Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Praying for the wave to come now. (Australia pt. 3)

Thursday dawned warm and sunny. The previous days had been sunny but a little cooler. Now, one of my many flaws is that I occasionally lock my siblings out on the porch when they annoy me. Another one of my flaws is that I don't plan ahead well, and I'll often forget important things that I need. Crucial things. And I don't mean important like I forgot and left my bagel in the freezer. I mean important like survival, like the time earlier this year I forgot to bring the food with me on a camping/fishing trip and my brother, brother-in-law and I were forced to eat the fish we caught there. We were lucky my brother caught the two fish he did or we probably would have eaten each other or bugs.

So one thing you think of when you go to Australia, particularly Sydney, is the beach. Specifically Bondi beach. Even if you don't know the name of it, you've seen it. Every postcard of Sydney is either the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge, or Bondi beach.

Well, Thursday was beach and cliff walk day. The plan was to head a bit east of Sydney (which is located in a large inlet so the water is north of downtown) and walk, starting a bit south of Bronte beach and heading all the way up north to the inlet of the inlet, as it were. There's a bunch of stuff to see along the way. You'd think that, headed to the beaches on the very day the weather turns unbelievably nice, one of us would have thought to bring a swimming suit. But nope. We didn't. Already I'd been hauling my backpack around everywhere. I had to. We had stuff we needed in it. And Sean had brought his own bag along every day except the first. So it's not like we didn't have where to put extra stuff. It was really kind of tragic. A once in a lifetime opportunity to swim at one of the most beautiful, famous beaches in the world and we couldn't be intelligent enough to bring something to swim in. I blame myself. And Sean.

The day ultimately involved just a lot of walking. We started at Waverley Cemetery and went north. I don't really have any photos of this day, but Sean does and I'll post them here soon. You can follow our route from that link: Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, Bondi, up through all the reserves and parks to the lighthouses, then to Signal Hill, The Gap, cut to Camp Cove, up to Lady Bay, around the lighthouse at the tip and then took a ferry from Watson's Bay back to Circular Quay. The walk took virtually all day:

At Waverley Cemetery, I upset the dead by chasing lizards around the graves. At Bondi, we saw a couple topless women just chilling out by the beach. We tried to get a closer look but.. wait, nevermind. We ate lunch at a little place a ways inland from Bondi and instead of going back to the beach and then north, went sort of northeast expecting to hit the coast again without realizing the cliffs rise up rapidly just past Bondi and there are neighborhoods and houses built right up against the cliffs. We wandered around, lost, for around an hour and somehow, by sheer luck, we took a guess at a side street and ended up exactly where we were trying to get to (if you're looking at the map, check the corner of Raleigh Street and Lola Road). That place was an open area along the cliffs that we could walk. There Sean stepped on dog poop while warning me not to step on dog poop ("Adam, watch out f--DAMMIT") and spent about 10 minutes then and intermittent periods throughout much of the rest of the day trying to clean it off his shoe. Every time I turned around he was pawing at the ground like a bull. With OCD. At The Gap Park, Sean took a photo of a spider. At Lady Bay Beach (and, I admit, at my urging) he tried to take a photo of some nude men. Yeah, it was a tiny nude beach, called Lady Bay Beach, and the only people on it were like three middle aged dudes. Nice, right? At the lighthouse north of that, Sean chased a bird around and almost fell off a cliff. Those last two events didn't happen in sequence, but it's funnier that way.

After that we went to this bar that we had heard was having all you can eat pizzas for like $21. We came to discover, however, that the pizzas were of sufficient size that three of them ($7 each) was more than we wanted to eat anyway, so we just bought two. The bartender looked like a younger, prettier Drew Barrymore. I may or may not have mentioned it to her.

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