Trip 4:August 7

The weather is still cool, but today it is splendidly sunny. So perfect for the planned outing to West Head, to enjoy the scenery and have a picnic.

Our drive took us north, and I was delighted beyond words to see that we were headed into Kuringai Chase National Park. Because of yesterday’s rain, the mountainous park was gloriously lush, and because it’s spring, wild flowers were blooming on all hands. I was in heaven.

We wound through the hills, surrounded by sandstone cliffs, gum trees, acacias, and casuarinas, as we headed out to West Head, which we reached in about half an hour. What a glorious spot. And what a view. We were overlooking the Barrenjoey Headland and Broken Bay. The water was impossibly blue, and sailboats were plentiful in many of the coves far below.

Black cockatoos, magpies, and currawongs thronged the trees. Pink, red, yellow, and white wildflowers splashed the forest with color. The fragrance of a pittosporum in bloom stopped me in my tracks—much loved and familiar from previous trips.

I am endlessly amazed by the tenacity of the gums/eucalypts, and I had much reason to be impressed by them today. There were fires through here a few years ago, and we saw gums that had been burnt to shells, but still with a branch or two with leaves starting out of the seemingly dead stumps. Wonderful. Delightful place for our picnic. And technically, still part of Sydney.

After lunch, we resumed driving through the forest and along the shore, winding our way through parkland and small communities. Then, as Mardi was feeling a bit under the weather, we stopped in Mona Vale to pick up some throat lozenges for her—and some vitamin C for me, to try to make sure I don’t catch anything. Trees and shoreline made the view endlessly charming, but as the sun began to drop to the horizon, we turned out wheels home. Not to rest, but to get ready for the evening.

There was time to freshen up —and take vitamins—before heading out to a concert at the Sydney Opera House! The city was dazzling, with lights everywhere reflected in the water. The Opera House came into view as we reached the Harbour Bridge, and stayed in sight as we rounded Circular Quay and headed down Macquarie Ave. toward the garage.

Having viewed the Opera House so often, and even having toured it, attending a concert there was a real joy. And the concert was splendid. Hard to beat Joshua Bell playing Beethoven. Sadly, Mardi was still feeling poorly, and even though she said she was game for a post-concert dinner, I could tell she was relieved when I said that I thought taking her home was a better option. She headed straights for bed when we got home. Brian and I had cereal for dinner and talked until midnight. I was still a little weary from jet lag and so even if it wasn’t exactly an early night, I very much looked forward to sleep. But what a splendid night.


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Filed under Australia, Nature, Travel

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