Up at 8am and was greeted with very grey skies and moderate rain……hmmmm quite a contrast from yesterday’s scorching sunshine. Donned on the shorts, vest top and picked up my light weight hooded jacket. Undeterred by the weather I caught the ferry to Manly, and sat outside on the deck with 15 or so other people. Throughout the 40min journeys, slowly person by person started disappearing inside until only a couple on the row behind me and I were left. By this time the wind really was biting, even with me jacket zipped up and the rain was horizontal into my face. I stuck it out though, talking in the cloudy but pretty scenery as we passed the city and Manly came into sight.
I picked up a map from tourist information when I arrived, and armed with the lady’s instructions I set off in the now light but persistent rain to start the coastal and national park walk. The walk was great fun, rather roughed though, climbing over the rocks that made up the ‘footpath’ at times, and through the trees. The management of the track obviously varies greatly depending on whether it is in the national park or
not, as those sections in it were clear and well maintained. I enjoyed several hours of hiking to the ‘North Head’ and even in the cloud the views over Manly or Sydney (depending on the side) were fantastic. Over half way through and damp from the now moderately heavy persistent rain, I treated to myself to a hot chocolate and slice of cake in the nice café on the track, and read my book for an hour, making the most of the dry! I struggled to find the path for the loop back to the start, so I decided to take the longer route, which goes round the other side of Manly town, which is also coastal but not through any national park. When I got back to Manly the rain had now turned from moderate to downpour. Manly had many very pretty beaches and is a very relaxed upper class surfer place. In true surfer style, with the rain, all the locals were just walking round with bare feet as mini rivers ran down the street. I browsed in and out of the many very nice surf shops, but even with sales on the clothes were still way out
of my budget……$90 for a pair of shorts!
The ferry from Manly to Sydney is rather famous as it provides the stunning views of the opera house and harbour bridge at sunset. I managed to wait it out until 5.30pm, but with no break in the cloud the sunset wouldn’t provide much of a view so I headed back to Sydney.
It was nice to have a warm shower and don on some dry clothes. I cooked up some dinner and spoke to Rowena, who informed me Brisbane is on flood risk, so they had packed up the entire downstairs of the house (garage and the basement room), relocating it to the main house and were spending the evening at Leighton and Amelia’s just in case. Just last week there were mass forest fires threatening lives, now its floods, and some doubt climate change is occurring!
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