Bondi beach and bowls

Friday 8th January 2016

 

Our first day out exploring in a car since we arrived in Sydney, and we set off for Bondi beach.  Traffic was lighter than we expected, but we didn’t drive through the city, instead taking one of the tunnels that crosses the water and then heads across town below its streets.  It’s a toll road, but we didn’t have to stop – the tag on the windscreen blipped to tell us we had been logged, and the charge will be payable to the hire company when we return the car.  Very convenient.

 

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Once out of the tunnel, another fifteen minutes or so and we were pulling into a parking slot facing Bondi beach. 

 

I sorted out some change for the ticket machine, but was soon back at the car for a credit card – at $7 an hour I would be there all day feeding coins in!  We slapped on the sunscreen –it was only mid-morning but it was already very hot, and there wasn’t too much shade about – and set off towards the pavilion in search of some loos and coffee.

 

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Bondi Pavilion – reminded us of Brighton!

 

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Inside the Pavilion, opened in 1928 and once known as the ‘Playground of the Pacific’.  It used to house Turkish baths.

 

A quick look at the Lonely Planet confirmed which direction to go, and off we went on the coastal path south towards Coogee beach.  This path winds its way for 6km around several bays and has breathtaking views out over the thundering surf, rocky coastline and white sand beaches.

 

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The beach is very much like Weymouth.

 

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The sea is somewhat lively.                                                                                          Rules for surfers!

 

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Looking back into Bondi Bay.                                                                                      Looking south.

 

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Fantastic rock shapes along the path.

 

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A very rugged coastline.

 

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An apparently randomly placed piece of Japanese sculpture.                      Tide’s down revealing more rocks.

 

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Well-placed walkways make the path easy to walk.                                         Amazing rock erosion.

 

We walked as far as Clovelly Bowling Club (in England we call them Bowls) where we stopped off for a drink and a sit in the shade.  We noticed they offered games of ‘bare-footed bowls’ to non-members, and decided to give it a try.  Neither of us has ever played the game, but with a quick run-through by one of the members, we were soon up and running.  I had not even realised that the balls are not spherical, and are weighted on one side. 

 

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This was the closest either of us came to the jack.

 

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I somehow managed to win the game, though I was helped by the fact that Steve kept forgetting which side to hold the weight so his balls swerved away from the jack rather than towards it... 

 

We enjoyed the game so much we thought we might take it up one day when we retire.  We didn’t notice, though, how the time was passing, and realised we wouldn’t have time to finish the walk to Coogee.  In fact we would need to walk a little more briskly to get back to Bondi before the parking ticket ran out.  In the event we made it in good time, and as we had missed lunch, shared a bowl of wedges with drinks at one of the restaurants at the Pavilion.  We really could have been at any English seaside – except of course that the sun was shining!

 

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