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Sydney Day 5 - Bondi Beach

The pace is definitely slowing. This morning Karen didn't even wake up until 8.15am, what decadence. Anyone would think we are on holiday. What is interesting is that we are actually struggling to adjust to the slowdown during the day as we want to be on the move doing stuff all the time. This was a topic we kept returning to during the day. The balance between being busy all the time giving the feeling we are making the most of our limited time in places against the need to have a break occasionally and chill out.

Anyhow, after breakfast we took the train to Bondi Junction and then a bus to Bondi Beach. It was all very simple and easy. The Sydney transport works well and is properly coordinated.

Bondi Beach is one of the world iconic beaches. Today the waves were huge with great surges and splashes as they crashed into the rocks. We decided to start by taking the coastal walk around the bay and headland to Tamarara Beach. This was quite a windy route but the sun was starting to break through the clouds in places so still very warm. An overused word this holiday, but the views were spectacular. There were quite a few steps set into the cliff we had to climb and eventually we stopped to give Karen's sore foot a break. It was a lovely walk that could have taken us a few miles further to Bronte Beach but we were conscious we had to return back from whence we came and didn't want to risk any further damage to Karen's foot and other aching body parts.

We stopped on the way back for a coffee at the famous Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club. The outdoor pool is filled by the waves from the sea. Today the waves were so large that they were crashing over the pool completely, meaning the pool was closed until high tide had passed.

It was a lovely and unique setting for our drinks. To become eligible for full membership of the swimming club, apparently you have to swim at least 3 Sundays out of every 4 over a period of 5 years!

After this we wandered back around Bondi Beach. The TV crew had the equipment out for filming the latest series of Bondi Rescue but we couldn't see any filming actually taking place. I did suggest Karen jump off some rocks so that she could be on TV, but for some reason she ignored me as usual.

We'd brought a picnic with us so sat and ate it not far from the Bondi Lifeguard building just in case we could see any action. But the sea was far too rough and all they were doing was telling people not to go in.

As it had been over a hour since our last drink, we thought we would have one final one before we left the Beach. Although we had a fine view over the bay from the cafe we chose, it was less successful as the milk for Karens tea was off. We sent it back but the second lot was just as bad. She ended up drinking her tea black and was quite grumpy about it, even considering how easy going she is about these things.

The bus ride back was uneventful. We decided to have a look around Bondi Junction before catching the train as we had heard it was a shopping destination. It certainly was. There was an enormous Westfields mall. Once inside it was just like every other mall in the world. We consulted the listings of shops and decided to visit 'Target' which is a shop we know from our USA jaunts and we wondered if it was the same. And it almost was. I was so impressed I bought some more socks to wear with my clean pants.

Then to Karens absolute delight we found a Starbucks. I'd like to describe as interesting and special, but to be honest I could have closed my eyes once in there and been in anyone that we have been to across the world (with some exceptions). But the most important was that she was happy.

After our train home and a quick rest and change for Karen we set off out to get some dinner. We caught the train to Martins Place and walked the rest of the way to Circular Quay. After laughing at some of the preposterous pretentious twaddle they were selling in the gift shop for the Museum of Contemporary Art, we went to Phillips Foot located at the Rocks. We have been there a couple of times before. It is essentially a DIY BBQ Pub. You pay your money for some meat and then cook it yourself on the large BBQ's they have on constantly. Then you help yourself to Potato's, Vegetables and salad. To be honest it was the Potato's that attracted Karen as she was fed up with chips and had a craving for roast/baked spuds.

We both chose a large Rump Steak. They were both delicious. I cooked them at the same time as some foreign guy was doing his. Neither of us spoke a word of each others language but by pointing and laughing we worked it all out fine between us. The food was delicious.

After this we walked around and under the Harbour Bridge before having a drink at The Mercantile Hotel.

Although we still sat outside, tonight was the first time I probably could have done with a sweatshirt as the temperature had dropped a little.

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