I walked every street in Woy Woy

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Walk #47 - Flowers For The Dead

(Walked 19th of August 2005)

Warmer than it looked today. It was overcast when I got up and it’s still overcast now. Bit of wind too. But by the time I got to Rip Bridge I was sweating like a clingwrapped pig*.

St Luke's
(Big version) St Luke's.

My feet are throbbing like buggery too but it was a good long walk and one I’ve been looking forward to for a while.

Went down Yob Street, another long straight road, then round the back of the Mountain and up onto the bridge for some photos. I walked to the start of the walk and when I add that onto the walk itself it’s…Bloody hell, it’s 13.3 kilometres (8.26 miles). That’s more than the Long March! No wonder my feet hurt.

St Luke's Portico
(Big version) St Luke's portico.

Started near St. Luke’s. It’s an environment centre now but it was a church and the outside still looks the same, minus the cross. A tiny white weatherboard church on a corner. Lovely. Only the interior’s been stripped. Couldn’t find a foundation stone but my research says it was built in 1904 and the plaque on it says “Built c. 1902 … Heritage Item No 119″. I ticked it off my list of Old Stuff to be photographed.

A couple of blocks before St. Luke’s I had ten years frightened off me by the world’s tiniest dog. Bloody chihuahua. The little bastard was lurking under a bush and exploded into a frenzy of yapping as I got level with it. I’d been wandering along in a bit of a doze and I leapt six feet. Bloody thing yipped like a squeaky toy and wouldn’t shut up. The owner apologised and said the dog gets the postie (mailman) every day. No wonder the postie looks so haggard.

Yob Street was in two halves as far as the oldest houses on it go. The first half had houses from the thirties and forties but nothing I could see before that. The second half, the Whatsit Street end, had dozens of pre-1920s houses as well as thirties forties. There were seventies houses along the length of it. There were a lot of rentals at the two ends. At the McMasters Road end there was a house with GGD (Garden Gnome Disease) then a house with crappy hip hop thumping out of it and they pretty much set the tone for Yob Street. Bit further down a couple of blokes in baggy shorts and fake bling were playing touch footy in their front yard. They fancied themselves as cool dudes with ‘tood. Too much Saturday Video.

Down around the middle of Yob Street there were quite a few rentals due for the chop. They were saggy-roofed and neglected and you could feel the eyes of real estate agent’s upon them. Let’s rip them down and put up some nice pricey units, you could hear them thinking, Cram 'em in and rake in the moola! There was also a bloody awful brick-over of a classic fifties house. Don’t try that at home, kids. But there were some nice revamps of forties and pre-1920s places there too.

Yob Street is not actually straight. It looks straight to the casual glance but there’s actually a tiny angle on it. Which means that when you get halfway down it you can suddenly see Patonga Ridge at the end. Yob Street runs right down to Umina Beach. You can’t see the beach until you get to it but you can see the ridge.

Anyways, it was a pleasant view to glance up at as I wandered along. Right down the Whatsit Street end of Yob there was a seventies house. Must’ve been very fash when it was new. Sprawling squat A-shaped house in beige brick with stripey cafè-style awnings and juliet balconies. Balconies on the ground floor. The seventies was definitely the decade style forgot.

By now I was starving. I could smell fish & chips cooking somewhere and it was half past twelve. Turned the corner onto Whatsit Street and trotted across to the kebab shop. Sat there at one of the tables on the footpath and sank my teeth into a hot, fresh chicken kebab. Yum.

As I chewed I stared at the pub on the corner. The bottle shop at the back was definitely fifties. Just look at that roofline. The pub itself I think is twenties. It got a revamp a couple of years ago. Re-tiling on the outside walls, new wooden and glass doors and wooden half walls with big windows opening above them. The half walls were in a wide aperture on the very corner of the pub and another one ten feet along down the side. They’re the old front bar and sports bar doorways. The curve on the very corner of the pub is twenties. I’d put money on it. And the veranda height says twenties too. There’s a restaurant on the side but that used to be the Post Office. Looks like it was a shop before that. On the 1st floor there was a gym and in the room next to that there was a line of washing strung across the room under two old brass candelabras.

After a good long masticate I washed my hands, got a drink and got on my way. I was only halfway through my walk.

Walked the last block of Yob Street and sat at the beach for a bit. No haze at all today and Barrenjoey Head looked close. Took a photo then headed off towards the Mountain. Went along a couple of short streets behind the pub. More scruffy rentals but also some well-kept houses. They were quiet enough at lunchtime but come tonight they’ll be getting the racket from the bands in the pub.

The road to the Mountain was very mixed. A lot of forties and seventies as usual and then plenty of eighties to now. There were some more of the scruffy rentals up near the Mountain but mostly it was owner-occupied houses and blocks of retireree units.

Old Brick Shop Opposite King's
(Big version) Old shop opposite King's Store.

Near the Mountain there were three old shops. One of them was from the fifties but two of them were 1900 - 1920 I think. Can’t find them in my photocopied list of Old Stuff from the library. I did find two shops on the list though, at Nº 72 & Nº 78 Booker Bay Road. Locals know one of them as King’s Store. They’re listed as circa 1918 and circa 1920.

The road round the back of the Mountain was dark. The sky had lowered a bit and a couple of kookaburras decided it was dusk and started up their evening song. But then they spotted me coming along the road and flew off. Got a photo of one still on the branch though.

Across the road, against the side of the Mountain, there was a big bunch of flowers taped to a streetlight to mark a fatal road accident. Not surprised. It’s a busy road and the cars zoom down off the bridge like Lucifer’s behind them.

My feet were giving my hell by this time and I was pretty sweaty. Climbed up to the Governor Phillip Memorial again and had a nice sitdown. Gazed down into Fisherman’s Bay and across to Hardy’s and thought about icecream and flasks of icy cold drinks. The breeze around a couple of hours before was gone.

Had another look at the plinth with the maps on it. It was put there for the Bicentennial (1988) and shows where Governor Phillip and Captain Hunter landed when they explored Broken Bay in March 1788 and June 1789.

Took a photo of the maps of the plinth. Hope it turns out better than the last one. [UPDATE, January 2006: It did.]

Then it was out onto The Rip Bridge for some more photos.

Fisherman's Bay
(Big version) Fishermans Bay.

Hardy's Bay
(Big version) Hardys Bay.

Booker Bay
(Big version) Booker Bay.

Booker Bay & Hardy's
(Big version) Booker Bay & Hardys.

It was about 3PM and the sun was a bit low in the sky. The water on the north-east side of the bridge was silver grey and the ridges behind Koolewong and Tascott were a soft dark green.

(Big version)

Silver Side
(Big version)

(Big version)

I was a bit pooped. I tottered off to the bus-stop. Didn’t have to wait long. Just long enough to notice the sign for Mullbong Street has been nicked again. Then the bus sprung round the corner and I flagged it down frantically. My feet wanted to go home and have a nice lie down.

* clingwrapped pig courtesy of Tony Squires, newspaper columnist & TV sports thingy. Back to where you were.

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