Infinity Pool – Revisited

At the end of 2016, I boldly declared my New Years resolution to be one which would see me spend time, lots of quality time in 2017 with a favourite little person, my niece, Ms R.

Time to revisit the infinity pool that featured in the 2014 12 Beaches of Christmas Campaign. For good reason….the delightful Ms R, attached to pool noodle, floated alongside me.

Infinity Pool and Beyond with Ms R

Infinity Pool and Beyond with Ms R – Beach Number Eight, 2017

 

At last I can report that I stuck to a New Years resolution.

All thanks to a feisty and determined little person who will not hesitate to ask for  kisses and cuddles and mangoes and chocolate ( in that order)

On this particular catch up, Ms R and I chewed the fat on how lucky she is to have a backyard swimming pool.

‘Nanny and Fa Fa ( Grandfather) don’t have a backyard swimming pool’

‘ I don’t have a backyard swimming pool’

‘ Do you have a backyard swimming pool Ms R?’

‘ Yep’

‘ Yes you do, and aren’t you lucky?’

‘Yep’

It was a conversation that lasted but 30 seconds but it was on point and it was factual. It made us both smile – we are indeed lucky, we get to share precious moments with each other immersed in crystal clear chlorinated water. A pool of our very own. A lifetime of swimming catch ups ahead of us!!

Photo credits to Fa Fa ( My Dad, Ms R’s Grandfather) – three heads and counting….

Two people, Three Heads - Infinity Pool

Two people, Three Heads – Infinity Pool

 

 

 

\

 

Advertisements

Bar Beach

The sun was shining and I asked a Newcastle local, a council worker, if I was on the right track ‘ The coastal walk’- something I’d read about in a tourist information pamphlet.

His remark ‘ Never heard of that before love’!

I laughed and thanked him anyway – could not have asked for a better response.

I was walking the coastline – but according to locals, there was no official name for the journey.

I was walking in the direction of the Ocean Baths that came in at Beach Number 10 of the 12 Beaches of Christmas 2017- Merewether. The walk took me 2 hours and sites that greeted me along the way were breathtaking.

Memorial Walk - Newcastle, Looking South Towards Bar Beach

Memorial Walk – Newcastle, Looking South Towards Bar Beach

I did stumble across ‘ Memorial Walk’ – a 450 metre sign posted path, a tribute to the fallen men and women from the First World War. This part my stroll had spectacular views of the coastline – none prettier than Bar Beach.

One of my favourite Newcastle swimming spots, Bar Beach that conjures up special memories of being ‘ in town ‘ ( Newcastle) and hankering for a swim.

Never fear, Bar Beach is oh so near. In a matter of minutes you can go from hipster shopping on Darby street to ocean dip at Bar Beach.

Life is beautiful for Novocastrians.

Life is beautiful for those who visit her.

Bar Beach, Newcastle

Bar Beach, Newcastle

And perhaps my council work friend, who had never heard of Newcastle’s ‘ Coastal Walk’ eyes would have lit up if I had referred to the walk as the ‘ Bathers Way’ – the ‘offical’ name for the 6 km track linking Newcastle’s famous coastline stretch from Nobby’s Beach to Merewether Ocean Baths.

Some how I think he would still have remarked ‘ Never heard of that before love!’

Merewether Ocean Baths

The Australian Summer.

Early morning swims, coffee catch ups. Friends & family gatherings. BBQs, mojitos. Sunburn, sun cream and sand.

The familiar nighttime anthem – Cicadas serenading the moon.

Writing about aquatic adventures.

Does it get any better?

My adventure North of Sydney to Newcastle, revealed an abundance of salt water delights.

Take Merewether Ocean Baths.

Merewether Ocean Baths - view stretches for miles!!

Merewether Ocean Baths – view stretches for miles!!

Constructed in 1935, the Baths are the largest in NSW ( measuring 100m x 90m) And if that was not enough to lure you in, Mr Daniel Johns, former front man of the Australian band Silverchair, is a Merewether native (Be still my beating heart)

A place such as Merewether has but one religion, the ocean. You live and breath it.

Don’t feel that way inclined about the deep blue? Consider moving inland.

I’ve read the John’s struggled with this during his teen’s and early 20’s – he did not identify surf culture and that made things hard going. With the passing of time, and the international success that followed due to his other worldly musical ability, Merewether became a place of refuge. A place where he could simply be.

Yes, you can do that in Merewether.

Once you’re worked out who you are you can do that anywhere.

Given the choice, I’d choose to me by the ocean any day.

Merewether Ocean Baths - view stretches for miles!!

Merewether Ocean Baths – view stretches for miles!!

Bilgola Beach

The 11th Beach of Christmas is Bilgola Beach, Northern Beaches, Sydney.

I was lucky enough to be invited to spend Easter with a friend who was house sitting in this part of world. An exclusive coastal hamlet, bus travel was the transport option of choice on this occasion. Having sold the Honda 18 months prior, I am a seasoned professional at the NSW public transports system.

Arriving in Avalon, I was collected by car and driven to my weekend chalet.

Not before siting a favourite Rumi quote on the side of a local butcher shop. Yes, the Long Weekend was off to a marvellous start.

IMG_3845

It was to involve many beach swims, champagne sipping at the Newport Arms Hotel, easter egg eating, rest and relaxation.

The stand out beach swim took place at Bilgola Beach, 33 kms north-east of Sydney.

Bilgola Beach, Northern Beaches, Sydney

Bilgola Beach, Northern Beaches, Sydney

When you travel by bus, 33kms from central Sydney – you may as well have travelled to another country – so distinctly different is the Northern Beaches vibe.

Fewer high-rise building, less traffic, less inner city aggression. Instead an abundance of natural beauty, trees, birds, native flowers and vast open space. Unspoilt views of the ocean. An overall sense of peace and calmness that alludes the inner city.

The 2 hour bus trip did indeed induce a sense of time travel, the wheels on the bus went round and round and it took as eternity to arrive at my destination. But the  promise of paradise upon alighting the bus – made me resilient and strong.

As Rumi states : Set your life on Fire. Seek those who fan your flames’ – for me, Bilgola sustained me from April through to December this year. And I can’t wait to go back.

The Bogey Hole

The 12 Beaches of Christmas 2017 – let’s start this!!

In October I took myself to Newcastle, 2.5 hours North of Sydney. I caught the train, the return trip costing $9.00.

I’m happiest when by the sea, and Newcastle reminds me of were I grew up as a child.With the passing of time and the luxury of hindsight you realise how lucky you have been, if as a child, the ocean formed part of your backyard.

Newcastle, you feel like coming home.  There is a sense of the familiar as you stroll the streets, the smell of sea salt in the air. Peaceful walks along seemingly endless strips of golden sand, waves lapping feet.

Family holidays as a child from the South Coast, were always water based, and involved driving further South! Moving to Sydney some 14 years ago, means that holidays remain water based….but I’ve started going further North.

The 12 Beach of Christmas is the iconic ‘Bogey Hole’ swimming hole, Newcastle.

The Bogey Hole, Newcastle

The Bogey Hole, Newcastle

I discovered this gem on day three of the holiday. Day three the wind howled, the sky was moody, the sea was angry.

But the beauty of the Bogey Hole, though dark and moody, yes ever present.

An ocean pool hand carved into the rock platform by convicts, commissioned in 1819 for the sole use of Commissioner James Morrisett.

Wow and Wow.

On day three I had stumbled upon this place by chance. I had been searching for it the day before, when the sun shone down in full force, sweat was dripping from my brow. I had walked the entirety of Newcastles coast line. In vain.

And in the drizzle and rain of the next day – there she was, in all her glory.

A true Christmas Miracle – in October no less!!

The Bogey Hole, Newcastle

The Bogey Hole, Newcastle

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 114 other followers