Day 78: 135km Wahroonga to Wollongong via Coogee Beach, the Royal National Park, Stanley Tops and the Sky Bridge

I took the Harbour Bridge, missed the Cahill Expressway, sadly (an overpass that flies through the air between the city and Circular Quay), then the Eastern Distributor to Randwick / Coogee to see M.

From there I took familiar roads through the Southern suburbs to the Royal National Park. Yes, the speed limits are too slow, but everyone was overtaking me and enjoying the curves so I threw my hands in the air and joined them. Fabulous. I have driven, and ridden pillion on these roads so many times, and now I was riding them on my own. It was an amazing feeling. when I got to Stanwell Tops I called Bertie: I am in Stanwell Tops, Bertie, and it’s awesome! A little perplexed, he replied: But that’s where you come from Gertie.. I said: I know, but I’m here on my own bike and it’s amazing Such a fantastic feeling

The Sea Cliff cantilever bridge features on the front cover of so many motorcycle and architecture magazines. I’d been on it once on a car, heading North, but was about to go on it on my bike, heading South. It looks mighty spectacular, but to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. when driving, it kind of disappeared into the experience – once you were on it, you couldn’t really tell the difference between the bridge and the road. on the bike, heading South, it might be different, I thought. Lucky for me it was :). This is the view looking down the northern beaches of Wollongong, my home town. The bridge is snuggled up against, emerging out from, echoing and extending the cliffs of the coastline:
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Bald Hill / Stanwell Tops – where I was standing to take the photo – is a famous spot for hang gliding:
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absolutely spectacular, even without the bridge:
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I have a memory that may be a dream, of gliding tandem down to the beach below. I must have been about 6. My mum, dad, brother and sister went down in the car, to the beach, to meet me. I’ve never really wanted to ask if the memory was real, for fear of losing it, but just before my father died I asked him. ask your mother he said… But how could I? what if the truth took away my memory? It was so visceral, so real… I wanted my dad to tell me. I knew I couldn’t necessarily believe him, no matter what he said, but I wanted him to tell me anyway.

The ride down the mountain was lovely, and the bridge was so much better than expected. As I rode across, I could see the structure cantilevered out and it was beautiful. The curves were also beautiful, though traffic prevented full enjoyment. It was very, very cool nonetheless.

From there I did a bit of a pilgrimage. I rode familiar roads near the coast and visited houses I lived in as a child. I currently live in house #98, in the New Year will move into house #99, then when Bertie arrives in Denmark, house #100. I’m hoping to stay in that one for a while.

Curiously, house #4, they have changed the number of the house and the name of the street. This is so weird. it’s the second time I’ve been confronted by it – I forgot about the first. The house has been let go. I didn’t like it. any of it. I decided not to take a photo, but just to go, to leave, to go…

when I got close to my brother’s house, I realised I was early, so went to a pub and got myself a cup of tea. I was writing in my blog when a nice guy came up to chat. He’s an adventure rider too. He offered me a place to stay (wonderful! though I didn’t need it) and told me about a good friend who also rides, who lives in Norway. He’s going to put us in touch (there must be some awesome twisties in Norway with all those mountains and fjords!). It’s so nice how so many connections are forming, and things are coming together for. Denmark. It’s wonderful when the universe keeps pointing out that you’re on the right path. my life is amazing. I hope he gets in touch.

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2 thoughts on “Day 78: 135km Wahroonga to Wollongong via Coogee Beach, the Royal National Park, Stanley Tops and the Sky Bridge

  1. Well… almost home and a huge adventure that will always be with you. I’ve enjoyed following your progress, felt your joy at the good bits and winced at the bad bits. In the end they are all part of the experience. Enjoy the final few km and the excitement of reaching your goal. T

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