455. Sunday 30th August 2015. Another painful week but a visit to the beach is the best relief…

The first two days this week were spent moping around trying to avoid pain while creating pain with the physio exercises.

There was also torrential rain, so we decided it was safer to stay off the roads. Some flooding occurred in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven districts as well as west of Sydney where the Warragamba Dam has an overflowing spillway, the first time in three years.

I also downloaded the free Windows 10 update. I have been happy with Windows 7 but understand Windows 10 opens up a whole new world of possibilities.  It is just a matter of learning and adapting to the new system. I expect bit by bit I will need to adjust settings to avoid the Windows defaults to those I know and trust.

Wednesday 26th August

Today we drove to Wollongong to visit Nicole, Amelia and Hannah.

Donnis and Nicole show off the head art created by Amelia and Hannah

Donnis and Nicole show off the head art created by Amelia and Hannah

Hannah and Amelia love to help daddy make mud bricks.

Hannah and Amelia love to help daddy make mud bricks.

Errol is at work. To drive to Wollongong involves several choices each of which requires driving down a steep road from the top of the Great Dividing Range to the coast. Today we used the Bulli Pass Road.

View of Wollongong coastal fringe from the original Bulli Lookout.

View of Wollongong coastal fringe from the original Bulli Lookout.

Once upon a time this was about the only option. I lived in Wollongong for many years and when returning home from a trip away, especially at night, the lights of Wollongong lit the coastal  strip below the pass. At times like this I would comment, “almost home”. It was a good feeling. The pass is narrow, steep and winding. I have never and would never use the pass while towing a caravan or in our case while WWWGO was towing TERIOS. You need to be using brakes constantly. The pass is often closed due to rockfalls, cars going off the side of the road into the steep bushland or amazing as it seems,driving off the side of the road which has a deep gutter against the escarpment wall. Somehow cars manage to drive over the gutter wall and get stuck in the gutter itself. Have a look at the YouTube video of a typical drive down the pass.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUtcP8SLNes

Thursday 27th August

My visit to the physiotherapist has resulted in a change to a soft bodied splint and a compression glove instead of a compression sock. The swelling is not going down and it is adding to the pain. I have many exercises to be performed at least 5 times a day after which the discomfort has me wanting to climb walls.

Saturday 29th August

Today is the third last day of winter. According to the weather bureau it has been the coldest winter in five years. Today was a beautiful sunny day, just right for the beach, thousands of other people agreed with me. We drove to Bronte Beach.

Bronte Beach looking south towards the Bogey Hole and the 30 metre saltwater pool.

Bronte Beach looking south towards the Bogey Hole and the 30 metre saltwater pool.

Bronte Beach is tucked into a steep fold of land between high sandstone cliffs. It is about 2 Klms south of Bondi and 2 Klms north of Coogee Beach an equally small beach tucked between cliffs. My personal pick is Bronte which boasts surf 95% of the year while Coogee is almost surfless most of the year. At the southern end of the beach is the Bogey Hole, a natural rock pool, popular with families with small children. Next to the bogey hole is a free 30 metre salt water ocean pool.

Bogey Hole and Coastal pool.

Bogey Hole and Coastal pool.

The narrow main street has shops on one side. All the shops are cafes and all do a roaring trade.

Every shop at Bronte Beach is an eatery,

Every shop at Bronte Beach is an eatery,

At the back of the beach there are perhaps a dozen picnic shelters and a similar number of barbecues. All were busy with people enjoying the lifestyle.

Sumo Wrestlers at Bronte.

Sumo Wrestlers at Bronte.

Wow!

It was worth the fight through an hour and a half of traffic to be here.

A two metre swell was running and beach goers were swimming, surfing, walking, eating and just plain relaxing on the sand.

Boogey Board rider takes on a two metre surf break at Bronte.

Boogey Board rider takes on a two metre surf break at Bronte.

Some were playing volleyball.

This beach volley ball game was feet, arms shoulders, heads but no hands. This team member was a distraction to the opposing team.

This beach volley ball game was feet, arms shoulders, heads but no hands. This team member was a distraction to the opposing team.

What a gorgeous day to be out in  the environment breathing in the salt laden air. Ahhh, just to be there and walking the clifftops was invigorating and was enough encouragement to walk along the cliff walk north,

Clifftops from Bronte Beach looking north towards Tamarama Beach.

Clifftops from Bronte Beach looking north towards Tamarama Beach.

to Tamarama Beach.

Tamarama Beach

Tamarama Beach

A beach café, right on the beach served better food at more reasonable prices than Bronte. Tamarama is about 1 Klm via a walkway along the clifftops to Bondi Beach. In the late 1800’s the entire north headland and beach was privately owned ( public access to the beach and public beach bathing were not permitted in those days )  and an amusement park was built including a roller coaster ride, an aquarium and elephant rides on the beach.  Swimming at this beach is dependent on tide and surf conditions, so is more often closed to surfing than open. Nonetheless it is a delightful beach. The clifftop walk begins at Bondi Beach

From Tamarama looking north towards Bondi

From Tamarama looking north towards Bondi

and goes all the way to Maroubra Beach.To walk the entire length is about 4 hours and takes in some of the most stunning coastal views in Sydney.

Clovelly Cemetry which is on the Bondi to Maroubra clifftop walk. Part of the walk below the cemetry is suspended over the ocean.

Clovelly Cemetry which is on the Bondi to Maroubra clifftop walk. Part of the walk below the cemetry is suspended over the ocean.

We could have spent the entire day just enjoying the views and the lure of the sea. As the 4pm shadows began to cross the beach it was time to find i30 for the drive back to Gymea.

Sunday 30th August

Last night was my best night’s sleep since this saga began. I slept for three hours straight followed by an hour on the computer playing solitaire. This was followed by four straight hours of sleep. Perhaps a milestone has been reached and improvement begins.

I live in hope.

Now, here is a twist to our near regular travel to Wollongong. Nicole and the girls came to visit us while Errol is working away. Fortunately the nearby primary school was having a fete which Donnis, Nicole and the girls spent two hours wandering around while I had what now seems to be a daily after lunch snooze. Blame it on the pain relief both of which warn “may cause drowsiness, do not use or operate machinery”. That’s easy for me.  In my present condition I cannot drive a car anyway.

Nicole prepared a mild Thai chicken curry for dinner, mild enough for the girls to eat.

The coming week threatens to be a busy time including our return to the Gold Coast on Friday.

At the end of another week I wish I could report being pain free or at least pain diminished but alas I cannot.

Stay tuned.

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