Friday, September 23, 2005

Walk #65 - Moonlight Bay

It's raining now. Very nice. It'll take away some of the humidity. This morning's walk was humid and hot. A proper summer day.

Went to Brisk Bay. Known to Peninsula peeps as Patonga. Beautiful spot. There's about 100 houses, six streets, one shop, a wharf opposite, three bus stops, one war memorial, an art gallery, a caravan park, a Progress Hall and a volunteer fire station.


Patonga's the bit with the streets marked in right down the bottom of the map. The long road is the road back to Woy Woy. Didn't walk that road. Apart from being mostly serial killer country it's also a great place to get cleaned up by a car coming round one of the dozens of blind corners. Along most of the road there's nowhere to walk that isn't an inch from the traffic or an inch from a steep slope.

But I walked all of the streets of Patonga. I'd wondered if I'd get them all walked in a morning but as it turns out I got them all walked by ten o'clock. It was barely ten minutes walk from one end of the place to the other.

As you can see from the map, Patonga's a peninsula on a peninsula. There's a wide creek behind it and the bay in the front. Behind the creek is a ridge and beyond that it's bush across to Little Wobby Beach (I swear I didn't make that one up) and the Hawkesbury River at Brooklyn. From the beach on the bay side you can see Barrenjoey Head to the left and Ku-ring-gai dead ahead. It's surrounded by hills and ridges. I imagine it can get a bit rough when there's a storm coming in through the heads or a big wind. But other than that it seems pretty sheltered.

Patonga & Barrenjoey Head

Barrenjoey Head (bottom right corner) is close. Probably not as close as it looks on a slightly hazy day but pretty close all the same. From Umina and Ettalong Barrenjoey Head is wide and looks quite massive. But viewed side-on from Patonga you can see it's just a small hill dropping down sharply to sea level and Palm Beach.

There was a lot of birds. Along the creek behind there's a long park. It's full of trees and there's also the mangroves on the other side of the creek. The park was chockers with wading birds looking for snails and the air was full of pelicans wheeling and looking down for fish in the water. There were also plenty of magpies and whip birds in the bush on the ridges.

When I sat on the beach on the bay side the sound of the waves was quiet but constant and soothing. There's a row of pines along the beach and in a high wind the sound of the waves and those pines must be great.

There were a couple of B&Bs (Bed & Breakfasts) and a couple of holiday rentals and I saw a trio of small girls wandering back from the beach with interesting shells and strange water-bleached twigs to show their parents. Patonga would be a fantastic place if you were a kid. Not too bad for adults either. The nightlife isn't exactly jumping but it's one of those low-key simple places that make treasured memories.

I'll be going back there some time soon with a picnic basket and a friend. I took a roll of film and I'll bung the photos up on Wednesday. There's a rush on this month at the developer's. People are getting all their pics of little Johnny and Suzie at the school swimming carnival.

Reading List
There's a nice potted history, some chat about someone's holiday house at Patonga and a few nice photos here.

Photos from this walk
Next walk
Next walk


Suzanne said...

Serial killer country? Do tell. Patonga sounds lovely. Just my speed.

Spike said...

LOL. Yep, serial killer country. Sorta dense bush and lonely road scenario where you expect to pass a CSI team and a couple of sniffer dogs clustered round a shallow grave.

I went to Patonga once yonks ago and remembered it as rather scruffy and low-rent. But that must've been just the house where I was visiting because it's nothing like that. Low-key yes, low-rent no. Just beautiful scenery, quiet and laid-backness.

Spike said...

Oh yeah. I forgot to say why I called the post Moonlight Bay. It was the name of a house next to the bus stop. I saw it as I got off and thought about how beautiful the place would be under a full moon on a still night.

Suzanne said...

A song my father used to sing me:

We were sailing along
Down Moonlight bay
You could hear the breezes sighing
they seemed to say
(they seemed to say)
You have stolen my heart
Now don't go away
As we sang love's old sweet song
Down Moonlight Bay
(Down Moonlight Bay)

Serial killer country: dense bush, lonely road, shallow graves...sounds like most of Catron County.

Spike said...

Very apt.