Saturday, 11 January 2013.
Unlike last Saturday, I got up at the leisurely time of 9am.
By 10am, I was at the local Subway enjoying a foot-long Meatball sub.
By 11am, I was down at Circular Quay.
And just before noon I stepped off a ferry at Watsons Bay Wharf, near the entrance to Sydney Harbour and 11 kilometres east from the Sydney CBD.
It was another glorious, if very hot, summer’s day.
I began walking.
But first, I headed in the opposite direction.
About half an hour later I was at South Head, right at the entrance to Sydney Harbour.
About a kilometre opposite was North Head and a few kilometres beyond that was Manly Wharf, where I had begun last’s week walk.
For about 10 minutes I read the interesting historical plaques about the history of South Head and looked out at the intimidating expanse of the Pacific Ocean.
Then I headed back past the Lady Bay nudist beach and the HMAS Watson Military Reserve to Watsons Bay, and at 12:50pm I sat down near the famous and busy Doyle’s On The Beach seafood restaurant and had my first break.
I didn’t have anything to eat, though, as I wasn’t hungry and I’m allergic to seafood anyway. Instead, I drank from one of my two 1.5-litre bottles of water and replaced my chewing gum.
At 1:05pm I got moving again.
For the next hour I headed west, around the waterfront edge of the affluent suburb of Vaucluse.
It was my first time ever in Vaucluse, and it was a very pleasant and picturesque walk.
I mostly followed streets around the peninsula, but at Vaucluse Point I took a brief detour onto a walking path where for a few minutes there was no sight or sound of civilisation. It was amazing, like suddenly being in rural bushland.
Eventually, I arrived in the neighbouring waterfront suburb of Rose Bay.
At 2pm in Forsyth Park, with a spectacular view of Rose Bay below and Sydney Harbour beyond, I sat down for my second break, drank my first bottle empty and made a start on my second bottle.
My second bottle was one of the two I’d bought during last week’s walk. I also still had some of last week’s muesli bars, but I didn’t feel like any yet.
At 2:15pm I set off again and followed the winding downhill New South Head Road into downtown Rose Bay, where I detoured again.
This time I headed inland to a Bunnings Warehouse hardware store where I bought a few things for an upcoming chore at home. Even as I’d entered downtown Rose Bay, I’d been debating yet again whether I should do something so mundane on an exciting walk as go to a Bunnings, but in the end I decided Why not – after all, it is the closest Bunnings to my place.
About 20 minutes later I returned to Rose Bay where I bought a new bottle of water, and as it was almost 45 minutes after I’d left Forsyth Park I decided it was time for another break.
This time, I went into the Rose Bay Hotel, sat down for half an hour and enjoyed a glass of diet cola while I played some Plants Vs. Zombies 2 on my iPad and marveled at the Hotel’s large-gauge model trains that run on ceiling-hung tracks.
At 3:30pm I left the Rose Bay Hotel and continued westward.
I followed New South Head Road to the Point Piper peninsula and walked all the way around there. Part of that walk took me along Wolseley Road, which in 2011 was ranked by Financial News as the 9th most expensive street in the world. Point Piper was similarly picturesque like Vaucluse, and also very quiet.
After Point Piper came the northern edge of the equally affluent suburb Bellevue Hill, and at 4:30pm I entered Steyne Park in Double Bay where I decided to take another break.
For half an hour I relaxed on a park bench, drank some more water and finally had some muesli bars.
At 5pm, it was time to move on again.
I headed a few hundred metres towards the nearby Darling Point peninsula…
…and I came to a daunting sight.
It was the aptly named Marathon Steps.
Like the Gallipoli Steps I descended last week over in Seaforth, these several flights looked very narrow and steep.
But unlike the Gallipoli Steps, these ones I had to go up.
And after five hours of walking.
I groaned, steeled myself and began.
TO BE CONTINUED