30 Nov: Manly
Originally we'd intended to head Watson's Bay and go down past the southern beaches, but we were at the ferry terminal early - first ferry to W Bay wasn't until 10. So we juggled the itinerary and went for Manly instead. It was rather pleasant going over - not too blustery, and not too hot. Sun was out when we were in Manly, and we browsed their main shopping alley before a wander along the beach. Bit of an amble through some of the neighbourhood streets and up the hill a bit, then waited at a bus stop for a ride up to North Head. It was starting to cloud over quite a lot by then, but we didn't mind too much as it was keeping the air cool, and I certainly didn't mind as it meant my photos weren't so whitewashed by the brightness!
Made our way to the North Head lookout, where the cliffs and the rocks do some funny things to the wind, concentrating at just one point, rather oddly, so walking up to the lookout we encountered such a blistering headwind, but as soon as we moved just slightly further along the path, it abated to more leisurely levels. Very dramatic geography around there, but I managed to avoid snapping absolutely every cool rock formation I saw (just). Then we wandered back down the road to the start of a track that would take us back down past the old Navy base and eventually to Manly.
Had quite a treat on the first leg - while I was over-concentrating on scanning the path, making sure I didn't tread on anything dangerous, Rosie was looking around a bit more and spotted an Echidna just off the side of the track! Very cool to see something like that in the wild, just snuffling about in the sandy dirt, busting open an ant's nest for lunch.
Eventually we found our way back down to Shelley Beach and then back to Manly. We had then originally thought to take the bus up to some of the other Northern beaches - perhaps even as far as Barrenjoey Head - but the weather closed in harshly and it was really giving it some by the time the bus reached Dee-Why, so we didn't even bother with the Lagoon Reserve there, and just stayed on the bus all the way to Chatswood, where we sheltered within the huge Westfield shopping centre. Toured as much as possible before they starting shutting up, then caught the train back across the bridge into the city, alighting at Town Hall and wandering around checking out eateries, ending up at Maloney's Hotel for a couple of Guinness and a plate of Wedges to warm us up.