It's Raining Beaches

Trip Start Dec 03, 2004
Trip End Nov 31, 2005

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

Sydney's a beautiful city. Outside the city centre the architecture has a Spanish flair, with red terracotta tile roofs, and something a little Persian, in the form of intricate wrought-iron fences on balconies, looking like something you might see on minaret windows in the Middle East. Otherwise the city is dominated by old brick in the shade of eucalyptus.

On Tuesday Vanessa and I took the ferry to Manly Beach, a route with a good view of the Opera House. Just as we reached the other side, it started to rain, then stopped agian as we walked through central Manly. The central arcade, with restaurants and shops, is lovely, and the beach has a great long stretch of Norfolk pines, with their huge straight trunks and spiky foliage. Then just as we put our towels down on the sand, rain again. But we are stubborn girls! I even went into the water, only to rush back out after teh gigantic waves buffeted me and soaked my shorts.

Wednesday I went on a walk with a group from the hostel along the coast from Coogee Beach to Bondi, the most famous of Sydney's beaches. The trail crawls along the edge of steep coastal cliffs, through vine-covered backyards and along secluded bays. We passed the old Sydney cemetery, which has a great cliffside view; the dead can stare out from their shining white crosses at the endless Pacific. Of course when we got to Bondi, rain again!

Thursday a group of us went to Coogee for a swim, and finally the weather held and it was sunny when we arrived. The surf was quite high and the lifesvaers had set the "swim ehre" flags very close together. Swimming in the waves was more like a survival game - would this be the wave that knocked you down into the sand, or the next one? So I went off to the left side of the beach, where there's a natural rock pool at the edge of the cliffs. I leapt in for a dip. Very cold, but the light current made it a good place to try out my swimming skills without the wave risk.

On Friday Vanessa and I, along with our friend Kate, took a bus tour of Sydney with Oz Experience. Since we were sightseeing, what should happen but . . . more rain? You know, I left Vancouver for sunnier climes, and here I am after a week in Sydney with more than half my days rained out. Bummer, although it's so warm that the rain doesn't really matter. We girls weren't dressed for the weather and threw towels over our shoulders like capes when we walked across the Harbour Bridge.

Saturday morning, after a heavy night partying, I joined new friends Ian and Matt for a slightly hungover BBQ at Shell Beach, just around the corner from Manly. Aussie BBQs have a large amount of "snags" (sausages) and steaks, but no burgers, which was strange to me, but the beach there was so beautiful that I downed the food without complaints. And with that, my introductory fling with Sydney is over, and I leave Sunday morning for rainforest and conservation further north.
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ronald on

It's just amazing how beautiful Sydney, Australia is. With all the great scenery and fun thing to do, no wonder a lot of people are already reserving rooms at different Sydney hotels.

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