Once we made it to Sydney, there was only one thing on our minds. Drop our bags off and head down to Bondi Beach. The beach is roughly 30 minutes via public transportation from the center of the city. The beach was packed, as most everyone had the day off from work for observance of Australia Day. It’s really an awesome part of the city, with a bay that sort of forms an amiptheater type setting with stores up top along the road, and then a sloped grassy park land in the middle, and then further down is the beach that is flanked by swimming pools on both sides of the bay. Swimming in the ocean, like almost everything in Australia is quite dangerous due to Rip Tides, this especially because it’s a small bay. So there are small areas marked by flags where you’re only allowed to swim. More people die on a yearly basis from drowning/rip tides in Australia than they do by fires, spiders, snakes and sharks.
The water was a beautiful shade of aquamarine and quite cold, a refreshing escape from the extremely hot sun. Australia has to have the hottest sun that I’ve ever experienced. This has to be because of the degradation of the ozone layer over Australia. A random fact I heard on the radio, over 50% of men over the age of 50 have have/or have had Melanoma at least once in their lives. In fact the Cancer Council has their own brand of suntan lotion that they sell in drugstores. So I made sure to put on SPF 30 every 45 minutes or so, and still managed to get a little burnt on some missed areas on my first day there.
The next day I went off on my own to get some more beach time in, as Stonge got his ass handed to him by the sun trying to play catch up. So I took the ferry over to Manly Beach, which also gave me a nice view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. I eventually made my way over to Shelly beach and found my way through a number of walking paths that lead up to viewpoints showing off Manly, and then making my way back down to the beach and catching some rays. One curious thing that happened while on the beach was that I saw a helicopter patrolling the beach, and shortly thereafter the lifeguards got on the loudspeaker and announced that the surf conditions were no longer safe, and that the beach was closed for the day. I suspect sharks, but I doubt they’d make that announcement to quell the commotion, or curiosity.
To keep you guys coming back, stay tuned for part two where I delve into our walking tour of Sydney, some nightlife, and our experimentation with some interesting pizza toppings.