Day 26-28: Lollygagging in Sydney

That’s right.  I’m slacking off on my writing, which was really by design (I swear).  I’m in Sydney now, which is the one part of my trip where I have no particular agenda.  I’ve been here many times over the past 20 years, and frankly it’s one of my very favorite places on Earth.  I say this not because the temperature outside is a nice 85 F with pretty blue skies while it snows away in the US.  I say it because Sydney is a rare bird of being a very big happening city that’s perched on some of the absolutely best natural real estate on Earth.  

So to lap up all that is Sydney’s glory, I spent Saturday on the walk that never ended (or so it felt).  I’m staying in the Central Business District (CBD), which is close to the Rocks and the Harbor/Opera House/Bridge.  I had done the following death march before, and I was eager to do it again.  Around 11 AM, I marched out the door of my hotel and proceeded to a place on the harbor called Circular Quay.  From there, I basically hugged the harbor into an area known as the Eastern Suburbs, which consists of a bunch of high rising inlets that form bays around the harbor.  There are Potts Point, Double Bay, Rose Bay, etc.  I stuck to the coastline all the way to Watson’s Point, which is on the tip of the entrance to Sydney Harbor.  From there, it was a long walk, alongside monumental cliffs down to the famous Bondi Beach.  The whole trip was about 18 miles with 750 feet of elevation gain, and took me about five hours and change.  I defy anyone to do this walk and not constantly pose hypothetical questions about how they might steal $10 million, move to Sydney, and set up a new life somewhere on this route.  

Having fun with my new MapMyWalk app.  Love it!!!

Having fun with my new MapMyWalk app.  Love it!!!

Why subject myself to such horrifying walking agony?  It is true that by the time I reached Bondi, my feet were on fire despite wearing proper trail shoes. Every time I go on one of these endless hikes, I develop all new respect for infantrymen who must getting really sick of walking places.  Despite the physical toil, this particular walk was so incredibly beautiful that I was again inspired to start weeping at the magnificence of it all.  OK, I didn’t really cry, but if I was more of a crier, I would have.  It was five hours of one amazing vista followed by the next.  Here’s a sampling of the parts of Sydney that I hold most dear…

The justifiably famous Sydney Habour Bridge


View of Bridge, Opera House and Harbor from Rose Bay/Heritage Trail

Bridge from Rose Bay.jpg

Entrance to Sydney Harbour

Entry to Sydney Harbor.jpg

Sydney-Vaucluse Cliff Walk

Cliff walk.jpg

Impressive cliffs...

Crashing waves.jpg

And impressive, crashing surf...

More crashing waves.jpg

And finally, Bondi Beach in all of its teeming glory!  

Bondi beach.jpg

I heard once that the reason Australia has so many species of wildlife that can kill you instantly (sharks, spiders, snakes, octopi, jellyfish, and even shells!) is to make up for the fact that it is just that much more beautiful than most other places.  As far as I'm concerned, it's worth the risk!  

Love this place.