Tag Archives: Central Coast

Bridge Climb

20151122_091324-001Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a must-do on most tourist bucket lists. And it’s easy to see why. Exploring this iconic structure close-up, and enjoying the magnificent views over the water and city, is a unique experience.

Perhaps lesser known is the footbridge that spans the Pacific Highway at Lake Munmorah on the Central Coast. This concrete and metal structure links a residential suburb with some of the main schools in our area. To my mind, it’s an ugly example of modern urban architecture. But for Ickle, it has been an object of real fascination for months.

We have driven under it hundreds of times, but that is not where she wants to be. “Mummy, can we walk over the bridge, please?” has been a regular refrain on car journeys. So, this weekend, we did. Just the two of us en route to the local shopping centre.20151122_091056-001We stopped in the grubby little car park where I imagine parents battle for spots at school drop-off and pick-up times. Out hopped my little pink fairy, very excited about the prospect of an impromptu bridge climb. And looking more than slightly incongruous against its dreary greyness, as she scampered up the concrete slope.Bridge Climb1At the top, we peered down to the road below – no harbour vistas here – and admired the passing traffic, before descending to the other side. By this stage, Ickle was beside herself and wanted to run all the way up and over again. Slightly alarming despite the railings and extensive safety grille, so I attempted to slow her to a walk. Alongside me. Back to our starting point.

And the fun is not over yet. Next time, she has announced, we are doing it twice.

The Entrance Farmers Market

The Entrance has not been a destination of choice for Family Ickle. I could put this down to the travel time to get there: a 40-minute drive away, it really has to be worth the effort. However, if truth be told, it actually has more to do with my first, and only, visit there a couple of years ago. We went mid-week to catch up with a friend over lunch, and I was not inspired. The streets were empty and the shop fronts shabby; in fact, the whole place had a well-past-its-heyday kind of feel about it. And, to add insult to injury, just as we were leaving, we were waylaid by a rather odd lady in the car park who tried to tickle Ickle’s toes and just would not go away. All-in-all, not a very positive start.P1030201However, I don’t give up so easily. The Entrance also happens to host a twice-monthly Farmers Market, which I have wanted to check out for ages. And last weekend, we finally made it. Just a girls’ excursion: the littlies, Nana L and me. Plus some cash and a large shopping basket, aka the storage underneath The Stroller. Saturday dawned, clear and beautiful, and the sun gradually took the morning chill out of the air. Memorial Park was a sea of tents, with stalls selling everything from locally-grown fruit and vegetables to handmade fudge and intricate Vietnamese origami cards.P1030176P1030179Ickle, of course, was not remotely interested in visiting the market, especially once she caught sight of the playground at the water’s edge. And the ornamental pond with its brightly-coloured sculptures (squint and you could almost be at the Stravinsky Fountain).P1030167 P1030169So, we went on a slight detour from the main purpose of the visit, before persuading her there were lots of yummy things to see ‘over there’. And, although a little overwhelmed by the crowds (and there were a lot of people), she enjoyed her look around the stalls, especially when asked to assist with a few purchases. Meanwhile, Baby Mivvy, firmly ensconced in The Stroller, seemed to take the social scene in her stride.

And the buzz of the market met with my approval, too. This was The Entrance in a different light: vibrant, fresh and fun, set against a stunning backdrop of water glinting in the winter sun.