18.06.2014 - 09.07.2014
Well I've been here five weeks now and one thing that I have learnt over the last three weeks or so is just how good it is to get out of the major city and see some of the suburbs and coastal areas. It is just as good if not better!
About three weeks ago now I decided to take a walk on the Manly Scenic Walkway and this is a truly brilliant walk. The route I took felt a little bit more like two different walks, as I headed out with the intention of getting to Spit Bridge from Manly Wharf. The first part is along well laid out concrete walkways and roads that wind round behind some of Manly's beautiful homes and shows off some nice little bays on the way. Very much the kind of place you would walk your dog. This is until you reach Forty Basket Beach and it turns into a whole different walk. You cross over the rocks on the beach and then from here it is a lot more like trekking with the undulating terrain of of dirt and big boulders taking over, with steep climbs up through Sydney Harbour National Park on steps carved out of stone and only a few wooden walkways to punctuate the walk. It certainly is a challenging hike and I actually only made it half way to my desired destination before I had to turn back, which means as with the zoo there is definite scope for revisiting the walk again at a later date. Not to mention the fact that the walkway also sprawls out in the opposite direction from Manly Wharf. All along the way on there are dotted little quiet beaches that you can get down to and take in the views over the water, as well as little breaks in the trees as climb through the national park that again lets you see Manly from a different perspective. I would recommend the walk to anyone, but would possibly advise on some more appropriate footwear than my Vans pumps (though they did stand upto the test pretty well)
I have also managed to visit some of the suburbs of Sydney such as Coogie and Glebe, which are both very different in their appeal, with Glebe being a quiet little suburb that seems detached from the City and Coogie a nice little beach town, with its very own charm compared to Bondi.
It is a couple of weeks now since I visited the quiet suburb of Glebe, following a recommendation from an article on the hostel's blog. In the article Glebe is described as 'infinitely stroll-able', and I can definitely testify to that, as once I found the main street and stopped off in the nice little park just adjacent, I headed off looking to see what I came across and just kept going and going along the quiet streets of Glebe until as you invariably do in Sydney I reached the waterfront. I then took a stroll along the water's edge until I reached somewhere a little more familiar in the shape of Pyrmont, but only after stopping by the bustling and busy Sydney Fish Market.
My visit to Coogie last Friday was via the Bondi to Coogie walkway, which is yet another impressive walk and yet further proof that one of the best ways to see Sydney is through its coasts and coastal walkways. The walkway stretches out and winds round the coast stopping off at other beautiful beaches along the way like Bronte Beach, which if Coogie is a scaled down version of Bondi, then Bronte would possibly be considered the same for Coogie. But all the beaches along the way are really picturesque and the ideal place to just get away from it, with some feeling very secluded and relaxing. All along the way you get spectacular views of the sprawling Pacific Ocean and the fact that the weather was so nice on the day I did the walk made the whole thing even more enjoyable. Once you reach Coogie you are greeted with another amazing view out over the beach, and the place is seemingly very historic with a plaque just off the beach showing its former glory. But this is not to say that the place is run down, far from it, there are lots of lovely shops and cafes, not to mention the impressive Coogie Plaza Hotel that overlooks the beach. Once again, I would suggest that anybody who visits Sydney should take in the Coogie to Bondi walk.
Hostel life is becoming like second nature to me and I feel increasingly comfortable in the surroundings of the Jolly Swagman. This is obviously really good that I feel so at home, but it can lead to some rather unproductive days, with some days being frittered away just relaxing around the hostel. I am also not really wanting to leave to find farm work, which I think I am going to have to do sometime soon. I think the change will ultimately be good and whilst I will be leaving behind some good friends (some of whom I might not see again on returning to Sydney later in the year), I think it is a step I must take sooner or later.