Thursday, March 6, 2008
The ferry to Manly beach
I know the title sounds like a movie on the BRAVO channel, but it's actually a real family beach (and by "family" I mean...kids, surfers, parents and the like) up the coast from the main part of Sydney. I was told by several people, including the gal at the front desk this morning, that I needed to take a ferry out to Manly beach or, how did she put it..."It's a beautiful day, what are you doing standing around here. Go!". So, a friend met me at the local McDonalds and away we went...
The ferry ride was nice and I got to see Sydney from offshore, so that was a nice perspective. We landed on the harbour side of Manly (it's actually the name of the city. Richard Simmons could not live here.) and then walked through a little touristy area to the actual beach, which opens out to the ocean. Lots o'people milling about...usual beachy stuff. Then we walked around to another beach that was a little less populated. On the way to that one, I noticed a pool that was built into the side of the trail, bordered and filled by the ocean...very cool.
The man on the right seems very...comfortable.
This other beach area reminded me of the "Gilligan's Island" lagoon (but without Lovey and "the rest"). The water was very clear and there was a much smaller grouping of people. I didn't go into the water because I forgot to bring my "swimmers" (what they call swim trunks) and I didn't want to impose my blindingly white hiney to such nice local folks. So, we wandered up past the beach into a nature preserve that overlooks the ocean. Guess what was there......
Those damn spiders!
Dear God In Heaven Above! There were hundreds of them....hanging out in groups from almost every tree and bush (you can click on the pictures if you dare take a closer view). My friend, a landscaper, said they're harmless and usually run away when you bother them. I said, BOTHER THEM?! Like someone's gonna go over and try to give them a little tickle or tell'em a joke? That's when my friend reached into a web...REACHED INTO A WEB...and pushed one a little with his finger. And yes, it did scurry away quickly.
So did I.
When I saw one that was almost as big as my fist hanging about a foot above my head, I said "I'm done here, we can go now". I've never walked and ducked so fast in my life. Thankfully, we stayed on the short trail and headed back to the port to catch the next ferry back.
"Bother the spiders".....seriously?! SERIOUSLY?!
While waiting, we stopped and had a beer at a bar on the dock (try saying that three times fast) that had a nice view of the bay (that is where the very top picture was taken). It was really beautiful and the water was so calm. Then I noticed a place to the side (a few steps down) where you could rent kayaks. My first thought was "How nice for people who want to do that...where's my beer?". Then I noticed a guy with tattoos (it seems to be a theme today) hanging out down there, kind of posing around with his shorts hiked a wee bit below his personal equator.
So naturally, when he came up to the bar level....I asked him if I could take a picture of his tattoos and, since he was obviously very shy, he let me.
I'm sorry, what was I talking about before?
Oh, who cares....