I woke to find a blue blue sky and no rain in sight! HAPPY DAYS!! I hoped that this weather would hold up all day, or at least long enough for us to take our Bondi to Bronte walk along the beach front. It is published as a 1km gentle walk that has an estimated time of one hour return.
We parked up in the beach car park and lucky for us the sun decided to come out to play. In the car park I did spy a few surfers dressing/undressing at their cars, surf board leaning up against their boot ready for some serious surf action. I headed straight down onto the sand, I couldn't wait for that soft sand between your toes feeling. I ran towards the sea to get a better view of the surfers in action but to also feel the sea on my feet.
Bondi Beach sand
The waves were not massively huge but there were lots of surfers out, I guess they come out to play no matter what the conditions, from the shore, when dressed in their black wet suits they just look like birds sitting on the water. We stayed a while to catch a few big waves so that I could record the surfers riding out the waves. Bondi beach is not massive and today it was not too busy, since its only spring time but I can only imagine how crowded it must get in the summer months.
We joined the masses and started our beach walk. Plenty of people have the same idea and so the path is more crowded with people than the beach itself. The joggers and dog walkers are among the crowd too. We pass Bondi ice bergs, an outdoor swimming pool right next to the beach? From road above I could see that the water of the pool is actually from the sea.
I can't imagine why you would swim in the pool when the sea is right next door, although I guess the pool is free from sharks and surfers. As we continued our walk we noticed a crowd had gathered near the path barrier, people looking and pointing. As we got near we noticed that someone had actually built a make shift house into the side of the rocks. This 'house' was built from abandoned tarpaulin, plastic, maybe sticks or some sort of metal rods. The house had a settee, a stuffed toy dog with a feeding bowl and a gnome. Strange and wonderful place to have a house.
The eroded rock formations were quite spectacular. The colour, shape and the smoothness of the rocks all natures work. There were a few places in the rocks where the underlayer had been eroded, so you could crouch and get under there but the roof that it created was still so sturdy.
Surfers waiting for the waves
Another example is of an orphan, stand alone rock sitting on a flat level bed of rocks. I couldn't help but wonder how nature just kinda happens, just is what it is. I enjoyed climbing out onto the rock face right on the edge before the drop into the sea. As much as I thought I wasn't scared, as soon as I approached the edge I was pretty nervous, legs shaking.
The pictures of the sea was complimented by the colour of the sky, the shape of the clouds and the strength and persistence of the sun. The sky to me looked so unreal at times, the colour just took my breath away. I don't think I've ever seen such a bluey purpley sky like that. The clouds that day were menacing, at some points they were white and fluffy and playful and at others they just threatened big bad rain, all of which added a great look for photos.
Catching a wave
It was nice to finally see the sunny, blue happy side of Sydney
We hit Tamarama beach in no time at all. This beach is even smaller than Bondi beach. There were a couple of volleyball courts set up and a set couples were playing doubles. They looked like they were taking the game very seriously. There were less surfers here on this beach and absolutely no sunbathers. The beach had a Surf Life Saving Club, life guards can be seen coming in and out of here. Outside the Tamarama SLSC is the info board, detailing air and sea temperature and the forecasted weather for the day. This is useful for people who are interested in going into the sea or stripping off on the beach.
Behind the beach is a patch of green grass and a small park for the kids. In the patch of green is a grand tree that has grown over in a bent position, it can either look very motherly like you are being protected and covered by the branches or alternatively like you are being swallowed!
As we headed on towards Bronte we pass some inpressive beach houses. Jealous... Very! The views these tenants have must be a sightful. Bronte beach is also a small one. Again there is a lifeguard office, today there seemed to be a few of them about. The life saving speed boat was out too, maybe being inspected for safety? Mimi spotted one of the lifeguards that star in the TV show 'Bondi rescue.' We grabbed some ice creams from the kiosk, parked ourselves on the bench and devoured them.
We took 1/2 an hour to just sit back and enjoy the views, spot the surfers and watch the kids play in the sand. We saw couples walking along hand in hand and others sitting on the bench sharing a portion of fish and chips. Beware of those pest seagulls if you decide to do that.
The sand on Bronte beach seem rougher, darker with more of a dark grain mixed in, Tamarama beach sand felt very soft and warm but Bondi beach sand felt the best, golden yellow and soft.
The walk back was much quicker, I guess less stops for picture taking and more speed motivated by an empty stomach. We took a walk along the Bondi Pavilion to check out the extortionately priced restaurants and cafes. I guess we expected that, seeing as they are right on the beach front.
Instead we decided to take a walk up to Hall street. We walked along the row of shops on the main stretch of the road, it was a fair 10 min walk from the beach. On approaching Hall street you see that it consists of loads of cafes and restaurants. We were looking for Sabbaba, an Israeli falafel place. Sabbaba was one of the ones that were quite further up and had other Kosher food stores around it. The place is pretty small, with around only 5 tables in door and 5 tables outdoors. You order and pay at the till but the food is bought over to you. I chose the Tel Aviv falafel pocket and Mimi chose the Tunisian. These pitta pockets are filled to the brim, they are big and messy to eat, great for a hungry person who wants to tuck in but definately not date food.
On the rocks
Devouring the pitta pockets were done with skill and genuine silence, just the sound of crunching could be heard between us. This meal definately hit the spot and for only $8.5 bargain!
The parking at the beach cost about $15-$20 for the 2-3 hrs that we were there, not sure if that is a reasonable price or not seeing as I have no comparisons. As the afternoon was now setting in and the sun was really tired the sky started turning grey and the chill started to come back we decided to get out of the beach and head to Centennial Park / Moore Park, the entertainment quarter. As we arrived at the park the thunder and lightening set in and then the hail stones really started to pelt down. We got to the park and everyone was leaving, literally running for cover and getting out of there.
We decided to have a quick walk around so I could see what was on offer... not much, I saw some restaurants, the cinema and some shops. We must have been there for about 20 mins, pelted by the rain and hail before we joined the masses and decided to leave. When we went to pay for parking the man requested $20, public holiday rates. This is a good deal if you'd been there all day but for 20mins that was crazy. We told pleaded with the guy and he let us off for free. As the rain looked like it was staying the night we decided to head back to Paramatta and catch a movie at the Westfield centre. We went over to cinema entertainment and we chose to watch 'FAME', as we had time to kill before the start we headed downstairs to Max Brenner.
Sitting in the cave
Its a chocolate cafe, they seem to be pretty popular in Sydney with Lindt and Guylian also well distributed. This place was very popular, it was full of families, couples and friends all over the place. Chocolate fondues overflowing, pancakes full of goodies and treats or just simple hot chocolate. Yummy. After the movie the parking was free, its free for up to 3 hrs, bargain.
Early-ish night for my Blue mountains trip the next day.