December 16th, 2011

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Australia Day 25: In which, eventually, we have lunch

Remember how I took a note to remind me not to try to keep up with the kids? I forgot. We headed to the beach in Manly to swim and take the “Manly Scenic Walkway.” We did the walking part first. It was definitely manly and scenic, but the walkway part implies a certain ease that was not entirely reflected in reality. The short version is that we hiked, we think, about 11 miles; we would be more sure if we hadn’t got lost several times and if we didn’t keep coming upon signs with different km distances listed for our destinations. I may never move again, but since I am still alive, I am theoretically stronger, right?

On to the pictures! Here is Syd being Manly with a capital M:



T. spent much of the coastal part of the walk explaining where he would put cannons, so I offer the Tactical Genius:



The sandstone acquires wonderful complexity as it is worn by the waves. I took lots of pictures of rocks, but I picked this one to show:



At one point, we came to an area where aboriginal rock etchings are preserved. Many of them, despite efforts, are fading. Most are too big to fit comfortably in a photo. However, this fish makes me happy:



And, just to prove that I did walk up ten million zillion stairs and hills, I offer this example of the gorgeous scenery we encountered:



I spent, according to the kids, the last 5 km of the walk complaining about how hungry I was. I feel that this was justified, since we finally had lunch at 4:00, immediately upon our return to places with restaurants. T. and I sat peacefully on the beach in our food comas, but Syd was determined to swim. He liked it. I liked not moving.
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Australia Day 26: In which we hike some more!

Today it was Brent’s turn to pick our activities. He chose to drive out of Sydney to Royal National Park, so we could… hike. Luckily for him, we love him and we were mostly recovered from yesterday’s adventure. Here are my men:



Luckily for me, Brent chooses hikes that are considerably less trek-like. The vibe of our hike was much like Tilden Park in Berkeley, at least partly because of the prevalence of eucalyptus trees. Our route meandered along the Hacking River (source of many very bad puns) and through some stunning rock formations. Here’s a view of the river:



And here is a rock I particularly liked: