbour for 2:30pm and whilst the path had been fairly busy at times, we now entered the fully blown tourist craze.

Manly. Finally.
Near Forty Baskets Beach.
Aussies have public BBQs. Gas powered anyone can use them.
Serious house envy going on

Quick check for ferry times, then an iced coffee with ice cream for me and a coke for Rich at the first café we could find. Rich then went for a quick swim at the main beach which was packed whilst I roamed the pedestrian “high street” just window shopping.

Manly “High Street”
Manly Beach.

Picked up Rich at three just as the lifeguards announced it was too dangerous to go in now other than at the very end due to a fairly strong rip and several rescues they had already done. And the sea looked nothing like it. I was quite surprised how quickly conditions can change and probably catch out some overseas holiday makers who are not used to this. I think something as sudden as this is unheard of around the Mediterranean Sea.

Caught the 15:30 ferry… Gosh where had the day gone. Despite all those people I would’ve loved to stay longer and explore.

Ferries are good for sightseeing

Took us 20 mins from Circular Quay to walk to the Holiday Inn in Woolloomooloo where we were supposed to pick up our hire car from Enterprise. Really very different suburb again. Lots of old style houses, rather quiet, reminded us a little bit of West End in Brisbane. Rather nice.

Very different feel to this neighbourhood

Got a free upgrade on the car (score!) but left it in the car park for now to go for drinks and food. One of our hosts had recommended The Old Fitzroy Hotel and sure enough it was a very quirky old school British pub boozer full of locals, full of character and with a very decent selection of craft beers on tap. Get in!

The Old Fitzroy

I only had half a pint of a light plum sour since I was driving our almost executive class car later, Rich helped himself to a couple of schooners of lovely fresh ales.

Half past 6 now we headed down the road towards the waterfront to Harry’s Café de Wheels a famous spot for take away pies and hot dogs. The outside of the stall was lined with photos of famous people having some grub at the joint. It was pretty busy but we got our Tiger Pies and a spot to munch them around the side.

Famous people on the wall, not so famous people on the stall

We were starving, pies were good. Tick. Picked up the car and carefully steered it home. Unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar country. Better be careful. Rich did a stellar job as navigator and the empty four lane roads made things certainly easier.

The famous Tiger Pie
Last time we got a Go Kart, this time a proper car indeed!

Just chilled at the house after another brilliant day. Really enjoyed the walk in pristine weather and with such awesome views. Yet more to come over the next week and a bit. Looking forward to it.

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