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walking the Northern Beaches

7 October 2013 19,993 views No Comment

got back from a few lovely restful days in Byron and was keen to DO something • without agenda, a few things in rucksack, sports casual on, away • never been able to get enough of the rocks at Freshwater or the Freshie – Curly boardwalk • these are places i’ve been happy, & sad, recuperative & joyful, reflective & creative; these are, all up, happy places. so it was unsurprising that i came in this SAM_2991direction • course it’s a beautiful day – strong sun, chunks of cloud, touch of breeze, sweaty when you put some effort in • walk length of Curl Curl on the fresh sand • North Curly club • nature trail through the headland bush • i’ve walked this only twice previously that I can recall, but done the road route loads (mostly running when it’s dark!) • this is lovely – scraggy but colourful bush, sea sparkling through the cracks • into Dee Why • past the beautiful ocean pool, sparkling gorgeous and toddlers splashing • the rocks are definitely a much better approach than the road because you can see the whole beach spread in front of you, plus there’s the nosing-at-posh-houses bonus • bigger bonus = remembering Dee Why Bacino. hurrah • soy latte, smoked salmon sanger on rye with sunflower seeds • plop on the pavement • watch the military ships & helicopters make their way towards the fleet review in the harbour • Dee Why on the sand up to the golf course • get donked by a kite surfer’s kite. “stay out of the way”. er, get off the beach! • the rocks up by the golf course are a bonkers colour – proper pink • barefoot through the golf course • wish my dad could come and play eighteen holes here – a golf course on a spit of land, ocean as far as you can see, must be good no • down to Collaroy. Narabeen? Collaroy? i don’t know… lost my touch • one of those massive great pelican birds floating around; prehistoric looking • length of ‘the beach’ SAM_2998on the sand • listening to Rihanna, ‘oh na na, what’s ma name’ • there’s hardly anyone here: a group of mums & tods, few couples, one school type group, solo runner or two • check in with the lifeguard. it started off as Collaroy. i’ve walked all the way on to Narabeen. there is no wall between the two. tick and tick then thanks • Narabeen lakes • years ago Catherine and i did this walk. we didn’t really mean to do it then either; it just happened. since then i’ve been to a lot of these places by bike or car or in passing. so as i retrace many of our steps i’m really re-living those days together. very giggly days • walking through the plush neighbourhood streets of Narabeen – it’s very green, very quiet, gianormous beautiful houses. this is what i call ‘husband hunting’ territory a ha ha • i’m a bit confused about exactly where i am until i get to the top of a hill and recognise a small roundabout where i came off my first racing bike, Lola. it had been a bit of a soggy day, she had a slow puncture (although i didn’t know), and there wasn’t enough tyre pressure when i put her at an angle on the hill, round the roundabout and she skidded out from underneath me. no dramas. walked down the road and got the bus home • blazing hot today and no pressure on anything • down to Warriewood beach, half tempted to stop at their nice coffee shop • (when Catherine and i were here five years ago there were two fire trucks pulled up and the firemen playing football on the beach, killing time on their shift. that image has stayed with me, and likely her :) ) • along the Warriewood sand • around the rocks and onto Mona Australia 033Vale • it’s really empty here – dunes on the land side and some interesting, and unusual for these parts, rockpools on the ocean side • busier up by the surf club and the ‘swim between the flags’ flags • they have a big ocean pool here, and it’s further out than most with lots of floodlights. must be great swimming in there in the evening • over the sandy spit into Bongin Bongin bay (had to look that name up after) • this is an unexpectedly horrible bit of beach. tonnes of seaweed slopping at the shore. tonnes of it already crusted on the beach. it’s a small, dark, enclosed little bay; the headland rises high on the north side and the houses look secretive. the whole sense of the place is spooky • skidaddle through here pretty quick • nature trail up and over the big headland, it opens out beautifully and there’s a big park up here – Mona Vale reserve. i think about wandering around but i’m keen to get down to my next beach • i can see the beach through the gaps between the gianormous houses, but there doesn’t seem a way down. take the road, and eventually there is a sign • super steep drive down and then pathway to the sand • this is Bungan beach. it’s very lovely and very very quiet here • plonk onto the sand to eat my now nicely warm (!) egg & tomato sandwiches • nice beach walk to Bungan surf club • v steep drive back out of the beach • walk through the Bungan/ Newport neighbourhood streets. the more north you go on the Northern Beaches the more posh it is. it’s well posh around here • Newport beach. came here with Marie one morning for sunrise, got a picture of us both looking well tired! • the water has been amazing all day – clear, sparkly, fresh – but it’s even more stunning on Newport. (wondering why i haven’t SAM_3018been in yet..? arm injury :( ) • soft sand soft sand soft sand • it looks like you can walk around the headland. maybe yes. maybe no. give it a try anyway • ergh, slimy popping seaweed covered rocks • ‘warning rocks fall from overhead’. oh joy • i can see the next beach now, that’s better. onwards • climb up some rocks and over a lot of fences (presumably there to stop people getting onto the rocks) to the ocean pool • this is Bilgola. another quiet but very beautiful beach. soft golden sand, gentle breaking waves • there are three more beaches to go: Avalon, Whale beach and Palmy. but i know the route involves a lot more roads (not just up & over/ around headlands) because we’re out on the spit now and the beaches are spread further apart. so that’s it for me • cold sparkling lemon drink sitting on the wall • right, so now i have to get home… • out of the car park, follow the road, find a tiny nature trail (phew, because otherwise it’s main Barrenjoey Road around the hilly, twisty part (remember from bike rides)) • down into Newport • bus stop • L90. only ever seen, never taken this bus • asleep before we’ve got to the first traffic lights • Warringah Mall • is too long to wait for a local bus. walk back to Freshie along Pittwater. Freddo deado • lovely little dip at Freshie to make my five-hours-of-walking feet and legs feel nice again • awesome use of a day

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Gallery #2

i dug out some of the photos from when Catherine and i went together. brilliant vintage
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