Long day today.Got 9 hours solid sleep and awoke at 5 am to the opening chords of a beautiful sunrise. Weather looks like it’s going to be spectacular. Haven’t made my day’s plans yet. Going up to breakfast and will dig through my Sydney guide. At the least I’d like to wander in some of the Sydney sites that I haven’t gotten to in previous trips. Caught an early ferry to Manley which is about a 1/2 hour ride. Manley is on one of the two promontories, the gap between which forms the opening into Sydney Harbour. It's hard to get the scale from a photo but Sydney Harbour is enormous; think Toronto to Buffalo. If you drew a line across the lake from Toronto to Buffalo all the lake enclosed to the west around Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara on the Lake and back around to Buffalo would be the scale of Sydney Harbour and the opening to this harbour which is only a couple of miles across is what you can see from the Manley ferry as you look out onto the Tasman Sea. Glad I took my Barbour; bright and sunny but the wind on the harbour was brisk and decidedly cool. Walked down to Manley Beach and watched the surfers. Needed a much longer lens than I had packed. Can't crop your way to a good tight shot! Took the 12:15 ferry back to Sydney and spent the afternoon walking through the Botanical Gardens. Had forgotten about the sulphur-crested cockatoos. There was a flock of them grazing on the grass like little feathered cows, making a hell of a racket; squawks like rusty iron sheets being scratched at 100 decibels.
Came across something that I don't remember seeing here before; a tree full of very large bats, hanging by their feet in the traditional bat manner, dozing the day away and occasionally making a hell of a din, very much like the cockatoos. Walked my legs to stumps and am now in the Hilton Exec. Lounge waiting for the bar to open at 6 for a desperately needed beer.
Tomorrow I pick up the car at 9 and the adventure really begins.