15th of February, 2018
The family is having a day off and they take me for a nice drive over the Harbour Bridge, to the Northern coastline of Sydney, passing famous Manly and the suburb Mona Vale. After only a 40 kilometer car drive from the inner city, you soon reach the peninsula with various attractive beaches on the Tasman Sea, the inner bay of Pittwater and more inland Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.
First we visit Whale Beach, where only a few people are enjoying this fabulous day. The sea is pretty wild and the sand is covered with ‘Blue Bottles’, a very stinging type of jellyfish, so no way I am going into the sea! Many beaches have a separate basin in the rocks and there it is safe to swim.
There is not much known about this type of jellyfish. They are siphonophores, a weird group of colonial jellyfish. They still can deliver painful stings, even after the organism has died. The question is: ‘to pee or not to pee’……….? Don’t, as you can aggravate the pain! Rinse with seawater, then use hot water or ice for the pain.
From Whale Beach we drive to Palm Beach. The narrow road climbs slightly and on both sides are expensive houses overlooking the beaches. Palm Beach is stretched out way more than intimate Whale Beach.
From here we return via the other side of the peninsula towards Newport. A small touristic town with plenty of places where you can relax with a drink or grab some food. We have lunch at the Newport Arms, nestled on the shores of Pittwater, with an amazing view of the bay.
After our lunch we get a tour at Bert’s, another (newly opened) venue from the Merivale group, on the same grounds. Inspired by the grand hotel dining rooms of the 1930s, the brasserie and cocktail lounge offer something extra. The wine cellar is amazing and so are the views from the lounge. Here you can relax in the afternoon with champagne and oysters or maybe a lobster or two? Don’t forget to bring your wallet!!! We ‘only’ have a cocktail……pfffffff……….
The return trip takes a bit longer, due to the rush-hour. Tonight we will meet up with two friends, who will rent their apartment to me, as from Sunday on. We will have supper at Kindred, in the district of Chippendale. It is very common to share various dishes with each other, so you get a taste of all the different flavours. It is indeed fine dining and these last days I get spoiled with so much lovely food and wines!
Tomorrow another exciting day, as we all move for a long weekend in an exclusive apartment from friends, overlooking the bay with the Anzac Bridge and the city in the far end.