This weekend the sun really shone here is Sydney. That and the extra weekend day (thanks Queenie) meant that I got up early and went exploring, Captain Cook style! Botany Bay awaited me.
With the start of the whale season upon us, and being the nature and animal lover that I am, I jumped out of bed and formulated a plan that incorporated both. Just an hour outside of Sydney and even less on the train, I opted for the train. I jumped on at Central Station and sat with my eyes glued out of the window at all the amazing scenery gong past me. City fell away to suburbia, which was soon taken over my trees and passed idyllic bays. Shortly after we arrived at our final destination; Cronulla.
Filled with delightful little cafes and home-ware shops Cronulla was very sweet. Steeped in surfing legendary there is a relaxed, yewww-y vibe to the town. Boys walk around with no thongs (flip flops to my English readers) and ‘boardies’, despite the some-what fresh breeze.
I arrived at Botany Bay National Park ready for my bush walking, whale watching adventure. When I spoke to the ranger in the information centre she informed me that two humpback whales had already been spotted that morning. Full of optimism and excitement I set out through the bush.
I cant tell you how gorgeous the weather was. I was expecting the breeze to pick up over the cliffs but was faced with quite the opposite; a glorious 22° sunny (winter’s) day. Not a bad Winter, Sydney!
Don’t be fooled by that sun, it stays quite muddy up here…
VERY muddy! Just as i was starting to feel smug about how well my day was going nature soon reminded me how much of a naive Brit I really am. Note to self: do not wear new trainers whilst bush walking. It seemed like I was there for hours, searching the horizons, endlessly hoping and squinting at any break on the wave. My heart leaped at every false sighting of the tip of a fin. Alas, it was not to be. The first time I had an encounter with a wild humpback was so magical. A moment in time that I will remember forever. I won’t give up this year, I will see one again. I made my way down the cliffs back towards Cronulla – the walk is a lot longer than anticipated. A full 4 hours walking over rocky, sandy *cough* muddy terrain. It is an adventure not for the faint hearted. Needless to say, well worth it. I kept imagining how Captain Cook must of felt arriving at this spot. Since arriving in Australia I can only imagine the sheer bravery these men went though in their first weeks on this fantastic island in the South Pacific. Seemingly untouched, the national park at Botany Bay really gives you a sense of what the crew went through.
Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go.