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August 25th 2011
Published: August 29th 2011
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Day 4 Thursday

So we set the alarm for 9.30am but still managed to sleep in until 10.30am when housekeeping called round. Our room is constantly dark and the bed is very squeaky so sleep is pretty hard to come by! Anyway, realizing our mistake we went all military and got out of the place within half an hour, grabbed brekkie (huge chocolate croissants from Pie Face) on the way down to the ferries where we got on for Manly Bay again.

It must be said at this point thet the weather has been absolutely gorgeous since the one day we had light drizzle in the morning. Temperatures have been a nice 20-21 degrees celsius with bright clear blue skies. The sun is very bright so the 'sunnies' have been out. It's been how our summer should be like, comfortable t-shirt weather. It does cool off quick once the sun goes down to a shivery 10 degrees celsius - but who can complain about that?

So again we headed straight for the beach to eat our take-out gourmet sandwiches and watched the surfers. After a bit of daydreaming and paddling we went for a bit of a shop around the laid-back town. Although Manly is only a half hour ferry ride from Sydney, it feels like a different world and has a very unique personality all of its own. It's a narrow peninsula with both ocean and harbour beaches. Separating these is the Corso, a pedestrianised strip of surf shops, cafes and burger joints all lined by palm trees and eucalypts. At the southern end of the beach is a footpath which follows the coastline and this is where we headed after our exploration of the town. Dotted here and there were old photographs of early Manly Bay history. For example you can look at formally dressed men and women watching surfers during the early 1900's, and the first (eyebrow raising) daylight swim in 1902!

From one of these view points we could look back down on Manly Beach and out towards the Pacific. In the far distance we could see the whale watching boats and even a humpback whale breaching and causing a big splash. This made me really excited for the whale watching trip the next day!

Later in the day we caught the ferry back to Circular Quay, bought a huge pot of fruit and sat down to eat in the Botanic Gardens. We were soon crowded by curious cockatoos and ibis and soon we had a cockatoo on Ifan's shoulder eating an apple from the fork, I had one on my knee and another sat on my bag all munching happily on apple. The shy ibis meanwhile had a little nosy through the left-overs in our pot. It was great fun (even if Ifan won't admit it!).

We made an effort for dinner this time and headed to Thai Passion 2 minutes from our hostel. The food was delicious and reasonably priced too so we left for the hostel with full bellies and happy hearts :0)

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