Ah, Australia's beaches, where even the dogs come to sun themselves. I couldn't resist a picture of this pug working on his tan. The weather has been especially nice this week--in the low 70s so we finally got to lose the coats and even put on short sleeves. In the sun, it feels even warmer, so as you can see, some of the Aussies were in bathing suits and soaking it up. We even saw a decent amount of people swimming, not just surfers in wetsuits. The water temp was only about 65, though, so too cold for us, but I did put my feet in.
After the beach at Cronulla, which we've decided is sort of a surfer's hang out, it was nice to see a couple of beaches with waves I wouldn't be afraid to swim in. Here's a pic from Manly with some little girls to show you how much smaller the waves are.
We went to Manly on Tuesday, and drove up there, which is a far north suburb, right next to Mosman. If you've been watching the news, that's the Sydney suburb were the 18-year-old girl had a fake bomb strapped to her. Thankfully, that happened the day after we went to Manly, otherwise we might have been stuck in traffic a long time. Manly and Bondi are the two big beaches around Sydney and were pretty similar, although Manly is smaller. They are good swimming beaches surrounded by shops and both have paved walking paths the entire length of them. Daniel and I walked most of the Manly one, and I walked about a third of the Bondi one with him.
Manly was a nice restful day where we woke up late, and took our time just wandering around the beach. We had dinner at a Hungry Jacks, which is now Daniel's favorite place since he discovered they have free refills. They had a good deal, too. You got two sandwiches (your choice of whopper, chicken sandwich, or bacon deluxe-more about that later), a large fry, a regular onion ring, 2 drinks, and two sundaes for 14.95. Since we have both been dieting, this all tasted like heaven to us, especially the sundaes. We've walked so much lately, though, the fast food didn't seem to make much difference. We both got the bacon deluxe, which turned out to be Canadian bacon, which while not the same, was still pretty good and better for us.
We also discovered on Monday the RSL Club, another cheap (for Australia) place to eat. It's a veterans club like the VFW or American Legion, only the public can come and use them for no cost. They have a different dinner special every night, and unlike the clubs in the US, are smoke free (yeah!). We got 2 for 1 fish and chips for $13. They are a little odd, though, in that downstairs there are slot machines, bingo, and OTB. I guess that's how they afford the cheap meals.
Anyway, after Manly we had another rest day Wednesday with another day of grocery shopping at Aldi and doing laundry. Thursday we took the train and then a bus to Bondi, the beach most people equate with Sydney. It looked like all the pictures I'd seen with lots more people than we'd seen before, surfers, and nice blue water.
I walked along the water since the waves were smaller, but they still got me a couple of times, soaking my pants up to my knees when I was expecting a trickle over my toes. Daniel kept way up and laughed at me. I dried out pretty quickly in the sun, though.
I had a bit of excitement when I went to the bathroom. There was a tiny elderly Asian woman in front of me in line and she was rubbing her stomach. I was just thinking to myself that I do that when I don't feel good and maybe I should back up a bit. The next thing I knew she had fallen back into me. I was not thinking very fast, or I probably could have caught her, but you don't really think someone is going to do that. At least I broke her fall so she didn't smack her head on the tile floor. At least I was that helpful. We're not sure if she just fainted or had a seizure or what, but she went down, half on my foot, which can't have been comfortable for her, especially since I was wet from the waves. Another lady was thinking quicker, so she made sure she stayed on the floor until she came to a bit. Then I helped her up and she ambled into a stall and wouldn't come out, and she didn't speak any English so that was harder, too. The lifeguards from the beach came in and were trying to get her to come out so they could check her over, but she still wouldn't come out and they said there wasn't anything I could do. I was personally thinking, lady, you have two extremely hot shirtless guys willing to give you mouth to mouth--LET THEM IN!
I shared that thought with Daniel when I eventually emerged to reassure him I had not fallen in. He did actually laugh.
After that, we walked along the rocky coast and discovered to the side of the beach they have these pools that fill up with ocean water and provide safer kiddie pool areas.
Right next to two of these kiddie pools were a bunch of rocks that had little tidal pools in them that captured these little worlds of tiny sea creatures. Here's a few of my favorites. The first you can see a sea anemone.
Next, a starfish, which we did not throw back, but instead left alone.
Finally, this is like where's Waldo. The easy one, where's Daniel's reflection? The very hard one, where's the well camouflaged fish?
We did some more walking, some of which involved tall rocks, so I sat while Daniel did the huffing. He had to call me to tell me to take his picture. He's the red dot in the middle of the picture.
For those of you without Superman vision, I used our zoom. I love this camera.
All in all, a couple of nice relaxing days. Today were are getting ready to leave on our road trip tomorrow. We'll be in Canberra for two nights, Melbourne for 4 nights, a night along the Great Ocean Rd, three nights in Adelaide, and then a night in the Outback on our way back. All told we'll be gone 12 days and then have a couple nights back in Cronulla before we fly to Queensland.
Another long arm shot from Daniel at Bondi so you can see our smiling faces:
Well, my smiling face and Daniel's "I am Smiling" face.