Too many photos this week so I have to split the post in two.
Monday 6th January
Today was the day we planned to do the Maroubra to Malabar clifftop walk.
The weather was kind, it was overcast and a coolish breeze was blowing from the south.
We were ready to roll. Enid, Bev, Pete were ready. My back was not.
I walked the first 600 metres with them on some uneven ground. That was uncomfortable. The start of the walk is on a beautiful flat walkway suspended above the coastal heath. So far I thought I could make it. Then the path finished and from there it was all rough uneven ground across rock and with tree roots and foot tripping obstacle. Regrettably I had to say goodbye to the others and watch them continue the adventure.
I returned to South Maroubra where I spent so many days surfing and laying around on the beach all those years ago. The rough almost natural rock pools were the same as was the rip beside the rocks which I used to paddle out beyond the breakers.
I watched as other surfers used the same rip to their advantage.
The surf cub is much larger and a raised pathway now connects South Maroubra with Maroubra. The promenade has been extended with lighting and the surf club also extended. However any fond memories I had of Maroubra were shattered when I noticed all the stains on the promenade, pathways and steps.
Across the street where all the food shops. They look untidy, old and uninviting. In fact the entire area was depressing. I loved this place. Now I no longer have any feelings for it.
The others arrived back at the carpark and we had a picnic lunch. They shared their adventures and I shared my disappointment in not being to go with them and the run down state of Maroubra.
C’est la gare. Que Sera, Sera
Tuesday 7th January
Enid, Bev and I had a long day. We took the train to Central Station and walked to our Aunt Gwen’s flat at Redfern. We had morning tea with her, talked about the past, the present and as she is 96 her desire to reach 100.
And so say all of us!
Back at Central we decided to take the Light Rail or Tram to Wynyard station. https://sydneylightrail.transport.nsw.gov.au/ The light rail has been operating for three weeks. Given that it has to use the same roadway as buses and cars the trip was a little slow but it was quite comfortable and had regular information about destinations and links to other transport options.
Once at Wynyard I was gob smacked by the changes that have taken place and still taking place since I was there last century.
We followed the direction signs to Barrangaroo a new harbourside park giving fabulous views across the harbour and the Parramatta River. https://www.barangaroo.com/see-and-do/things-to-do/itineraries/barangaroo-reserve/
Barrangaroo is a huge park which I believe was created in a deal between the state government and the developer of a new high rise shopping, accommodation and gambling precinct.
That said we could only see a small part of the park today as there are so many walking tracks and viewing locations.
We were a long way from a railway station and still had to finish our tourist walk.
I wanted to see Pier 1 which was once a mecca of restaurants and specialty shops.
Alas only one restaurant survives and it seems to be struggling.
The rest of the pier development is now yuppie apartments. https://www.pieronesydneyharbour.com.au/dine-drink/
We followed the road around the edge of The Rocks, under the Harbour Bridge and into the Rocks proper where we finally called a halt to walking while we stopped for lunch.
After lunch we visited the Museum of Contemporary Art and I had my first experience with a Mixed Gender toilets.
For those who have not yet discovered these facilities, Men, Women, those who have decided they are another gender and those still in transition can be found in these toilets. In this facility there were several cubicles with doors but no urinals. However it was strange to say the least when you have left the cubicle to be washing your hands beside somebody who looked like a woman but may have been a male. Maybe she was a woman who is really a woman. Or a woman who is a woman but thinks she is a male or a woman who is undecided.
She probably wondered about me too.
From here we walked to Circular Quay Station and caught the train home.
Wednesday 8th January
Today I drove to Wollongong to meet up with long time friend Wayne M. Wayne has a new Mercedes A Class AMG Built A35 4Matic Turbo Hatchback. He wanted to put it through its capability by driving up Mt Kembla across to Mt Keira and back home and through to Albion Park Rail where we stopped for lunch at The Oks Hotel. The car is very sporty with uncomfortable suspension.
We stopped at Mt Kembla Moto Cross Track and watched practise for awhile. http://www.wollongongmotorcycleclub.com/ Just as we were about to leave a 4WD towing a trailer with moto cross bikes on it came into the pit area. The driver was -1 asleep, 2 intoxicated, 3 driving too fast, 4 inexperienced or 5 all of the above. He slid over an embankment with the car finally resting on its side while the trailer was flat on the ground behind it.
There was so much smoke haze in the sky that it was impossible to see the coastline below the lookout.
I was back at Gymea in time for dinner.
Thursday 9th January.
We are heading back to the Gold Coast.
Enid and I were on our way shortly after 8am and made good time through city traffic. We reached Heatherbrae on the outskirts of Newcastle as per my projected time line. We stopped for fuel and coffee.
We arrived at the bustling town of Laurieton in time for fish and chips. This is a busy tourist town well known for its fresh seafood from the local trawlers.
After lunch we drove to Camden Haven where we walked to Pebbly Beach and Enid continued on to Camden Head and Perpendicular Point.
We then travelled through North Haven to Bonney Hills, Rainbow Beach,
Lake Cathie, Tacking Point Lighthouse
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacking_Point_Lighthouse and Lighthouse Beach at Port Macquarie.
We stayed the night with friends Tony and Dawn. As always the hospitality is first class. Thank you Tony and Dawn.