OK, I admit I stole the title line from a T-shirt I bought in Warragul, but it still fits the Cartophiles’ last walk for 2012. While all around them cringed from the heat, three Cartophiles braved the walk from the Spit Bridge to Manly last Saturday. Tim, Doug & Kit travelled the iconic Manly Scenic Walkway, sadly diminished on its signs to MSW, despite high temperatures, high humidity and high tides.
The sea breeze and light rain in the morning was very pleasant as we set off at 10.00am from Ellery’s Punt Reserve at the north end of Spit Bridge. The high overcast kept us comfortably cool for the first half of the walk, but when the sun broke through we all became a little pink around the edges.
Doug & Tim near Grotto Point
The NPWS has done a lot of work on the track: the new steps are great and the solid flat footing let us scoot along. We completed the nine kilometres in just over 2½ hours without pushing ourselves at all. We took time to look at the fascinating Aboriginal carvings at Grotto Point and to climb to Arabanoo
Lookout to admire the views. Sadly Mr Whippy was missing from the Tania Park sports ground at Dobroyd Head, although we looked carefully to make sure.
From Spit Bridge the walk follows the Harbour’s edge to Clontarf, then climbs past beautiful houses to the wonderful lookout over Crater Cove and its collection of tiny huts. The huts were built during The Depression and in the 70s and 80s were home to a hippy commune; they form a wonderful counterpoint to the expensive ocean view homes of Clontarf and Balgowlah.
The tide was in at Clontarf Beach, but we boldly walked through the water rather than go around via the road. Well, except for Tim, who climbed on a fence rather than either wade or go around!
The steep descent to Reef Beach has also been improved with well formed steps, and at the beach itself we watched a father and his three little girls frolic in the sea to escape the heat. The sea baths at Forty Baskets Beach were also busy, as was Fairlight Beach and its sea baths. Quite apart for the people walking or running the track there were plenty of people out enjoying the warm weather and our lovely beaches.
The final walk back through the Fair Trade fair on The C0rso was a strangely metro finish to a walk that had involved bush, beaches, Aboriginal artifacts and wide open ocean views.
We finished with one of our traditional debrief sessions, this time at the Hotel Steyne. It was a great end to what had become a big boys’ day out.
The Cartophiles’ last walk for 2012 was voted a success and we’re all looking forward to the new walk schedule for 2013. Anyone with requests or suggestions for walks in 2013 are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org.