My legs can't take it anymore!

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Sep 06, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, December 15, 2011

I had decided to get up earlier and make the most of today as I was told the weather was going to be ok.  Got up at 7 am, had a quick breakfast and set off on my mammoth journey on foot.  I took the coastal path and headed towards Mereweather Beach, which had been recommended to me by Chelsea and Flavia who I met in Noosa.  I had a map of the area and there were other sights to take in on the way.
The walk to Mereweather was around 5 km and it was going to be a bit of a hike along the coastal path.  My first stop along the way was Bogey Hole.  What a weird name I hear you all say.  Bogey Hole was built in 1820 so that the convicts have somewhere to swim.  You can walk down to it however, the sea was too rough so I wasn't going anywhere near it.  I stood there and watched the waves crash against the rocks and suddenly I saw 5 or 6 dolphins swimming along the coast.  I was gobsmacked.  I just stood there with a massive grin on my face.  If only I could have jumped in to swim along with them.  This had made my day.  It didn't matter what happened to the rest of the day or even if it had rained, I was totally happy!

I eventually got to Mereweather Beach at around 9 am after a long hike up the hill and back down again.  I sat and watched some of the crazy surfers fighting against the waves before I headed back as I had booked a tram tour at 11 am.

I stopped off at the Obelisk on the way back as I had missed it yesterday and a gentleman that I bumped into walking to the lighthouse had recommended that I go there as you have a 360 view of the whole area.  He also recommended the tram tour.  The Obelisk was only built as the seamen complained as there used to be a windmill where the Obelisk is now and they used this as a landmark so they knew that they were heading in the right direction.  The windmill was demolished a long time ago.  So the only reason it was built was to help the seaman guide them into Newcastle port.  I also stopped off at a coffee shop on the way back as I thought my legs were going to fall off.  I have done so much walking in the past few days, it feels like I have walked the whole of Australia!  At least the weight is starting to come off now. Happy days!

The tram tour was good fun.  It took me to most of the places that I had walked to this morning, typical!!  It also gave us access to the lighthouse, which the general public cannot get to.  It was great to be up the top of the hill looking down on the pier and watching everyone get wet.  I also got to see the Cathedral and learn about the history of Newcastle.  Definately Convict City!!!  Once the tour was over, I quickly went back to the hostel for some lunch before my afternoon of adventure.

I went to Fort Scratchley, which is a military base which was built in 1804 to protect Newcastle from invasion.  When I got there I was greeted by a lovely old gentleman by the name of Keith.  He is a volunteer that works here and told me all about the site and the history of it.  He even told me that he is still in the army and every Australia Day he puts on his uniform and stands at the gate with his gun and bayonet.  He was a lovely old guy and really enthusiastic about this place and his job.  He really did remind me of Sidney, my granddad!  God bless you Sidney!!
I walked around the site and took in the spectacular views around. It really did send shivers down your spine when you read about the history of this place and all of the convicts that worked here and who built up this place.  Loads of history also regarding the second world war.  When I was walking out the gate, Keith was walking up with a tray of sandwiches that had not been sold in the cafe/restaurant next door and he sent me off with a nice roast beef sandwich and a chocolate truffle.  He was so lovely and caring!

After spending about an hour walking around, I decided to spend time reflecting on what I had done today, so I went down to the beach and feel asleep for an hour.  A great way to end a really productive day.  The weather was great today as it was sunny but not very hot.  It was topped off my some guy having to be rescued by a sexy lifeguard as the sea was so rough.  Everything was fine, it was the rip that was pulling the guy towards the rocks so the lifeguard got in to save him.  If only I had thought of that, I could have had this young fit lifeguard come and save me.  Must do better next time!!

Even though when you arrive in to Newcastle, you are greeted by ugliness of the dock yards and coal yards, once you get into the city and by the beaches, it suddenly has a face lift and becomes really beautiful.  If any of you ever get chance, go see Newcastle as it is an amazing place, come rain wind or shine.
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Carla on

My goodness Keels, you really are living, loving the blogs :o)

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