Encounters with the native wildlife

Since we haven’t stopped since we got here – what with getting bank accounts, temp. accomodation, renting a place, tax numbers etc. etc. Sarah and I decided to take a day off and actually see some of the sites of Sydney.

We decided to go to Manly – which is a suburb a 45-minute ferry ride from the city center, with a famous beach. Manly is a really great place – lot’s of interesting arts and craft stalls, and a really beautiful beach – which we headed for.

The beach was packed with people sunbathing, surfing, body-boarding etc. Off came the sandals, and we headed down to the water for a little paddle.

We had heard on the news the previous evening that there were going to be “a small number” of blue-bottles (little blue jellyfish – about 5cm in diameter – pic below) in the area – it’s a general warning to people bathing to take care since their sting is quite painful. Well “a small number” was an understatement – there was loads of them all over the beach being washed up, and the lifeguards were periodically announcing over the loudspeakers that people shouldn’t really be in the water unless they wanted to be stung.

Most of the Aussies didn’t seem to care – they were still surfing etc, but quite a few of them did decide to come out of the water, and I saw a couple of other people who had been stung.

Just my luck – I set foot on my first Aussie beach, and 30 seconds later… a wave washed a clump of 3 or 4 of them onto one of my feet, and right away it started burning. It kind of felt like a bad nettle sting – not really too painful, but it lasts for 20-30 mins, so it was pretty annoying. They are not at all dangerous – just a little painful, and like I said – it takes quite a while before it stops hurting.

Oh well, I have one-up on Sarah – maybe she can be next since there are a whole slew of other snakes, spiders, sharks, crocodiles etc. to encounter..

After Manly, we took the ferry back to the city, and walked over to the Maritime museum (which is free), but it closed an hour after we got there so we didn’t really get to see much – we will have to go back and have another look as it seemed pretty good.

Oh yes – I bought a book: “Australia’s most dangerous spiders, snakers and marine creatures” – it’s got a lot of pages and pretty pictures.. :-)

Some pics from the ferry ride to Manly and Manly beach:

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