Chasing Rainbows

25 Jul

We had a touch of summer last week with temperatures in the 20s, sunny days and even the flip flops getting an airing from the back of the wardrobe.

On the days it rains, however, it is usually torrential and last weekend was one such day. We had just set out to go and visit some of Sydney’s Northern beaches and have a bit of an explore, having only gone as far as Manly before. The first massive blobs of rain fell and we decided to carry on going anyway, although by the time we reached the harbour bridge the windscreen wipers were on full force and we were thinking a day in with a DVD might have been a better plan.

This combination of bright sunshine and rain showers at the moment has one very beautiful outcome: rainbows. We simply wanted to share the pictures because we have never seen so many and certainly none as vivid as the rainbows we are seeing over here.

Our first glimpse of the rainbow was from Palm Beach and then a second appeared, even brighter and we drove down to a lookout point to get a better view. Usually when I have seen a rainbow, it has been a faint arc, partly obscured by phone wires and roof tops. I certainly have never seen one out at sea.

The first glimpse from Palm Beach:

A few days a go, this was the sight over Sydney harbour as I left Watson Bay:

And of course, we can’t forget the one, which we saw at the end of our New Zealand trip:

Maybe I’m still getting used to the novelty of seeing so many rainbows or perhaps I’m forgetting that they were just as frequent and as bright in the UK but whatever the reason, there is no denying that they are a wonderful sight, certainly with Sydney’s harbour and beaches as a backdrop. I just wish I’d had more than a mobile phone to take some of the pictures.

Aside from rainbows, the journey North was fairly uneventful, apart from lunch. I wouldn’t usually bother to mention somewhere we stopped for a brief lunch break but La Banette is worthy of a mention. We had driven past Manly, up through Dee Why, Narrabeen and Mona Vale and eventually came to Avalon. We had heard it was a really lovely area with a village-like atmosphere and situated between the ocean and Pittwater, it is a great place for surfers and those who prefer the still water as well. By the time we arrived, the sun had started to come out again and so we stopped for a bite to eat. That is when we discovered Avalon is also home to the most amazing bakery serving fresh breads, quiches, sausage rolls, cakes, pastries and tarts. The ratatouille quiche and beef and burgundy pie were delicious. We had to order quickly – the man in front of us in the queue ordered eight of the beauties!

La Banette

One thing we have come to appreciate over here is how many small, independent shops still exist, having not been replaced (yet) by the large out of town supermarkets.

Avalaon’s beach would have been nice in warmer weather but we decided to carry on as the rain was threatening again and we were only a short drive from Palm Beach, the last of the Northern Beaches on the headland. If you recognise it, it may be because it appears on TV screens almost daily in the most Aussie of soaps (only bettered by Neighbours), Home And Away.

We did not get a glimpse of Home And Away’s Alf, cursing the ‘flaming galahs’ so we headed back, but as it had turned into quite a nice afternoon, we stopped in Mosman on Sydney’s north shore and had a walk down to Chowder Bay. From there you can see our own suburb of Rose Bay across the water.

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