Spit to Manly Walk

hikes, Sydney

On Friday, a gusty wind swept in, and settled itself upon Sydney until this morning. It brought with it winter cold and air full of misery inducing allergins, so Partner-in-Crime and I hunkered down in the apartment. It was a maddening weather front, considering that I was in the pool on Thursday and then layering two sweatshirts on Saturday. We did venture out with our new badminton set, with misplaced and stupid-grinned optimism, but it was not five minutes before we’d knocked our shuttlecock off the ledge of the roof, and we ambled our North Faced bodies back inside to eat ooey gooey warm pizza and watch a chick flick.

Get it together, weather. Back in Florida, where I came from, the men are men and spring is spring, not some mamby pamby cold and gusty excuse for a season.
Well, the weather finally got itself right today, and we needed to break free from our cabin fever, so we trotted off to do some of the Spit to Manly hike. (I have to tell you that I find the word “spit” to be disgusting, even though I know what it means. If you Google Image “Spit to Manly,” once you get past all the pictures of the hike, you’ll find some pretty hilarious images of “manly” men doing what manly men do).
My inner-12 year old boy aside, it’s actually a wonderful bush walk that starts at Mosman, crosses over a bridge, and then meanders through beaches and tropics for about 10km. We only did the first 1/3, or less, but it was still a nice trek. The whole walk looks like this, and I’ve marked where we began and ended:

We started out at a park and walked over the Spit Bridge (a drawbridge, which is fun times, especially when we saw it open on the other side).
Then, we entered the first reserve and wound through a lot of easy bush. There were all kinds of big lizards on the walk, and particularly in this first section. Like this dude:
Pretty soon, we’d wandered into a residential neighborhood and a dog beach. I thought we were at the end, so I had us plop down and admire the pooches chasing balls in the water. However, we actually had to trek through a cul-de-sac and a park to end up in what looked like someone’s driveway; but was actually the next trail marker. Funnily enough, the people whose yard we went through had a large fence around their property with a sign on the gate that said “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here” (credit P-i-C for being smart enough to know that was from Dante, even though I was the one who minored in English). Not interested in finding out what circle of Hell lay beyond, we kept on our assigned path.
Here was where it really started to get good. While the hike was a bit tougher in this part, the views became rather stunning.
There were some moderate climbs, but the trickier part was maneuvering some of the more uniquely shaped stone stairways.
We were surrounded by some very dramatic rock formations, though; and it is my understanding that further along the trail, there are even some Aboriginal carvings in some of the rocks.
Partner-in-Crime and I do enjoy a good hike, and when we decided to stop and turn around so that we wouldn’t get a parking ticket when our meter ran out back at Mosman, I felt a remorseful that we didn’t plan better to make a day of it, and go much further.
Next time, I’ll know to wear my bathing suit because there were so many yummy spots along the way where I just wanted to jump in for a cool dip. Suit, a lunch, and a lot of water, and I think we’ll have ourselves a real outing on our hands one fine day … all hope shall not be abandoned!