Tag Archives: Manly

Once I no longer wanted to vomit…

23 Aug

I had a great time in Manly. Josh (an American colleague who just relocated to our Sydney office two months ago) and his fiancée, Malia, live in Manly, so they graciously offered to meet up for lunch when I arrived.

Manly is a peninsula with one side facing the harbor and the other side facing the Pacific Ocean. The ferry brings you in on the harbor side, but it’s a very short walk across a pedestrian area to get to the ocean. When I first landed, we walked a bit along the harbor side before shuffling along The Corso (pedestrian area) to the ocean.

Even though it was winter, and despite a “no swimming” sign stuck in the middle of the sand, the waves were large, the water dotted with dozens of surfers. Apparently it is – as Outback Steakhouse and Fosters commercials would lead you to believe – the national pastime. I love well-founded clichés.

We grabbed lunch (fish and chips, which – if you believe the guidebooks – is probably actually shark and chips) at a café next to Shelly Beach, and then got on the topic of the North Head and the Quarantine Station, both of which were just up the hill from where we were sitting.

The Quarantine Station appealed to my fascination with the morbid since it was where they quarantined people with the bubonic plague or the flu after WWI. Apparently they do a mean ghost tour up there in the evening, but  – still scarred from my ferry crossing – I had decided to hop the boat back to Sydney before sunset so that if we did end up dog-paddling around in the bay, the helicopters would be able to spot me. Alas, that ruled out the ghost tour.

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It’s called Manly because sissies won’t take the ferry.

22 Aug

Everyone told me I had to take the ferry to Manly while I’m here. What they didn’t tell me was that I might need to wear a diaper.

Manly is one of the beaches north of Sydney, right where the Harbor opens out to the Pacific Ocean. You get there by taking a 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay right in Sydney Harbor.

My guidebook told me to take my camera, so I did, plunking myself on a bench out on the deck so I could snap some photos. Opera House? Check. Harbour Bridge? Check. I was snapping along happily, right up until the point where we passed where the Harbor opens into the Ocean.

The waves started to get bigger, the boat started to rock, and suddenly the deck was getting pummeled by waves. Naturally, I grabbed my little camera and slid inside the cabin so I could stay dry behind a window.

I’m so glad I did, because the action was only just beginning. The waves got bigger and it was as stomach-lurching as riding a roller coaster while we were heading into the waves. People on board were actually squealing as if they were on a roller coaster, looking at each other with large eyes that seemed to say, “Can you believe this?”

The younger version of me (that also enjoyed turbulence on airplanes) would’ve loved this. The current version of me had images of sharks chewing my legs off when we capsized.

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