The first leg of my walk up Bradleys Head Road was very pleasant. It was a nice winter’s day and there were lots of great old houses to see.
Soon uphill became downhill, and I began descending north-west towards downtown Mosman.
As I mentioned in Part 1, I had initially thought about wearing my long-walk hat but in the end decided not to.
And as I headed towards Mosman, it wasn’t that hot at all…
…but it was mostly a very clear sky, and there was quite some glare.
Briefly, I regretted not bringing my hat after all, but soon I got used to it.
About 30 minutes after leaving Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head Road took me into Military Road.
And as I began walking through downtown Mosman, I thought again about returning the ‘phone call I’d gotten from the recruiter while I was at the zoo.
I briefly considered stepping into what I thought was the local public library, because I thought it would be a nice quiet place to make a call – but then I scolded myself. Public libraries are meant to be nice and quiet – but not for ‘phone calls.
I pressed on, looking for perhaps a cafe to step into and get a drink while I made my call.
There were lots of nice-looking cafes along Military Road, but I was enjoying the walk too much.
My returned call would wait, again.
Soon I came to the major intersection in the centre of downtown Mosman, where Military Road widens and continues west towards North Sydney while Spit Road connects from the north.
And before I began my journey west, I stopped for a moment, looked up Spit Road and smiled.
It was along that section of road that, over 18 months ago, I had come walking from Manly into Mosman on my first long walk.
18 months ago!
A lot had happened since then.
I replayed a few more pleasant memories from my first long walk, and then I began heading west.
Soon, Mosman became Cremorne.
And as always when I’m in Cremorne, I smiled at the sight of the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, one of my all-time favourite cinemas.
But because it was across the road, I wouldn’t be stopping there to make my return call.
Instead, I stepped into a nearby pub.
And I spent a moment trying to find a quiet corner away from the music playing through the speakers.
But I couldn’t find one.
Ah, well. Try, try again elsewhere.
I stepped back out onto Military Road and continued westward.
Soon, Cremorne became Neutral Bay, and I realised something.
It had barely taken me an hour to walk here from Taronga Zoo.
And as I came towards the western end of Neutral Bay, I realised two more things.
One, it would take me even less time to walk to Crows Nest.
Two, I would arrive in Crows Nest long before Montezuma’s opened for dinner.
That didn’t bother me, though, In fact, I was amused at previously thinking that this walk would take me two or three hours to complete.
So it wasn’t a very long walk at all.
But it had been a very pleasant one.
Just before I left Neutral Bay, I once again considered stepping inside somewhere and returning that recruiter’s call.
And there was one likely-looking cafe I briefly considered – until I saw that it was closing in 20 minutes.
Ah, what the heck. I would wait until after I’d finished walking in Crows Nest, as I would get there well before the end of the working day.
Finally, Military Road became Falcon Road.
I followed Falcon Road as it crossed above the Warringah Freeway, and soon I walking along the northern edge of North Sydney.
And shortly after that, Falcon Road took me straight into Crows Nest.
It was around 4pm when I arrived in Crows Nest, only an hour and a half since I’d begun my walk from the zoo.
Montezuma’s wouldn’t open until 5:30pm, however.
So I decided to relax in a local pub until then, and finally return that call.
But first, I decided to see if anyone in Crows Nest sold headphones.
I couldn’t find anyone who did, but while in a local bookshop I decided to try making my call from there as they’re usually pretty quiet.
So I went right up the back to the children’s section…
…which had a music-playing speaker mounted right above it.
Finally, I went to the pub.
It was noisy, but there was one place inside that would be comparatively more quiet…
…until I discovered in the men’s toilets that the urinals automatically flushed every few minutes.
I gritted my teeth, locked myself in one of the toilet stalls, put my back to the urinals, stuck a finger in my free ear and returned the call as the urinals flushed yet again.
The recruiter’s colleague answered to tell me that he was now out of the office for the rest of the day.
I said that I’d call him tomorrow morning.
And after ending my call, I resolved that tomorrow I would buy a pair of compact headphones for my backpack.
I spent the next hour or so unwinding in the pub with some diet cola and potato chips.
Just after 5:30pm, I headed over to Montezuma’s nearby.
And for the next couple of hours, I relaxed with yet another pleasant Mexican meal.
Which put me in a very good mood for the next stage of my walk.
It was the walk home from Crows Nest, down through North Sydney along the Pacific Highway and across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the CBD.
It was a walk I had made many times before, but not for several years.
From memory, it would only be another hour-and-a-half or so.
At around 7:30pm, with night having fallen, I began the last stage of my long walk home from the zoo.
TO BE CONTINUED