Ain’t life a beach

More beaches, and yet more beaches. From the, very touristy, Bondi Beach I progressed to Coogee – a slightly less visibly touristy beach which is in fact almost entirely populated with Brits. Had a good day down there with Sharon and Greg, managing not to get burnt thanks to my new sun hat, then stayed down for a few too many pints down the Coogee Hotel. Actually I saw ‘pints’ but I mean ‘schooners’ which are about two thirds of a pint each. This adds to the confusion of working out whether beer is cheaper than Britland but I think the answer to that is ‘yes’ in general!

The best beach however has to be Manley. This beach is best reached by a ferry ride from Sydney harbour which affords wonderful views back across the harbour including, of course, the opera house and the bridge. Manley is a long sandy expanse whose only flaw is that the currents can be quite strong so swimming is often restricted to a 10m safe zone patrolled by lifeguards. Luckily there is a wonderful little sheltered cove just along from the beach with minimal waves to get in the way of swimming.

Other than beaches I spent a few happy rolls of film on the opera house trying to find non-standard angles. This is fairly hard and I guess I’ll find out in a few days whether I managed anything interesting. I’ve actually uploaded some pictures from Hong Kong and Sydney to my photo site, and from that I’ve been finding that slide is working so much better than print film – although this is probably due to the variable quality of the labs being used. Ah well, I’ve still yet to find anywhere that beats Spectra in New York anyways so no surprise there.

The Botanical Gardens and parks have been my other major haunt for my time so far in Sydney. Yesterday it was an un-breezy 34 degrees so sitting in the shade of trees watching ibises (the plural of an ibis) dig in the ground with their strange curved beaks was pretty much the only thing that could be done. The botanical gardens are home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna – including a clipping from a pre-historic tree that only exists in Australia, and the amasing group of bats who live in the trees. Every night the bats, which have a wing span of about a metre in most cases, fly between the park and centennial square to feed. This mass exodus formed an amazing backdrop to the classical concert that was held in the gardens yesterday, especially as the bats were fighting a strong cross wind – definately an experience to remember. Almost as much an experience as ending up down the Arq club with Sharon and her friends and being wedged in amongst 200 topless be-muscled guys – good music, but not exactly my ideal choice of dancing companions. One guy did like my dancing though so that was nice…hmm.

Right – I’m off back down the beach to continue my slow (and preferably un-burnt) transition away from paleness.

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