Manly.

MANLY.

A great name for a Sydney suburb. Very Aussie don’t you think?

Half an hour by daddy-ferry from the centre of the city and worth the trip. We make our way straight to the beach across the Corso blanking out the comely designer shops. This is because they are a) too cool for school – and therefore us – followed by b) über expensive.

It’s a short walk to the main event: the beach. The surf is indeed manly, pounding the beach giving the air a fully charged feel and misty tinge. It’s a bracing image, a lung filling breath. So what do we do? Why we make like Brits at Bridlington and eat a packed lunch on the promenade. Presently, the kids are digging holes on the beach and Dad is trying not to notice girls in micro-bikinis.

Time for a swim.

At length we find the tiny flagged area of the beach and leap into the surf.

And out again.

Bracing you might say.

It’s a beach full of rips and undertow which are all the more powerful in the 8′ swell that’s running. The roaring surf does not let up for a moment. Aussie bravado gives way to good sense in making the swim area manageable. Eventually, we – even Mrs B – are leaping over the breakers and flinging ourselves toward the shore for a spot of body surfing.

It’s a invigorating dip and the effect is completed by a warm shot blasting from the stiff wind. Ice creams follow. The perfect beach afternoon.

Sharks – it seems – are much less frightening if no one tells you about them. I thus choose to withhold Great-White anecdotes until we are home and dry. (In truth, fin sightings are a paper selling myth even here. Last shark fatality in this region? 1937.) Even then young Beers are not fazed. Although I admit to double-taking the whole time I am in Sydney harbour for some strange reason. (Blame Spielberg: Jaws still bites the imagination all this time and such a distance away.)

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As we ride back to Circular Quay on the ferry, a myriad of yachts – serious, expensive, dramatic big-boys-toys of 37′ then larger – are around and about. They’re not kidding either as they heel over, crews dangling over the rails as counterbalance. A joy to watch, when a thought hits:

Just your typical weekday afternoon round these parts I s’pose.

Jealous?

Moi?!

Oui.

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Categories: Our posts | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Manly.

  1. G/Pat.

    A lovely amusing and atmospheric blog. The whole place looks a superb.

  2. My one visit to Manly served as an uncomfortable reminder that I am about as far removed from having a ‘beach body’ as it is possible to get for any living being which walks on its hind limbs. It reminded me of Brightom. Except for the bits that are different. Which is, now I think about it, pretty much everything.

    Brings back good memories. And I’m not just talking about the micro-bikinis.

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