Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sculptures by the sea



I'm in pain. My calf muscles are killing me and my shins are screaming. Why? Because today I walked the Pacific Trail from Coogee to Bondi Beach. I have no idea how far this is, but like Australia, it's a bloody long way.

Fortunately, I was in good company: My coworker Rachel, her husband and their kids, and some friends who were visiting them from New Zealand. So it was kind of a group thing, which is good, because otherwise I would not have done it. I had told Rachel I wanted to see the Sculptures by the Sea so it was really cool of her to take me out there. All along the coast are these tiny beaches surrounded by big rocks, and they have a wonderful pathway that connects them all. So we started out at Coogee, then walked up the hill and down again to Gordon's Bay. Then up stairs and more hills to Clovelly Beach, where there was a big outdoor bowling alley. Not the bowling we do back home, but lawn bowling. Basically it was a bunch of people drinking beer and rolling balls around, LOL.

From Clovelly we climbed again, through a winding trail that led us to Waverly Cemetery. It is said here that the residents have some of the best views of Sydney. Too bad they are not able to enjoy them. Some of the tombstones are so close to the cliffs that they look like a strong wind could blow them into the water below. A construction project is underway to build something to prevent this.

Next was Bronte Beach, known as a family beach (as opposed to Bondi, I guess, which is sort of a party beach). Bronte has some very interesting "sea baths" which are pools that are somehow separate from the ocean. That keeps the jellyfish, sharks, and surfers away from the kiddies. Beyond Bronte was Tamarama - which I kept calling Taramara. That's where the sculptures began. There were about 100 of them - some weird, some stupid, others really cool and creative. We walked up the big hill that would eventually lead us to Bondi, fighting huge crowds of people to see the sculptures. I think, I hope I got some good photos.

When I got back to the hotel, I ordered spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner via room service, because I feel like I did a half marathon today. A hilly half marathon at that. So I deserve some carbs. Too bad I didn't think of dessert. :-)

It was a great day and I'm so glad I had this experience. I can't wait to see how the photos turn out.

By the way, Bondi is pronounced "Bond-eye" and Coogee is a take on an Aboriginal word that means "stinky seaweed." You never know when this useful trivia may come in handy!