Day 86 - 7th July
Norahville to Barenjoey
Distance Travelled - 165.2 km
Woke up at about 6.30 am after a good sleep. Got up and whilst waiting for things to dry out a little from condensation (no dew last night) went for a half hour walk. Got back and packed up ready to start moving on. Found the local indoor pool and went for a swim for a bit before having breakfast at a local park and enjoying the morning sun.
Left the pool and park at Toukley, the next town on from Narahville, and started the drive towards Barenjoey at Palm Beach. Most of the drive was along the highway and not much to talk about. On the way called into one of the information centres to clarify order of lighthouses. There is one at Watson's Bay further on than Palm Beach called Hornby Lighthouse and just before the information centre was a sign on the highway saying Hornsby which was closer than the GPS was saying Palm Beach was. The people at the information centre looked it up to discover that the 's' makes all the difference. Hornby Lighthouse is closer to Sydney and Hornsby, with an 'S' is a suburb totally unrelated to the lighthouse and that is where the confusion lay.
After leaving the information centre, I detoured into a town called Woy Woy before heading back onto the motorway and Palm Beach. Called in and did some banking stuff and looked through a few shops in Woy Woy before having lunch and heading off again. Drove through to Palm Beach without incident.
Got to the lighthouse car park, paid for my parking and headed off to the lighthouse. You need to walk a couple of hundred metres along the beach to the turnoff and then ascend a steep hill to get to the lighthouse. Apparently there are two tracks up to the lighthouse. At the moment they are doing renovations and restoration work in and around the lighthouse and access trails so the 'normal' path was unavailable and I had to use the trail called Smugglers Track. I finally reached the top after climbing 446 steps (I counted them on the way down) and decided that the climb had been well worth it. Barenjoey Lighthouse is made out of brownish sandstone rocks and looks quite spectacular. The head light keepers cottage and assistant light keepers cottage are undergoing restoration and were off limits but you could still view the lighthouse quite easily. Not far from the lighthouse is the grave of the first lighthouse keeper and his wife. There are magnificent views of the surrounding coast from the lawns of the lighthouse, some 347 m (i think) above sea level.
After spending as much time there as I could and leaving enough time to get down before my hours parking ran out (I only had enough coins in the car to cover the $3.40 hourly fee)I came down the path substantially quicker than I had gone up it. Left the car park and went in search of somewhere to stay the night. Looked up the local Baptist church and went there only to find no one in the office. Rang the number and spoke to the answering machine. Left a message and waited. There is an underground car park at the church so went in and parked out of the rain while I waited. Received no call back by 6 pm so decided to set up for the night. It will be out of the rain in the tent and I can stretch out rather than sleep in the car.
Spent the evening sorting photos, writing the blog and reading before going to bed about 10.30 pm. Tomorrow I will go to Hornsby Lighthouse and see what happens from there. I have seen some specky photos of that lighthouse so might hang there for a while and see what I can come up with and how it goes for staying close by.