Thursday, July 31, 2014

Down Under, Day #12 - Bondi and Manly

On Friday, my last day of exploring the Sydney area by myself, I took the bus to Bondi Beach, Sydney's most famous Pacific Ocean beach. The water was beautifully turquoise, and QUITE cold when I took off my shoes and stuck my toes in - hey, gotta keep up the tradition of putting my toes in every body of water possible! The sand was much whiter and softer here than at Manly beach, and I enjoyed the feel of sand between my toes for a short walk along the beach. The day was nice and warm, and there were quite a few surfers in wet suits riding the waves - several of them had decent rides while I watched. 
I decided to try the cliff-side hike from Bondi to Coogee, a 6 km trek along the cliffs through little seaside villages such as Tamarama and Bronte. So I climbed the staircase to the top of the cliffs just south of Bondi and enjoyed the unusual rock formations, foliage, and views of the water as I walked (along with a lot of other people). It got so warm that I removed my denim shirt and was just in my tank top - wasn't expecting that in winter! 
I ended up stopping the walk in Bronte because my legs were still really sore and cramping, so I took the bus back to Circular Quay and caught a ferry to Manly. I wanted to experience this iconic ferry ride without the gale-force winds that I encountered on the last trip. And it didn't disappoint... Once we docked in Manly, I walked down the Corso exploring some of the little souvenir shops. At one point I heard a major ruckus coming from one of the tall palm trees - I looked up and it was full of wild sulfur-crested cockatoos. How cool! 
I timed my return ferry from Manly to coincide with the start of the sunset. The views of the Sydney skyline, bridge, and Opera House were so beautiful. Once back at the Quay, I walked around taking photos of the Opera House in the rapidly changing light before making my way back to Stephanie's. 

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