The first half-hour of my walk was uneventful as I followed the Pacific Highway south-east through Waitara and Wahroonga.
And then around 12:30pm in Wahroonga I had this amazing encounter.
After that, I kept on walking and pushed on further than my usual take-a-break-every-45-minutes because I didn’t find anywhere that looked inviting to rest.
Finally, I walked into Turramurra and discovered the cosy and inviting little park in the town centre.
I sat there for 20 minutes, drank some water and relaxed.
At 1:30, I hit the road again.
From Turramurra I continued south-east into Pymble and then Gordon without incident.
This time, I did stop 45 minutes later. Shortly after a toilet-break at the Gordon Centre shopping centre, I discovered the cosy and inviting Heritage Square park nearby where I once again sat, drank some water and relaxed.
At 2:30, I set off once more.
And it was during this part of my journey south-east into Killara and Lindfield that I was struck – and surprised – by this walk’s particular character.
In one way, today’s walk was similar to part of last weekend’s walk in that, like most of my journey along Victoria Road, I was following another major Sydney road that I’ve never heard anyone praise.
Indeed, in some places the Pacific Highway seemed to overdo its twisting and turning to the point of ugliness, and north of Gordon there was one long and depressing stretch of long-abandoned businesses.
As well, unlike my previous walks along the shores of Sydney Harbour, I had chosen the Pacific Highway more as a functional and practical route rather than a scenic one.
But overall, and increasingly as I continued south-east, I found myself coming back to one unexpected word to describe my journey: pleasant.
True, despite the Pacific Highway I was walking through Sydney’s picturesque Upper North Shore – but because I was walking along the Pacific Highway rather than driving along it, I wasn’t battling its notorious traffic and feeling angry and stressed out.
Instead, I was traveling at my own speed with the freedoms of (a) only having to worry about myself and (b) being able to appreciate more the leafy prettiness of the suburbs along the way.
And so I came to enjoy this walk even more.
As 3:15 approached so did downtown Roseville with its charming-looking independent cinema, one of the last left in Sydney.
Just before the town centre, though, I saw a park-bench that looked just as inviting so I stopped there instead.
I was roughly halfway through my planned journey.
Would I complete the second half?
At 3:30, I hit the road again to find out.
TO BE CONTINUED