Skint in Sydney: Coastal Walks

This is the first in a series of posts designed for those who are in wonderful places with not much cashola but still want to see and enjoy as much as they can.

This morning, I took a walk from the Spit Bridge to Manly Wharf as part of my project to walk the Sydney coastline.

What I wore: Knee length running tights, running top, with swimming costume and sports bra underneath, sports socks, trainers, sunglasses and a hat.
What I took: Sunblock, camera, towel, board shorts, rice crackers and nuts, water bottle, wallet, fresh clothes, undies and sandals.

We took the 183 bus at 7.47am from Pittwater Road and Lismore Avenue.  It's important to check out your choice of bus because many buses at this time of the morning are express buses to the city and don't stop at many stops and also are often pre-pay, leaving you in a bit of a bind if you haven't got a ticket already.  However, this particular 183 was perfect.  Check for

Cost of bus: $4.60

We got off at the Heaton Street stop at the top of the bridge, which was my mistake - should have been the Avona Crescent one further down as that is the road that leads to the walk.  It was a perfect morning, warm but not too hot with a blue cloudless sky.

A lot of the walk was shaded as we were walking through bushland, which was really lovely.  We spotted plenty of blue tongue lizards on our walk as well as loads of native plant life from banksia men to flannel flowers.  Along the way, there were assorted signs telling us about different types of native flora.  After only about half an hour, we got too impatient at seeing such beautiful sparkling blue-green water and scrambled down some rocks to the first little sandy inlet we came across.  And into the sea.  Delicious.

I walked the next part of the walk in my boardies, tshirt and swimmers.  We passed loads more of little inlets, some with bigger sandy areas and better access, but decided to keep moving.  At Clontarf, we had to hit the road as the tide was high and we couldn't get round on the beach, so that is something to keep in mind.  We hit a lot of steps during the first third of the walk and were feeling pretty tired by the time we hit the flatter areas near Tania Park.  So unfit!

By Middle Harbour the fabric of damp boardies was really beginning to chafe so I swapped back into my running tights and was a new woman!  Woohooo!  Around Fairlight, I picked out my favourite house (oh Lottery - when will my numbers come up?!) and my favourite bather of the day, a man suspended in the calm, green water floating on his back and staring up at the cloudless sky.  Bliss.  I was keen to go in to join him, but hunger prevailed.  Those nuts and rice crackers just weren't cutting it.

As we cruised into Manly after three hours of walking, swimming, snacking, gazing awestruck at amazing vistas and taking selfies, we decided to head down to the ocean beach for a well-deserved long, cool dip in the sea.  Unfortunately, the beach was closed, so we settled for an outside shower which was also very refreshing...but still...disappointed!

By this time, we were ravenous, so we popped into a local fave, Hemingway's, for brunch.  I had the roasted mushrooms and a large latte with a great big caffeine kick to it.  Wolfed it down. Totally envious of my meat-eating walking mate's chorizo and home baked bean and egg pot with sourdough and a hash brown on the side.  Now that's post-10km-walk food.

Cost of brunch at Hemingway's: $17

Sore, full bellied and happy, I took the bus back.

Cost of bus: $3.70

After a morning like that, a loooong nap or at least a lounge and a good read is in order.  Go on, you earned it!

Total cost: $25.30.  YAY!


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