When my ferry arrived at Manly Beach it was immediatey obvious that we were not in Sydney anymore. Although the ferry has brought throngs of tourists the beach seemed uncrowded and pleasant. As I exited the ferry terminal I walked to the left past the beach and continued along the path which went along the rock and coast. Soon I came to a second small beach which was also small and uncrowded. After a bit I walked back in the other direction and as I walked I enjoyed the views and feeling of the small beach. Although this was all very nice I thought to myself, this world famous Manly Beach wasn't very big and how did it handle the throngs of beach-goers that come here in the summer?
After wandering for a bit I thought I was coming to the end of my visit and stopped in a wine shop to see what was available. As I exited the shop there were hundreds of people on the sidewalks all going in one direction. I figured out that these people have just come off the latest ferry and were heading to someplace specific. As I followed I could see at the end of the street where they were going, TO THE BEACH!
You see, I guess Manly is a penninsula and the "big" beach is on the opposite side from where the ferry docks. What a nice big beach it was. It is Fall here, but warm, but I can just imagine the activity on a hot summer day. It's a beautiful and scenic beach and reminded me very much of a California beach such as Santa Cruz or Malibu. Tall pines line the roads and rocky coast surround the beach area. There are walking paths which are along the beach as well as the rocky part of the coast.
In addition the avenue leading to the beach, as well as the raos along it are lines with shops, cafes,restaurants and take away joint. Here you can get everything from a full meal to fish and chips to eat on a park bench. On the way to the beach there is also a Coles supermarket where you get get good prices on snacks and bottled drinks.
It's seems a bit crowded here but very casual and relaxed.
Until you get back to the ferry for your return. Now imagine all these people trying to get the 3.45pm ferry back to Sydney. It's suddenly like you entered the third world of immigrants yearning to be free. Here you will fight with little girls, pushy grandmothers, prams, wheelchairs, backpackers and tourists all pushing, shoving and running to get the best seat on the ship. It's the masses at their worst. I suggest you arrive early if you insist on a outdoor deck seat for the ride back to Sydney. Another hint, all these people have to get off he derry too. As the boat makes it way into Sydney Harbour most people will be at the windows watching the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and skyline, use this opportunity to make your way down to the exit.
Oh darn, I see the Harbour Bridge now, it's that time! Gotta go!
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