Saturday, 5 January 2013

Another gorgeous day in Sydney: Spit to Manly scenic walk - again!

This morning I joined Ms Fivestar's partner Mr Squeaky (aka Mr Cuddles) for the Spit to Manly scenic walk. It's a 10 kilometre track that has lots of steps up up up and as many going down down down.

Ms Fivestar is on a holiday abroad. She's flown to the mother country to seek out her Celtic roots (not to find a Celtic root, we hope). It's a middle-aged woman thing to do.

I felt that I should do something with Mr Squeaky, who would surely be lonely without Ms Fivestar's genteel* company? As it turns out, Mr S has had no trouble keeping himself occupied in her absence. He even drove to Melbourne on a whim. No Ms Fivestar in his ear to put a stop to that tomfoolery!  

The Spit to Manly quest starts at the notorious** Spit Bridge on Middle Harbour. The last time I did the walk with Spanner and The Hiss, we parked at the Spit, sprinted (felt like it) to Manly (had a swim as the Southerly buster blew in - man oh man was that wild and woolly) and caught the 144 bus back to the Spit.

This morning Mr Squeaky drove to my house at 6.30am and I hopped in my car and followed him to a secret parking spot in Manly. He then hopped in my car and we drove back to the Spit. Just another way of doing it, though I found the bus option worked just as well.

I got a great parking spot at the Spit - I know I harp on about parking spots but good ones are hard to find in a city where most people have at least one car.

We started the walk around 7.20am and Mr Squeaky screamed along like a well-oiled machine. OMG, men walk so fast. But I held my own and was never more than 10 paces behind. Trying not to pant. And that's not because of Mr Squeaky's very fine calf muscles.

Doing the walk earlier in the day has benefits. 1. It's not hot yet 2. It's not windy yet 3. It's not as crowded with tourists and other slow coaches, who can enter the walk at various points along the track.

We stopped on several occasions so I could take photos. Mr Squeaky is much kinder than Spanner, who refused to slow down. At Castle Rock there's an excellent view to be had of the heads, the City of Sydney skyline and Manly.

It made me think of Ms Fivestar, whose photo was recently posted on Facebook as she stood on the cobbled road that leads to Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.

Mr Squeaky and I stood on an ancient landscape - pre-history- with a view of paradise.     

We had a swim at Seaforth, near the man-made swimming pool. The pool needs a drenching as it's green and slimy.

The harbour was pristine. I spotted leatherjackets and other little critters - tiny stripy fish and even a small transparent jelly fish (don't touch that!). The colours - every shade of green and tawny browns to pale yellow. Dazzling.

Flying above us: a sea eagle and sulphur-crested cockatoos.

Breakfast afterwards at Two Olives in Manly: muesli for me and the whole-hog eggs benedict for Mr Squeaky. The man's arteries are clogging as I write. (This is one of the ways women get their own back).

We saw this car parked near The Corso in Manly. Mr S said it's a McLaren and worth around $800,000. Phew. I'd sell it and buy something useful.

Tomorrow I'm locked in to the Newport swim. There's also a swim at Blackhead, 3.5 hours up the coast but a lot longer back, what with holidaymakers returning from the coast to head back to work on Monday. Holiday over.

*I was being sarcastic - at Ms Fivestar's expense
** For years, there has been debate about what to do about the bridge, which is the main route to the city for cars and buses. It is a bascule bridge - it has a moveable deck, which is raised up several times a day allow boats in and out of Middle Harbour. On the weekend, this can cause huge traffic delays. Because numerous state governments have found the issue too complicated (read: costly) nothing has been done. Ho hum. Gotta love Sydney.

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