Uncle Sean and I headed over to Manly Beach at 10:00 yesterday morning. He hit the waves for some surfing, and I explored. I walked the length of the beach a few times before settling down with a book along one of the quieter stretches of beach.
According to the internet surf experts, it was a beautiful, "sparkling" morning on Manly. They were completely right. The water was shimmery and the waves almost seemed to be glowing. In places where the water was more still, it was incredibly clear and an amazing, un-real shade of blue.
After a little while, Uncle Sean came over to say he was heading back to work, and I put down my book for some shopping. I hit the Mambo store (again) to finish up shopping for my brothers. Lucky for me they had a sale, and I ended up with a free sweatshirt.
By the time I'd finished shopping, I'd worked up an appetite (funny how that happens.) I stopped in at an inexpensive little hole-in-the-wall health food place for some take-away tofu salad, which I took back down to the waterfront for a picnic. As I expected, the seagulls were far more interested in the fish and chips being consumed all around me than in my little tofu salad.
To make up for my super healthy lunch, I got myself a nice big cone of ice-cream for dessert. My ice-cream and I took a walk down the beach to Cabbage Tree Bay, which was oh-so lovely and peaceful. I settled back down with my book in a nice breezy spot, and stayed there for a few more hours.
At 2:00, I decided to head back in the general direction of home, via the "Manly-Spit" walk. (Ok, so it's really called the Manly Scenic Walkway, but it runs between Manly Beach and The Spit, and everyone calls it The Spit to Manly walk. I went backwards...Manly-Spit.)
Anyway. I thought to grab a bottle of water before I left, and it was a good thing I did. The walk was about 9 km. long and pretty tough in spots; the water was thoroughly appreciated. The scenery was incredible though. Some of the views were breathtaking....(at least, I'd like to think it was the views, not the very steep, uneven, 200 or so steps required to reach the views....) My camera battery had been dying slowly all day, but I managed to get some great pictures.
I finally descended from the heights, down to Clontarf Beach, where I promptly took off my walking sandals and soaked my feet in the water. It felt soooo good, and I walked the rest of the length of the beach up to my ankles in water. I found some really great starfish, but they were all still alive (drat. ;o)) By the time the trail picked back up, I was totally relaxed, cool, and comfortable, but my feet were just a little too big for my shoes. Ouch. I survived the last 1/4 mile or so, and settled in to wait for a bus to take me back home. Overall, the hike took about 2 1/2 hours, even though the posted time for it is 4+. I was pretty pleased with myself after that, despite my sore, swollen feet.