Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Walking around Sydney

14 June 2009 - 23 June 2009
Rohan and I had to go to Sydney for his interview with US immigration, so we figured that while we were there, we may as well take advantage of being in such a beautiful city! We set out from Ro's aunts' in Rose Bay and walked down to the famous Bondi Beach. What a day! The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and the surf was calm. Beautiful and sunny though it was, it was still cold (it is winter after all) and the only people in the water were surfers rugged up in wetsuits.

From Bondi we walked around Ben Buckler Head, a beautiful sandstone headland just north of the beach. The water was so clear and blue, nearly as blue as the sky overhead. A few puffy white clouds were floating by, the kind of clouds that seem to have been put there merely to awaken the imagination. The views of the craggly, scraggly rocky outcrops of headlands behind us was amazing. Picking our way around the headland was a bit tricky as the tide was up, but with dry feet we made round the other side to Bondi Golf Club. Towering over the golf club is a large phallus shaped building that come to find out later is part of a sewage treatment plant. That said, it still looked interesting, like a light house or something.

We wound our way through some residential streets until we reached Sydney Harbour National Park. It is simply amazing to me that a city as large as Sydney can have so much beauty right at its fingertips. For Sydney there is none of the landlocked, dirty, hustle and bustle of the city. Yes, it has a massive city centre, but the fresh air from the nearby sea keeps it from feeling claustrophobic.

Over the course of the day we walked nearly 20 kilometres and we ended the before-lunch part of the walk at Watson's Bay. Watson's Bay Hotel had a fabulous lunch special (by this time it was well past lunch, but the friendly and obliging folks at the Hotel extended lunch for us): fish and chips and a glass of wine or pint of beer for $12! In Sydney, the infamously expensive city, we got a drink and beautiful fish and chips for cheap. What a deal! As we nibbled on delightfully fresh and crunchy fish, we watched the sun drop behind the headland. Seagulls were stealing nuggets of food from tourists and Honeyeaters were scavenging for left behind morsels. If you're ever in the Sydney area, looking for something to do, have a look at Walking Coastal Sydney; this link provides detailed walking maps, historical points of interest and tips for the walk. There are some really beautiful walks that incorporate city and nature.

It was getting dark by the time we finished 'lunch', so we opted to bus it the rest of the way home.

It's a good thing that we spent our first day in Sydney out and about because the remainder of the week we were there, it rained - and I mean really rained. Rohan and I spent a lot of time reading, eating and relaxing. The day we were scheduled to go to the Hunter Valley, Ro's aunt Lay asked us if we'd like to play tennis. We delayed our leaving for another day and played three hours of tennis (only a little bit of that three hours was spent being rained on). Thanks to Lay and Ian, I have discovered a new sport I love! Now, to get myself a racket. . .

The next morning we headed to the beautiful Blue Mountains.

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