Today was the cliff and coastal walks. I took the train into Sydney getting off at the harbor stop. Then I took the ferry to Watson’s Bay. I got a great seat up top only to realize the opera house will be on the other side for proper viewing. I also soon realized this isn’t a slow ferry but more of a speed boat ride and my position has no shelter from the wind. I consider taking a selfie so I can see my hair straight out but I resist.
We are in Watson’s Bay in 17 minutes. I walk a bit to cross the narrow land mass of the point and soon am on the beginning of the cliff walk. The cliff walk as you might imagine goes along the edge and provides dramatic views of the coastline.
It is a series of parks strung together with neighborhoods to sometimes be navigated until you pick up the next access point. Nearly five miles into this portion and seeing a bus stop ahead and not an access point to the cliffs that I had been detoured from a while back, I decide to grab the next bus to Bondi Beach and pick up their Coastal walk.
Bondi is a large public beach and pretty crowded for a midweek fall day. It is the warmest and first fully sunny day of my visit so a prime beach day to be sure.
I had started the cool morning in jeans and somewhere along the cliff walk I changed into shorts. (A building under construction but not currently being worked on or inhabited served as my changing area.)
Wondering the temperature of the water that had a good many surfers and frolickers in its waves and shore, I tied my shoes to my pack and tested for myself.
Chilly but not bone chilling. Granted, I was only in to my shins at best but I could see how you could adjust.
Holding true throughout the city thus far, I find the beach to be clean and full of fit and active people. Buff bodies were not on my list of “must see”, but I’m happy to take in the views.
I take to the side streets to find a spot to have lunch that doesn’t have prices as high as the beach eateries. One of the owners from my work back home had recommended a place called Fish Mongers and I was to go to the one at Manly Beach, but there was one here as well, so I seized the opportunity.
Sydney is big on their fish and chips. Personally, I feel that if you have really fresh fish just off the boat, I would rather skip the batter and oil flavors and just have clean tasting fillets. Obviously I am in the minority here.
I order the Monger box which has fish (mine grilled instead of battered), calamari rings, chips (fries) and some sweet potato chips (chips) on top – and lemon and their own version of a tarter sauce. It was very good but not excellent.
I perused a few more streets and shops and with my feet starting to ache, I decided I would take the bus to my last point of interest – the Waverly Cemetary.
I asked the driver upon boarding if his bus would go near the cemetery. He said it would take me to Bondi Junction and I would need another bus from there. He suggested the quicker way would be to continue to take the coastal walk. If I was brisk, I could possibly make it in a bit more than 30 minutes – his words.
Back off the bus and back down the stairs to catch the paved path. The thing about the beaches on this side is that they are surrounded (beautifully) by cliffs and to trek along the coast, you are constantly going down stairs to the beach area and then up the next side to continue down the coast.
Had I jogged for portions, not been tired from the previous 8 miles logged on my Fitbit already and never stopped to take a photo or enjoy the views, I might, maybe, possibly made it in the time the bus driver said. I doubt it though. It takes me more than an hour.
The Cemetary has the feeling that these were sailors and fishermen that belonged to the sea but families needed a place to be buried together ashore and this was at the cliffs edge and allowed for the living, souls and sea all to connect.
I just wish I had more gas in the tank to look at more of the graves and writings on the stones but the day is getting long and I want to be back to Sydney before dark.
Nature calls so I find the ladies facilities. If it didn’t have a toilet in it, I might think it was a gardeners shed. I contemplate the odds of a deadly spider coming out of just about anywhere and making this my last resting spot. As it turns out, I get to write the story and not be it.
A bus, a train, a beer at a proper pub and two more bus rides and I meet up with Wilma and Pebbles at the Sabre fencing academy. Wilma, another mom and I walk a couple blocks and share stories and a beer, it caps off a good, long and exhausting day.
Tomorrow will not be so much walking.