Manly Beach – Soft Sanded Surfer Heaven

 

Elizabeth Harper & John Winchurch - Manly Beach, Australia

I posted the photo above on Facebook, but since not everyone has a FB account I thought I would share it here as well. I snapped this on Manly Beach when we took the ferry over from Circular Quay in Sydney. The wind was blustery that day with a storm approaching and we only had a moment to put our feet on the soft golden sand before the raindrops came to chase us off. Even though a storm was hovering just off shore while we watched, surfers were taking advantage of the waves.

Manly Beach Surfers

John Winchurch - Manly Beach, Australia

Here’s a look at Manly Beach from the other direction. There are huge trees near the beach that look like a type of pine and remind me of trees along the northwest coast of the US, but still are a bit different from any I’ve seen.

I’m typing in a coffee shop called Gloria Jean’s which has free wireless for one hour with a purchase. Free internet access is hard to find in Auckland so I have to keep things short. We’ve been paying for it in our room, but I tend to use it up too quickly as the download is limited and expensive.  Gloria Jean’s has good coffee, friendly staff, and yummy low-fat muffins, but my hour is almost up and it’s time to run off to see more of Auckland.

I will be back later to tell you about an amazing musician I met last night on Victoria Street here in Auckland. His name is Luke Hurley and you can hear and read more about him by clicking here.

His music was so good that after listening only long enough to snap a couple of photos, I paid $20 for a CD. We had a long listen back in our hotel room and loved it! Plus, I found out something very interesting in the minute or so that he paused to meet and speak with me. I’ll tell you next time when I have a minute to post.

Luke Hurley

As I Was Going To St. Ives

Most children grow up with the English nursery rhyme shown below. I remembered it when I first heard about St. Ives, a well know holiday spot that is famous for the light which tends to look more blue than other places. This special light as well as the coastline has attracted artists to the area since the expansion of the Great Western Railway in 1877.

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By now you must have figured out where John took me on my overnight birthday trip. We left about midmorning on Thursday and headed south. There is only so far you can go before you run in to ocean in Cornwall so I had one or two ideas once we were on the A 30. I thought perhaps we might be going to Mousehole which is pronounced “Mowzel” and is pretty village near Penzance.  We’d been there briefly on a trip to Penzance and I had mentioned wanting to go back.  We had talked about going to St. Ives a few times, but it was usually during a school break for children which is not the best time unless you want to feel swept along in the sea of tourists and people on holiday. He did throw a twist into the drive to St. Ives when he pulled off the A 30 and began searching for turn that was difficult to find. I knew as we were turning into to Burncoose Nurseries that we must be there to pick up something for me.

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Right away, I knew what John had in mind. Earlier in the spring when we were out for a walk through the gardens at Lanhydrock, I spotted something very familiar to anyone who’s spent much time in Georgia. I know these types of trees grow in a variety of places, but I wasn’t prepared to see this one there.

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In case you couldn’t tell…we stopped so John could pick up a Dogwood tree for me. Earlier in the spring, I had talked about how I missed the blooming Dogwood trees in Georgia and John remembered and made arrangements to get one and plant it so I’ll be able see it through the window of my studio room while I’m writing at my desk. How sweet is that!  I told him that was a perfect gift for me. When we stopped for the tree, we had a look around the nursery which had an interesting history. As you can see from the picture below, it was used during WWII as a laundry  which was worked by women who were in what was called Womens Land Army. I had not heard of this before and found the personal stories of some women who were involved here.

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The pictures above show it before and after renovation in 1989, but I have a few pictures from our visit below.

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Me with my Dogwood Tree.

We left it there to pick up on the way home and then we were off back on the road for the rest of my birthday adventure. I still didn’t realize where we were going at this point and it took me a few more road signs before I worked it out. It was a perfect day for exploring St. Ives and it didn’t take me long to see the blue reflected light through my camera once we arrived.

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Notice the churchyard and grave stones on the hill.

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Surfers are very welcome here with many in from Australia.

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Sticky Toffee Pudding with Ice Cream and birthday candle.

I’ll be back with part two later to tell you about the sweet B & B we stayed in and our visit to an interesting church on the way home.