Travellers Tales 2


Beach Bums

Whats not to like about Sydney buses? They are fast, cheap and frequent. And stuffed full of lovely girls wearing short shorts, singlets,  golden tans and great attitude. After a few beers on the way back never  have I been closer to committing an offence on a bus. Only iron resolve and the love of a good woman kept me on the straight and oh so narrow,.Way to go.

But real men need more and so its off  to the beach. Staying with the number one daughter and her lover at Bondi Junction the first is down the road. On the way we pass the West Indian team training at Waverley Oval. We exchange greetings.

At Bondi we watch the surfers and then I go for a swim in the 50 metre wave fuelled Iceberg pool. It takes some getting used to , and  on my first attempt I swim only half a kilometre. Later I try  the dream like, David Hockney inspired Andrew Boy Charlton pool down  by the Botanical Gardens and later the art deco Valley Pool in Brisbane. But Bondi Beach ther nearest to Sydney’s centre, is for tourists and surfers. Manly is better if only because it’s a beautiful ferry ride away, a better beach and an all round  nicer resort. Bondi is really a little tatty.

At the weekend its off to Bronte beach ,packed, walk round the headland to Clovelly where  a performance art project is under way. It’s a small beach  with  rocky sides. Like seagulls on a cliff every inch it is taken up with near naked heaving bodies, some with tattoos some without. And still they come in. Is a record being attempted, are we being filmed. Here even a few extremely fat people are allowed. I am told they have escaped from the down market Western Suburbs. Its not good. We move on.

Another day and we take the ferry to the  Sydney zoo and walk round to the lovely Balmoral beach. Here is a quiet relaxed charm, an easy swim followed by an easier sea food platter. Happy days. Later we are taken to Palm Beach, north of the city where the very rich live,Home and Away is filmed and the deserted beach stretches for miles.

Then we travel to Brisbane and onto the Gold Coast.  An endless summer of a  beach, complete with lifeguards, surf clubs and look out towers is  mirrored by perfect,slick modern condos and hotels. Behind which are a full  choice of the world’s cuisines. And of course shops and coffee bars. A Miami for non Hispanics. Isnt that missing the point?

Such is the heat that the jogging and cycling start at 5.30.The sea is rough and exciting but the place can only be  stomached for a day or two. Some like this kind of reso rt, why else would Abu Dubai be a success? Others may prefer the Tooting lido.

But the beaches that win the awards are in Tasmania. Empty. The Bay of Fire. Violent white, talcum pure. I am so moved I have to go naked. I feel a rare swelling . My number one daughter writes on her Facebook that I am trying to embarrass her and her lover. Well la di la. I did use dry sea weed to protect myself from idle admiration. 50 of her friends agree. One writes thats what you expect ,another(dear girl) says go Hugh go.  Son writes in that he hopes the beach was deserted. It was.

On our last morning I go back to the Iceberg pool at Bondi, this time  I do the lengths, no pool is too long, no water too rough. I buy the(padded) Speedos. I’m told if I want the concession I must bring my card next time.We’re on,a tattoo must surely follow.

Pic link of Andrew Boy Charlton pool ,so gay it’s the Guardian’s third best outdoor pool in the world

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