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The Three Beaches Walk

I’ve dubbed this The Three Beaches Walk because it covers Sydney’s three most northerly beaches: it begins at Palm Beach, takes in Whale Beach and ends at Avalon Beach, roughly 9km. (Scroll to the bottom of the post for a map.) I did it last weekend, and as the photos reveal, it was a beautiful spring day, 22C and sunny.

Looking back (north) along Palm Beach from the point I started walking, you can see the lighthouse on Barrenjoey Head.

Looking in the direction of the walk (south), this is where I was headed.

I had to get from sea level to the top of that hill, though. At the end of the beach are stairs. Lots of them.

Once at the top, you can look back to Palm Beach and beyond, and marvel how high you’ve come.

The houses along here are big, expensive, and face the sea. Only walls and roofs can be glimpsed from the road. (According to friends who grew up on Sydney’s North Shore, this is known — unflatteringly — as the Insular Pensinsula.)

Flowering plants aplently!

Here’s the next beach, Whale Beach.

I had a sinking feeling when I spotted that headland at the end of Whale Beach, but luckily didn’t have to scale it. However, I knew the headland beyond this one would have to be tackled.

It was a bit of a trek up the hill at the far end of the beach. In the bottom right you can see Whale Beach, and how tiny the people are.

This bench is hardly a stunning specimen, but it was sturdy and in the shade, so I sat for a bit. 🙂

This louvred door and shrub caught my eye. It looks as if they’re blocking access to something, but in a fun way.

Time to go off road! This is the beginning of the bushwalk at Bangalley Head.

“Relatively hard”. “Highest point”. hmmm

More stairs, of course …

Once at the top, and with my breathing back to normal and heartbeat no longer thumping in my ears, the walking was delightful. Sun-dappled paths through the trees, and glimpses to the right of yachts in secluded bays.

The end is in sight! That’s Avalon Beach in the distance. How to get off this headland, though??

I finally found the path down. More stairs (naturally) but easier to bounce down than up. When I turned a corner in the path and saw this perfectly framed sight, I actually exclaimed, “Wow.”

These cliff edge warning signs were dotted along the Bangalley Head walk. You can see how close the edge is.

Once off the headland and looking back, the height of the drop is all too apparent.

The path continues between cliff edge and front gardens. I hope these people have insurance, because that’s a pretty steep drop.

The end! Here is Avalon Beach.

Now, I’m not a great fan of ocean swimming — too much sand, too much surf, too much getting knocked over by waves. But the pool at the hotel I stayed at that night in Newport is much more my style!

Here’s a Google Maps shot of where the walk is, if you’re not sure of the relation to Sydney.

If you enjoyed this walk, be sure to check out other people’s offerings on Jo’s Monday Walks.

And if you’d like to see more about Palm Beach and the Barrenjoey lighthouse, Jude has a great post.

(A note about the photos. I didn’t want to lug my ‘real’ camera around for three days, so took a smaller ‘point and shoot’. The quality is not as good as I’d like, but that was the trade-off for less weight and bulk. Still, you get the idea!)


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Passing by in a blur

People walking along Martin Place, Sydney.

These two photos of pedestrians on Martin Place were taken a couple of years ago during the annual Vivid light festival. The long exposure needed for the lights created some interesting motion blur as people passed by!

I’m really not sure what this person was doing to turn into such an odd shape!

Tiramisu slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)
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Luscious layers of cakey scrumptiousness

Tiramisu slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Layer upon layer of sinful delight, topped with an cheeky little disc of white chocolate.

When I read that the theme for this week’s photo challenge is layered, only one thing popped into my head: cake! (Though to be honest, cake needs little prompting to pop into my head.) So I stopped by my local bakery on the way home (the dangerously tempting Wellington Cake Shop on Bondi Road) for a slice of something layered.

I ended up buying two — the second one purely as a backup, for photographic purposes, of course. Just look at these cakes: tiramisu (above) and hazelnut (below). The richly textured cake layers with their flecks of nuts and chocolate, the silken melt-in-your-mouth creaminess of the filling. Oh my.

Hazelnut slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Small flakes of nuts cling to the cake like mountain climbers scaling Everest.

Hazelnut slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Eat me. You know you want to.

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Marriage Equality: Vote Yes

The “YES vote” campaign is highly visible in Martin Place (downtown Sydney).

Here in Australia, we’re in the throes of an emotionally charged postal survey to discover people’s opinion about changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry. The YES camp and the NO camp are putting their messages in front of the voters. The survey is not a referendum, not a plebiscite — the result will have no binding consquences and will not force the federal government to take any action.

It’s not just banners, there are ads in Martin Place too.

“This means that even if a majority of Australians vote ‘yes’ in the postal vote, it doesn’t ensure same sex marriage will be legalised. Instead, [Prime Minister] Turnbull says that a ‘yes’ vote will prompt a free vote based on a private members’ bill in Parliament. A ‘no’ vote will not trigger this action.” (source)

I walk through this avenue of banners every morning, just one more faceless drone scurrying to the office.

So we have our say in order to determine whether Parliament will even consider passing a law. Tortuous, but the only option at the moment.

Quite apart from the serious message, the banners are, well, pretty! Their bright rainbow colours are a cheery sight.

I don’t normally take an overt political stance, but this issue is a no-brainer. Love the person you love; marry the person you love, if that’s what you want. The state should have no right to dictate such matters.

An Australian flag behind a YES banner.

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Random Fridays: Wisteria

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

It’s spring here in Sydney, which means the wisteria is giving us its annual brief blaze of glory. The temperature on Wednesday was 32C, which won’t have done these delicate blossoms any good! But while it’s blooming, it’s beautiful.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Wisteria at an entrance to Waverley Park, Bondi Road, Bondi.

Sadly, the flowers are already starting to drop.

Fallen glory.


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