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Mona Vale to Manly

Mona Vale to Manly
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ENCOURAGED by my progress yesterday, I headed to the train station in the morning to catch the train to Circular Cay where I got the ferry across to Manly. The sky was cloudy, but quickly parted to show plenty of blue sky. The south easterly was still blowing strong, but not as strong as yesterday. Heading across the entrance of Sydney Harbour, the rolling swell was just as strong as it had been yesterday.

Upon arriving in Manly, I caught the same Palm Beach bus I had taken yesterday, but this morning I only needed to go half the distance I had yesterday, getting off at Mona Vale. From here I walked to the beach to start today's hike, which I was aiming to get to Manly Beach.

The clearing blue sky I had seen earlier had completely closed again into an overcast sky. I followed the path running between the beach and the golf course, with warning signs about flying golf balls being dangerous, and in one place a cage where walkers could hide behind if needed. There were few people on the golf course at the time so my passage was safe. Upon reaching the end of the golf course, I headed down to the short Warriewood Beach before following a track with lots of stairs going through the scrubby bush around Turimetta Head.

Once I was around the headland, the track continued rising before coming out at a road where I followed the path high above the very rugged Turimetta Beach. A steep track did lead down to the exposed beach with large waves breaking on it. I continued following the main path before reaching a track going through the bush to a grassy verge between the top of the cliff and a row of houses.

Another track headed from this park going around Narrabean Headland and dropping to a lookout over Narrabeen Beach and lagoon. From there the track descended a stairway where a couple of guys were running up and down. Once down at the edge of the lagoon outlet, I followed the path upstream a couple of hundred metres to where it crossed a bridge onto Narrabean Beach. From here I started walking along the four kilometre beach towards its far end at the relatively flat Reef Point.

The normally crowded beach was all but abandoned with the large swell breaking on the beach being too dangerous and beach closed signs at regular intervals. Fortunately the sand above the high tide mark was well above the breaking waves making for safe passage, though the head wind was blowing very strong. At one point the beach became quite narrow with high rock walls rising above the sand to a flat area where houses were being built, but even there I passed safely.

Eventually I reached the end of the beach at Collaroy Beach from where I followed the path around a couple of smaller beaches before reaching the start of the Long Reef Point walkway (still part of the Bicentennial Coastal Walk). I followed the wide track through the bush before eventually rising to a lookout from where I could see most of the headlands I had rounded earlier today and yesterday, even seeing some of the headlands further north. Looking south I had a great view over Dee Why Beach and a couple more headlands down to Manly Beach where I was aiming for today. Beyond Manly Beach the impressive Manly Headland jutted out into the sea blocking any headlands on the other side of Sydney Harbour.

From the lookout, I descended the gradual concrete path and boardwalk onto Dee Why Beach. Here a large lagoon drained into the sea but a high bank of sand provided a dry crossing at all tides. I walked along this sand bank then followed the beach along its one kilometre length. The clouds were beginning to part showing some blue sky as I battled against the strong head wind.

Upon reaching the end of Dee Why Beach, I followed the track above the Dee Why Rockpool climbing up and down stone steps along the rugged headland above the cliffs. Upon reaching the end of the headlands, the track descended to Curl Curl Beach. I walked along the one kilometre length of golden sand as the sky cleared. The Harry Elliffe Way boardwalk climbed from the end of the beach heading over the rocky headlands with large waves breaking over the rocks. The boardwalk ended at a long footpath passing above Freshwater beach before following a road over the next headland before dropping to a bridge crossing the Manly Lagoon.

Once across the bridge I followed the wide paved pathway along Manly Beach. This pathway was very crowded with a lot of people coming out with the sun now shining brightly. The water was still rought but there were a lot of people on the beach. After hiking about a kilometre and a half along the beach, I reached the front of the main mall heading about 500 metres across a neck to the Manly Ferry. I explored the village for a while before catching the ferry back across the harbour and the train back to Town Hall.

The commute was surprisingly short with not having to catch a bus, having hiked 22.2 kilometres from Mona Vale today, and 43.9 kilometres since starting at Palm Beach yesterday and having completed the entire 41 kilometre long Bicentennial Coastal Walk from Palm Beach to Manly. That is quite a trek in itself, but having achieved this distance in two days, I was a lot more motivated to continue exploring the coast over the coming days.


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