Australia, 2009 – Day #3, Coogee to Bondi
Monday, October 12, 2009 –
I woke up today at 9am and left the hostel to grab the Breakfast of Champions, a donut and an orange juice from the neighbourhood 7-11, then was back at the hostel gathering up my stuff for a day at the beach. I walked across the street to the train station and caught the bus to Coogee for $3.20AUD. The bus ride to Coogee was 20 minutes or so, and took me through the suburbs of Sydney. I had heard of a scenic walk from Coogee to Bondi from some of the peeps in the hostel, so that was my main mission for the day – and to hang out on Bondi Beach, if the weather allowed for it. The day was slightly overcast and a little cooler than expected, about 17*C.
When I arrived in Coogee, I walked around the main area for a little bit and then proceeded to the coastal walkway – basically a path along the Pacific Ocean, leading from Coogee to Bondi. The views were absolutely amazing! The entire walk took a little over two hours but was well worth it, and provided some excellent photo opportunities. From Coogee, I went through Dunningham Reserve, which is a natural park and then over to Burrows Park, another natural area. I stopped there for a little bit, and sat on the cliff to watch some surfers catch swells off the coast. They were out a fair distance – not sure I’d want to be that far out, on a surf board in shark infested waters.
Next up along the walk was the Waverley Cemetery, which was a HUGE burial ground for over 80,000 bodies, right on the cliffs of the ocean. I guess if I had to choose a place to be buried, next to the ocean would be a pretty good spot. I walked through the Calga Reserve and then through Bronte Park. There were a bunch of teenagers playing in the park, and I guess they were there to celebrate a birthday since they had brought a cake with them. As I got closer, there must have been 100 birds that swooped down and start picking away at the cake. You should have seen the look on the teenagers’ faces. Haha. Priceless. I was just worried that the birds were gonna start attacking me, so I scurried off and kept going on my walk. Three days in Australia, and two close calls with attacks from flying species.
As the walk progressed, the sights became even more scenic. The coastal walkway took me through some Oceanside housing areas, the Gaerloch Reserve, and then through Tamarama. Tamarama was pretty cool, because the beach wasn’t very wide, but REALLY long. It was nestled in a little bit of a cove, which was quite different from the other beaches. In each of the little villages I passed through, I saw a surf club or swimming club for the village. I walked through Marks Park and Hunter Park, both of which are natural areas on the coast. This was when I was nearing Bondi, and walked past the Bondi Iceberg Pools – an Olympic length pool on edge of the ocean. The cool thing was that the pools were filled with ocean water from the waves breaking on the pool wall and letting the water in.
Now that I was in Bondi, I just took the whole scene in. I had lunch at Moo Gourmet Burgers, and sat at a table on the sidewalk to eat and people watch. I walked into surf shops and checked out surfboards. I watched kids that couldn’t have been older than 7, walk across the street with their surfboards in hand, ready to attack some waves. For the first time, I really felt like I was in Australia, in a surf town. The beach at Bondi was MASSIVE. Luckily for me it was Monday, and not the greatest weather, so the beach wasn’t as packed as it could have been – but that’s not to say there weren’t people everywhere. I couldn’t imagine this place over Christmas or New Years, with amazing weather and everyone off for the holidays. Unreal.
I headed to the change-rooms and changed into my beach gear, so I could lay out on the beach for a few hours. Even though the weather wasn’t super hot, I couldn’t leave Bondi without hanging out on the white sand and taking a swim in the Pacific Ocean. The water wasn’t as cold as I had thought it would be, so that was a nice surprise. I floated around for about 15 minutes before I started getting nervous that my stuff would be gone, or that I’d not be able to find it on the beach, so I got out. I went back to my towel and just laid on the beach for a while, getting some sun and watching all the characters on the beach.
It was around 6pm by this point, and I was getting hungry again, so I caught a bus from Bondi back to Sydney. Once I got back to the hostel and changed, I met up with Suzanne for dinner at Side Bar. Seeing that it was Monday night, there wasn’t a ton going on, so I wandered around Sydney for a bit, and made it an early night.