I wanted a challenge today. A hike that would get my blood pumping. I found it hiking from Nelly Bay to Arcadia over the crest my airbub host Rhonda called it. It was 6.9 k of up and down but mostly up.
I got in the Sunbus at 8:01. I was the only one on at first and I asked the bus driver to let me off at the start of the walk from Nelly Bay to Arcadia. He stopped in front of a fancy resort called Amaroo and told me to follow the road pointing left. It was a plain bitumen (tar) road not the hiking path I was looking for but the sign said it was dead end so hopefully the track will start when the road ends. There weren’t any signs indicating this was the way to a trail.
Finally after walking almost a mile the road ended and the hiking path began
It started out as a bush trail then opened up to almost a road. It seemed really easy at first. Where is the climb people talked about?
Then I started to heat up climbing up up. I stopped and rested my head on a rock.
Finally I got up where there was a view of the ocean below. Was this the top already?
No, no there was much more to go. The trail went over large boulders making stairs
Huge rocks towered over the path
Another gorgeous view jumped out at me through the trees.
No it was not to be the trail continued on forever up.
Up to another gorgeous view over the blue beyond.
Was this the top? No it was not. Up and around more rocks the trail continued on.
Beautiful circular leaves grew beside the trail. Spinning in their own circle, Some turned one way some turned another.
Now I came to an open viewpoint with no trees in the way. I breathed a sign of relief as I gazed out at the view. Surely this was the top.
It was not. Around the corner the path continued upwards, with more carefully placed rock steps. I stuck my walking sticks in the sand on the side of the stone as I trudged onwards, ever up.
I stopped to marvel at a tree, its roots reaching under the rock. Not much soil here to grow a tree. Most of the trees were small here, but this one managed to squeeze itself under the rock and then grow up.
A Balga Grass plant appeared along the path. Balga is the aboriginal word for black boy, so it is often called that.
The path continued up, but only slightly this time.
Another clear view of the bay appeared this time from higher yet.
I’d wanted a challenge but this challenge was getting old. I was ready for civilization, a bathroom and a cafe. I was hoping Arcadia would be the answer. I came across another couple of hikers, one said, “Be careful its slippery on the way down.” I used my sticks to keep from sliding off my feet as I hurried on down. Being intent on reaching a destination I quit taking photos every other minute.
At the bottom there was a gate and a sign indicating the start of the hikes, claiming it was only 6.3 km to Nelly Bay, but I’m sure I hiked more than that. In any case they didn’t count the up and down. I looked in vain for a bathroom or a cafe. There was a road, and houses that was all. No sign of or sign for downtown. Finally I spied a local, and he pointed me down the road to the right. It sounded like maybe just a block, but it was further than that. Finally I saw some businesses, and my feet led me to the Drop Bear Cafe.
In case you didn’t know Drop Bears are vicious koalas that tourists need to watch out for. As you can see from the painting they have vicious claws and teeth. This cafe however had delicious food and a friendly staff with nice well placed outdoor seating.