Hot, Hotter, Roasting, Freezing

Monday

The last two days felt a little bit like the build up to a grand finale. For one the temperatures were ever rising from balmy 30C to low 30s to a scorcher on Tuesday with something around 40C! Depending on the gauge or app or whatever you looked at, the highest we saw was 42C.

But it was also a sort of build up to the end of our trip. New Year’s Eve on Tuesday and then a couple of days in the Blue Mountains almost as an epilogue to our holiday before it was time to travel back home.

Monday we decided to do the Rose Bay to Watson Bay walk just on the South bank across the river from Manly. Found a spot in the car park near the ferry terminal once we had figures out what the signs meant. 2P and 4P simply made no sense to us. How would anyone know how many people were on our car?!??! And how would 12P fit in any vehicle other than a bus, haha. Turned out this actually meant how many hours you could park in the marked areas. Duh.

Had coffees at the main road first before we we started our walk proper at 11:45. Turning off the main road we walked on the Hermitage Foreshore Coast walk with lovely wooden planks, some sandstone (?) rock here and there and with great views of the city. Small beaches appeared every now and then most pretty quiet.

Hermitage Foreshore Walk

After the Hermitage walked we followed along a quiet road through Vaucluse, the most fancy neighbourhood we’d seen so far. Huge houses of many different styles lined the road left and right. Many with very obvious CCTV and walls that said “keep out”. Each house must have been worth several millions of dollars.

Reached busy Watson Bay after roughly two hours and 8k of walking. We were in the mood for gelato, but found only very basic stalls, so we had an iced latte instead, before walking around the headland. It was pretty busy now, but we still enjoyed the walk with views over the bay and across to the North shore.

Watson Bay
Watson Bay

By the time we were back at Watson Bay we’d had enough of walking. After all it was 33+ C today so time for a break. Had a wee late lunch snack at Watson Bay hotel and then boarded the ferry back to Rose Bay at 15:40.

Got myself a bargain Samsonite suitcase at David Jones afterwards to replace my broken one and we spent the evening with our hosting family in North Curl Curl who had inhabited a friend’s house near the beach for a couple of days.

Tuesday

Had coffee and breakfast at a lovely and busy little cafe with the guys in North Curl Curl and then drove across the North of Sydney to the entrance of Ku-Ring-Gai National Park. It was quiet up here and we really enjoying driving through more burbs. Wide roads, nice houses, only a few cars.

Arrived at the entrance 11am and it was scorching, especially in the sun. I think we had reached around 38C by then, even the little breeze was just hot air from a hairdryer at the hottest setting. We hoped the 10k loop to a reservoir and back would be in the shade under trees, but found out that all tracks were closed in the park from the friendly lady at the entrance.

Didn’t really surprise us, there was probably too much risk of fires. Turned back and were somewhat glad for being back in the car with aircon! Oof. Back at the house we chilled for a few hours to wait out the early afternoon peak heat. Even in the house not moving, sitting on the floor (couch waaaaay too warm) we just sweated.

Eventually, we packed a bag to head into the city for New Year’s Eve. Drove up to the train station and jumped onto the next train. Ahhh, aircon! By now it was somewhere around 41/42C. Temperature record for both of us.

In town we headed the the waterfront of Barangaroo again, found a nice Mexican restaurant for a bit of early dinner and then spend the next two hours or so next door in a quite nice bar with a good selection of beers and some live music.

It was much quieter here than we had thought. Not packed by any means, so happy days. 19:30 started the long walk West to get to our chosen (and recommended by a local) spot for watching the fireworks. Birchgrove Oval park. It took a good hour and 20 minutes to get there. By now cloud and haze had come in and a gusty cool wind. The 42C had turned into 21. Geez, that felt cold! Especially with the wind.

Arrived right on time for the 9pm display which was actually quite nice. It wasn’t packed by any means, the park being fairly big and the views to the Sydney Bridge pretty good. Found a spot with plenty of space everywhere and spread our rug.

I had brought a long sleeve with me but was still pretty cold, Rich not far off either. So for the next two hours we wrapped the rug around us as much as possible sharing both our bodies warmth underneath. We had come unprepared and to be honest we weren’t the only ones. Cold at 21C, imagine that…

Waiting was boring, but we were sort of busy trying to stay warm, but were glad when it was finally midnight for the fireworks. Really quite the display. I’m not massively impressed by firework normally and would not choose to go see them, but those were indeed quite impressive! 12 minutes later we hurried to the exit of the park to beat the rush and found a bus waiting for us around the corner.

Got to the very long bridge that leads into the city, which was still closed off and after waiting for 20 minutes decided to walk the remaining 45mins. Of course this was the impossible decision to make. Stay on and wait, wait, wait, or jump off and see the bus driving past us. It was the latter. Nevermind.

Got home okay as there were many many extra trains, but it was still almost 3am when we finally put our heads down.

Lovely day, even though our walk didn’t happen and maybe that was a good thing anyway with the heat and all that. Nice spot for watching the fireworks, too and I can now say I’ve done it. It didn’t involve being crammed in with thousands of drunken people, so that was a positive for me. Shame about the cold and the “icy” wind, I would’ve enjoyed it much more without. No one to blame but ourselves, haha.

Happy New Year.

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