I hate walking. I just don’t get the point. I understand there are times when we have to. The walk of shame for instance, or to the internet café, or home from the pub. I accept that, do it willingly even. But walking for fun? I‘d rather get the bus.
Yet today I’m going to give it a go, because I‘m in Bondi, and want a $5 steak in Coogee. Now I could catch a bus and be eating in minutes, but this time, with the sun high in the sky and me being in no rush to get there, I figure why not walk the 5km along the cliffs and be there in time for supper instead?
So with that I‘m off. Bounding down the beach with new flip flops on my feet and no sun-screen on my forehead, I climb the steps that take you out past the swanky Icebergs RSL and press on to the cliff-tops beyond. It’s now I realise just how well-trodden the path to Coogee is. From joggers to skateboarders, backpackers to locals, we‘re all dazzled by the same sun, ruffled by the same breeze and targeted by the same shitting birds circling above.I just hope one hits the head of the cute girl in front. That way, when she stops to wipe it off I could ask her if she was alright. We could then walk together, go for dinner and commence a relationship that would lead to marriage and the laughter of all our wedding guests as we recite the amusing story of how we met thanks to a bird pooing on her head. Fabulous. But for now I’ll just have to make do with perving at her backside.
Further along is Tamarama Beach – or Glamarama as the locals know it – for this is where Sydney’s beautiful people come to tan their silicone tits. It’s also apparently where more people drown than anywhere else, so I won’t swim, but continue on. It’s quieter now, with just the hardcore walkers, and me, carrying on to Coogee.
Excitement follows at the second beach, Bronte, where a man plays volleyball in a French maid’s outfit complete with big fake boobs and a gorgeous brown wig.
I stand and watch for a while, amazed at how manoeuvrable he is, and how, without my glasses, he looks very much like a real woman. Then he sees me staring and
I get embarrassed.
I leave the beach bright red, though that’s more the sun than embarrassment. Skipping sun cream was a bad idea, and I just wish I was there, enjoying my $5 steak with peppercorn sauce. But I have a cemetery to cross first. Perched on the cliff-tops, a thousand graves house residents who finally, after securing the best views in Sydney, must feel lousy when they sit up and bang their heads against the coffin door every morning.
But on I go, with the sun now setting and the last beach before Coogee now in sight. To me, Clovelly, with it’s concrete boardwalk and communist-chic décor, has you believe a Russian submarine could bubble out of the water at any moment. It’s not a pretty beach, or even charming. But with Brazilians playing drums and families having picnics, it’s the last dose of civilisation I’ll see before I drop down the hill into the boozy Saturday night breeze of Coogee.
I’ve arrived. Two hours after setting off, my feet are blistered and my forehead is crimson. But for all my whinging, for all the aches and strains, I’ve rather enjoyed my little stroll along the cliffs. I’ve seen interesting people, leading interesting lives and all within the space of 5km.
I’m still going to get the bus back…