Friday, October 20, 2006

Day 7 - Manly

Weather: Sunny and fair most of the day, cloudy and windy from the afternoon onwards

It seemed like good weather so we decided to go to Manly. The ferry ride didn't feel like 30 minutes; it seemed shorter, not least because of the breathtaking scenery. It was such a dilemma though: to sit in the sun and burn, or sit in the shade and freeze? Finally we sat inside but near the front so we could still see the scenery go past.

"this is my better side"

passing by the Botanic Gardens

arriving at Manly

It was such a leisurely day we stopped off at the Max Brenner's café, at Manly Pier, for a latte, before bracing ourselves for the 12 km Manly to Spit Scenic Walk.

the start of the walk

one of these apartments would be nice

these aren't bad either

ok I changed my mind - this is even nicer

better still, build our own...

how 'bout one of these to go with the house?

hey a moth motel... they check in, they...

Although it wasn't as tough as the Juara to Tekek hike we did in Tioman, it was definitely more challenging than the Bondi to Coogee walk. On the one hand, it was less tiring than Tioman because there were sections that were level and there were rest points where one could stop and take in the breath-taking views. (The Juara to Tekek hike was partly under the blazing hot sun and partly through tropical rainforest, humid, dank and mosquito-infested, definitely not conducive to pit stops. In any case, we had hurried along at first, not knowing how long the walk would take and whether I would be able to survive it!)

On the other hand, there were sections that were relatively uphill and required some scrambling. The most difficult section was through bushland (or was it scrub?) with little or no shade, and mostly just dirt track going uphill.

Still, we had the chance to catch our breaths. We detoured to visit a lighthouse. The lighthouse itself was small and unimpressive, but the headland on which it stood was set in a beautiful bay. It was a lovely spot for a pic-a-nic-u. For those interested, it was a solid block of lagsana and a cheesy chicken wrap, heavenly when you are hungry!

perfect view for a picnic

looking down

phew, finally...

From Spit Bridge, we took the bus back to Manly. There, we sat and watched the weather turn bad and the waves build. HM said she had never seen Manly like that. The wind whipped up a dust cloud, so visibility on the beach was impaired. The lifeguards eventually declared the beach closed, but that didn't stop the hardcore surfers and suicidal idiots.

contenders for the Darwin Award

We finally decided to call it a day, in case the bad weather affected the ferries. We ended the Manly expedition with a hot chocolate at Max Brenner's, mmm... The egg-shaped mug (handle-less) that the chocolate came in was so cute!

Back in the city, HM decided to rush for a spinning class at the gym. We rushed to the Bond street FF branch through rush hour traffic. I lurked in various bookstores while waiting for her.

We found Tokyo Joe's but couldn't bring ourselves to have dinner there. It was empty. Difficult to tell if the food would be any good.

We ended up having dinner at Wagamama's. I don't care how hip it is - the food just wasn't impressive. It was light and very new-agey which went with their motto of "Positive Eating, Positive Living". HM had a bowl of Wagamama ramen which had noodles, vegetables and prawns in a clear broth. I like my food a little more robust, a lot more flavourful.


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