Bondi – a name which precedes the place. It’s possibly the most well known beach in Australia. I was almost sceptical before arriving as to whether or not we would like it. Well, I certainly didn’t need to worry – it’s glorious!
After getting the train from Sydney to Bondi Junction we were still unsure. What was all the hype about? We then realised it was a half hour walk to Bondi Beach itself.
We had checked out of the hostel that morning and therefore had all our gear with us. In the over 30 degree heat and humidity it was a bit of a sweaty struggle. A coffee and slice of banana bread picked us up on the way. Then, as we were finishing off the last crumbs, Ally spotted a guy jogging down the road, crucially with a surfboard under his arm. I knew we were close.
Ten minutes later we made it, the beach was laid out before us. We didn’t mess around and got straight down onto the sand. It was cool, but I still didn’t fully get it. There was a fair bit of cloud, so maybe that was it.
The next day we got down to the beach early after a stroll through Bondi market. There was live music, local produce and a really chilled atmosphere. Down at the beach the sun was shining, the sky was blue, it was a Saturday and super busy. We sat near the shore amongst the crowd and watched the surf, the waves were little turquoise peelers and ten or more surfers would take off on the same wave each time.
As the suns heat hit my skin, it suddenly clicked, this was Sydney’s chilled out side, and everyone was here to get a slice of it. We normally seek quiet and solitude at the beach, but here it was different. The hive of activity made it what it was and to see so many people having a great time was amazing.
That afternoon we met with Matt and Aimie, two friends from Worcester now living in Bondi. We walked to Coogee via the coast path and to hear their enthusiasm for Bondi and Australia was inspiring.
The next day I woke super early for sunrise. I was down at the beach about 20 minutes before the sun came up and already there were quite literally hundreds of people around. Many other fellow photographers were gathered in eager anticipation. It was great to see and further reinforced my feeling that everyone was here to enjoy the surroundings as much as possible. The sunrise was great, the colour exploding for a few minutes.