Walking the Beaches ~ A Challenge for July

Thu 7th, Jul, 2011

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G’day G’day!  All good?

So, it’s the beginning of the month, half way through the year and I am taking stock.




I cannot believe how quickly this year has fled past already..


I am guessing I must be getting old because I find myself saying that a whole lot recently.




I love July…it’s the month of summer in England and the month that I had Honeymoon Baby…Here we are enjoying a warm Winter so far, the temps are hovering at just under 20C though it feels much warmer out in the sun…so July here for me, being a girl from a land with much cooler temps still feels like summer even though it surely isn’t!



I have fond memories of that month and so this month I am setting myself a goal for July




You see, in the act of making things more simple and taking more time out I have realised that in that simplyfying I also want momentum and challenge and ambition…although that sounds all upside down, it’s kinda the result of sitting back, and looking at thing with a simpler approach…know what I mean?


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And in my nightly gratefuls, something has come up…the beach, the beaches, where I live…



it keeps coming up every night..




When we moved here I certainly did not need any kind of motivation to get out and about walking on the beaches, indeed I positively embraced exploring this new place…and boy was I not disappointed…the weather, the scenery, the colours…just about everything inspired me to keep moving…




I didn’t need to make any promises about not making enough of where I now lived…I would not and will not ever take it for granted, I will always sigh at the sunset, lap up the nature, feel the ocean in my ear and toes in the sand…







I have realized that with the absolutely wonderful feeling of being happy, safe and secure I have actually become ensconced in a little bubble…a bubble on the beaches that I like very much…


But in that  delicious little place called familiarity I am doing myself and this place an injustice…and I am yearning to sit up, get on with it and start trying and seeing a few new things…




So thinking about it a bit more, I decided that I would escape this Beach Bubble and get out there and start seeing a bit more of our new life….first of all I was gonna take on the world…oooh yeah I was flying to every city when Mr BC goes away on business, I was going to the outback, I was going to the other side of Sydney to see what I could see….

gosh I had the Rough Guide to Sydney and Australia in the bath every night with me and I was planning baby…



and then I took a step back and had a reality check…not that any of those things are particularly huge and I wouldn’t be able to achieve them, but more that I know my limitations and for me to have staying power with just about any new project or indeed anything in my life I need to keep it small and do-able…or I lose interest like super-quickly…




and so I reigned in those big ideas and thought about the beaches…I thought how I hadn’t yet visited all of the beaches right here on the Peninsula where I live…some I pass every single day and haven’t stopped in at yet…

and bingo that was it…my first challenge would be the beaches...my first challenge…for July would be keeping up the walking and the stretching, the pounding and the 350′s but at different beaches on the Peninsula….

Walking the Beaches BC Style...getting out and about in this new place that I live and seeing what I can find…

And so I am embarking on the Walking the Beaches Challenge and started at the beginning of July… pledging to walk every beach on the beaches until they are all done, listed in my grateful pad and dusted…



I started last week…there are 18 beaches in the area that I live in, plus lots of other unofficial little ones and I wanted to start with the one with the same letter as Walk…that would be ‘W’.



and so here we go…starting my friends with Whale Beach.

it didn’t disappoint..oh no, this is one sweet, secret little beach right up near the top of the Peninsula and absolutely rammed with Photography Eye Candy



My aim is to walk, photograph, coffee, stretch & blog the beaches…meaning I will be walking, stopping for coffee, taking photographs, doing my stretches and blogging the beaches

To celebrate all the fantastic parts of the big move we made here…the little things that I love everyday….

sound like a plan?




I have had some emails and comments with questions about my walking when I talked about it in that FAQ post I did recently…so here’s a bit more information

To be honest with you I have never ever given it a second thought…but some of you wanted to know more.

No I do not have any set plan for my ‘fitness’…usually…but I do have a general agenda in the back of my mind…the most important being that I hit the road or the beach or whatever…I do not have plans to be super-fit with muscles and a sculpted body, I do have a plan that my mind is clear and healthy…

and to do that I need to make sure that I get out there and just do it


There are a few things I have learnt about walking since I took it up years ago…and I guess they are rules that fit in with any kinda fitness regime

Firstly I like to have a rough route…and often I like to have a point to the walk…for example I will pick somewhere out like a coffee shop or a beach and I will say to myself ‘right today I am walking to XXXX’…that gives me a focus…that works better for me than just walking willy nilly…


Secondly I keep my walking changing…and although I walk the same beach often, other days I will walk through streets…and I often use a nice homey shop as a goal for my walks…so for example I will think ‘ok today I am walking to XXX shop and when I get there I will continue the walk looking around & then walk home’



Thirdly…I fit it in to my life…if I have a busy day I walk without getting ‘fitness’ clothes on and I will just do a regular paced walk…it is amazing how many 15 minute walks you can get in in a day when you are really really busy…even a 10 minute walk all adds up at the end of the week…




I like wearing old stuff when I am out walking, so for me, there is certainly no special equipment here…I prefer yoga pants in the Winter, like now, nice, old, soft, worn, washed out ones..


I fit them & they fit me…for most of the year here tho’ I wear yoga shorts because it’s just too warm, once you get going to wear pants…now even though I like them worn in I have shopped a lot in my life for them…the best I have found for my shape, quality, comfort and value are Nike and Lorna Jane…I am a recent Lorna Jane convert…and close to an addict already…the gear is not cheap but it works hard, looks good and the cut has been well thought out…and I am more than happy to pay for that…



I buy a new pair of trainers/running shoes about once a year…and let me tell you here, because of the sport I play I have bought, tried on, worn out and trained in a heck of a lot of sport shoes…one word…Asics…not the cheapest..but fit me like a glove and last…



I have been asked what stretching I do and how I do it…

well I just sit down and stretch, stand up and stretch…just stretch and lean out my old muscles ;-)…I think these have saved me a lot of osteopath bills…



and so that was Whale Beach and part I of Walking the Beaches…can’t wait for the next one :-)




I am enjoying the school holidays over the next week or so, I may not be around on this blog as much…if not be seeing you soon….

oh and if you have been wanting to get out there and see more, move more or have been putting off doing anything really, why not join me and do it for July?

I’d love to hear about it too…just leave a comment about what you are gonna do….


Beach Cottage GIVEAWAY TIME tomorrow…stop by!


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53 Responses to “Walking the Beaches ~ A Challenge for July”

  1. Jane says:

    Great challenge Sarah, I might just join you on this one, I have lived here all my life and I have never been to Whale Beach – how embarrassing is that!! That is 40 years and I can tell you that I have only walked on a handful of the Northern Beaches. Well done and ditto to Asics. Enjoy, Jane

    • sarah says:

      you are welcome Jane…hmmm lucky duck for having lived in this place for your whole life!

      get out there and walk ‘em baby ;-)


  2. What a beautiful post, Sarah. Very inspirational! Might take the kids for a run and scooter ride to Dee Why tomorrow…….or maybe a treasure hunt along North Curl Curl…….hmmm….
    Michelle x

    • sarah says:

      I am liking the sound of a treasure hunt Michelle :-)

      • Well come with me!!! :) I saw these very cool candle holders made from beach weathered sticks that have that beautiful whitewashed silver look. I thought I would go for a hunt along the beach to find some and have a go at making them or just string them all together to make a wall hanging!!

        Anyway, off ice skating at Bondi Beach today! brrrr….it’s gonna be cold and windy!

        • sarah says:

          wow ice skating at Bondi…never even heard of it…bet that will be a nice experience…just been out…lovely but wind chill factor making it…chilly!


          • sarah says:

            p.s. like the sound of the candle holders…lots of driftwood at Collaroy recently…

          • it’s only on for a month or so each year. They build an ice rink on the beach and set up a chalet for hot chocolate and stuff. Kids LOVE it. So much fun. Very wet though! :)

            Looks like its a treasure hunt at Collaroy then!


  3. Barefoot Liz says:

    Sarah- I think this post is exactly what I needed. I absolutely need to get some exercise and I’d like to start ‘gently’ due to health reasons. I’m going to search for a walking/running shoe that properly fits my wide foot and gives my arches the right support! Plus, something with a bunch of cushion in the heels.
    Once I have them, I can start walking! I really can’t begin before that, my orthopedist told me not to walk far in my sandals!
    While I don’t have lovely beaches nearby to walk on, I do have a walking path. So, my son and I will spray on the bug repellent (don’t want Lyme disease!) and get moving.
    Thanks for the motivation!

    • sarah says:

      you are welcome Liz, I hope you get your shoes sorted

      oh and on your sofa question, I’d go for white ;-)

      • Barefoot Liz says:

        White is definitely my first choice. Although people think I lost my mind for wanting a white sofa with an 8 yr old boy in the house. :D

  4. teres says:

    i am a walker as well but i don’t have any great beaches to walk to like you do. i pray you just suck it all in and relish it when you’re on all that sand! oh i can just imagine how amazing it is! sighhhhhhhhhh… … …

    have you tried http://www.lululemon.com for yoga/walking/running gear? lululemon is a canadian based company and they have many stores in australia. here, in canada and the u.s., they are THE BEST for yoga/walking/running gear – THEY ARE SECOND TO NONE! if you haven’t tried them already, check out their website and see if they are a fit for you. their gear is a bit pricy BUT i have found that for stuff i wear all the time at home and even when i’m out and about, you do get what you pay for. their stuff lasts, is made very well and is worth the price you pay. check them out!

    teres from winnipeg, manitoba canada where the closest beach is an hour away by car and is one of the top 10 beaches in north america…and i’m sorry to say i haven’t been there in about 10 years…so good for you for taking advantage of your beaches! jealous!

    • sarah says:

      thanks fellow walker teres

      i have tried lululemon yes, I love their stuff too! we have a shop at the local mall so too easy

      enjoy your walks…you don’t need a beach to walk, I walked in England too…lots of times in the cold and rain…in fact mostly in the cold and rain ;-)

      • teres says:

        oh but a beach would make a walk much more than just a walk… ;op

      • melissa says:

        lulu is great!!! Have you ever tried anything by the brand lole (live out loud everyday). They are a brand designed by women, for women so the fits are superb!! Don’t know if they’re available where you live or not. Enjoy all that beauty around you!!

  5. Thanks for the reminder I am on my way to the beach this weekend and I have said to myself see it differently than you normally do. So this is a great reminder to do that.

  6. Great challenge. I will walk with the baby to all the parks in the area. They’re not a beach but we should have a good time.

  7. Rupa says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I am just too happy to have found your blog ! And even more completely motivated after reading this. I live in the northern beaches and am beach crazy too (one of the reasons we built our house there) ! I love this challenge you have set up – I would love to do it. The nearest one to my home – starts with a W (Warriewood) so I might start with that !!

    Thanks so much for the inspiration !!

  8. Becky says:

    I am a recent follower and LOVE your blog! I am inspired to start a walking plan but unfortunately I don’t live near a beach. I do however, live in a city with beautiful fountains. So I have decided to take the time in July to visit the fountains of Kansas City, MO USA. What a great way to spend a few minutes each day. So I am off tomorrow with camera in hand…

  9. Lark says:

    Sounds like a great plan! It’s easy to take the beach for granted when it is so available. I have to drive (or at least bike) to get to my nearest beach since I live about 4 miles from it. When I lived closer I used to take walks a lot more often. I think it’s a great way to break the summer heat.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I will start a small walk where I live in my relaxed clothes

  11. Erin says:

    Motivating! Will be walking my street to see what I can see!

  12. alison says:

    Hi Sarah & BCers

    The following websites may provide inspiration for walking the beaches in July or inspiration to visit Australia. I am fortunate to live in the middle of both coastlines featured on the websites.



    My favourite cafes atm are Ham at Cronulla Beach, White Horse at Sutherland (this isn’t on the coast but is between the two coastal areas), Chedos at Coledale, Austi Beach Cafe at Austimer, The Point at Sandon Pt and Ruby’s on Bulli Beach. The cafes are all VERY different and it gets down to individual taste and requirements. Some have ocean views and some don’t but they are close to the beach.


    • Alice says:

      Thanks Alison, even though I have been living in the area for 4 years I still haven’t really checked out what’s available (apart from what’s at my door step). I will be checking these places out…

    • sarah says:

      thanks Alison! I’ll be at Cronulla soon so I will be out Ham…great!

      • alison says:

        Hi Sarah

        There is another cafe in Links Ave Cronulla called Two Figs. It is in a tatty white building that is in a quiet location away from the main shopping centre and near Elouera or Wanda Beach. I went there last December for a private lunchtime function and the food was fabulous. You can eat on the verandah and there are some ocean views. I haven’t been again but my friend has enjoyed coffee there since.


  13. alison says:

    Oops, I forgot to specifically mention a little park at my back door that is full of spectacular beaches.



  14. Catie says:

    Hi Sarah, Oh how I wish I could go for walks on the beach!! Maybe I should start around my neighborhood. There are lots of trees. Not as nice as sand and waves, but I guess it’ll do. Oh, and lovely pictures. ~ Catie

  15. Alice says:

    Sarah thanks so much! I have been thinking the same thing about where I live and we too have decided to go futher out of our bubble. I say thank you because this will be a destination to go to. I have always wanted to know more about your side of Sydney but haven’t had much time to search or discover such cute little places, especially ones recommended by the locals… Beautiful photos, love the seagulls!

  16. joyce tx says:

    Wish we had beaches here in Austin, but no such luck! Thanks for the push…. I’ll be out and about the neighborhood, checking out the gardens! Thanks again!

  17. Nice challenge with beautiful benefits!

  18. simone says:

    I just love the idea of your challenge! I am currently on the french riviera enjoying some absolutely gorgeous scenery but realising what spectacular beaches we have in Australia and how I so often just drive past them without much more than a glance, on my return I also am going to take time out to explore them more!

  19. kari says:

    Oooohhhh! I have something you may like…. Have you ever heard of “geocaching”? It’s something that is done worldwide… and it’s kinda like a scavenger hunt.. You log onto a site, such as this http://www.geocaching.com/guide/default.aspx then you find a place where something is hidden (may need a GPS), when you find it & fulfill the requirements, I believe you replace your find with something for the next person…

    I have friends that do it on hikes, etc.. and think it sounds like fun!!

  20. kari says:

    P.S. I noticed there are areas all over your beaches there…..

  21. izzie says:

    Very inspiring – West Sussex beaches are looking very windy and cold today – yes – in July!! Was beautiful last week but …….hey ho – Thats the U.K for you!! Off for a 2 week cruise of the Med in August – Much warmer beaches there!!
    Fantastic photos as well.

  22. Robynne says:

    Did you say the words ‘summer’ and ‘July’ in the same sentence in relation to England…..Robx
    p.s. look forward to the ‘tours’.

  23. Sarah says:

    haha Rob…well you’ve gotta hope!


  24. Robyn says:

    I’m definitely with you on this. We used to walk at Bradgate Park nearly every weekend back in the UK and I really miss having a place like that here. Well, not that I have found anyway. I have promised myself that I will start swimming and doing yoga once these school holidays finish. I’m also going to “walk my neighbourhood” as I don’t live close enough to the beach but there are LOADS of parks to discover around where I live. Maybe finally my trainers will get some dirt on them again after still being sparkly from the wash they needed to bring them over!

  25. My husband and I lived for 2 1/2 years on beautiful Lake Washington in Seattle (before moving recently to Chicago.) We would walk down a little hill and into our tiny apartment and all we say was the lake. We also called it THE BUBBLE. I loved it.


  26. kath says:

    My daughter and I started going for walks around the neighborhood every evening. She has been bringing the camera and each day, she tries to find a detail to photograph that we would normally just overlook as we pass by. It’s been a lot of fun and I get to spend time with my daughter who will be graduating from high school in another year, so I’m cherishing every moment that I can!

  27. Rachael says:

    i’m getting stuck in my own little area of sydney as well. last week i chose to spend time at manly beach instead of doing the coogee to bondi coastal walk. this weekend i’m going to be a tourist and go whale watching hopefully!

  28. Jan says:

    Well you certainly do have a lot of lovely scenry to take-in there, and with the many different beaches …well it must only be heavenly. I so love living at the lake and completely understand what you say about being grateful. Thanks for sharing all the great photos too.

  29. great idea! I have to say I have been very slack and stopped walking lately using the weather as an excuse but its time to get moving again, there is so much beauty up here on the mountain even if it is cold!

  30. Kat says:

    Gorgeous photos and inspiration as always Miss Sarah! :)
    Hm, you have got me thinking about my own personal challenge for July…undecided at this stage.
    I must say that living near the beach and being busy with the 4 littlies, I just don’t seem to get down to the beach enough to walk and soak it up. How does that happen? I don’t know. Just busy living life with young children I guess.
    I too love Asics, great shoes!!
    It’s freezing here in Hobart, with rain, wind and snow on the mountain, so it has been more indoor weather for us.
    20 degree’s definitely sounds like summer for us Tasmanians!! ;)

  31. kl says:

    Hi Sarah, Ive just started to follow your blog. Can you tell me where you got your adirondack chairs? I L O V E them! KL

  32. Eileen says:

    Hi Sarah, I am 100 % with ya on this challenge. Loving the beach the way i do. I love your pics, especially those little gulls splashing in the water, and your shadow photo! too cute! Have a great July exploring, and i’ll be thinkin bout you on the other side of the oceans, as i do my exploring.

  33. Hi Sarah! Love the blog post as well:) I just love a good walk especially on a lovely beach! Your photos are fantastic! I just love your challenge…wish I was closer to more beaches! Enjoy your weekend:)

  34. I’ve been loving your blog for the longest time now. Keep up the inspirational posts xx ♥

  35. Walking is one of my favorite things to do! I have been a “walker” for most of my life. When I was a kid that’s just how I got everywhere. I fell in love with it though as a teen. I had to be at church very early to sing for the service, and there was no one up that time of day on a Sunday. It was SO quiet and beautiful. Then as my babies came along we walked all the time, it seemed to unstress them and me when they were fussy. They came to love walking too. Sometimes they still walk with me if they have time, but I always have my yellow lab with me. (insert ear to ear grin here….)

    Although I also do believe in getting to know where you live, not only for the enjoyment of it (which is major!), but in case you ever have to know where something is.

    God bless!

  36. alison says:


    Well, I almost walked some Eastern Suburb beaches this week. I travelled outside my Shire bubble. There is a joke that Shiries don’t like going over the bridges that surround Sutherland Shire!

    My girlfriend and I went to Coogee and Clovelly so I could catch up with two friends-you know the ones you say you will catch up with and 5 years goes by in a flash – and she could check out a casserole dish bargain at Peter’s of Kensington.

    We both accomplished what we set out to do but we didn’t have time to walk the beaches unfortunately, but I had my face pressed up to the passenger’s window the whole time time in the car soaking up the beautiful beach vistas. My girlfriend Therese is a wiz at googling and researching food, cafes, galleries, historical buildings and monuments etc so she provides a natural commnetary as we travel along. She is my travel guide. Every time we have a day out it is an adventure and we laugh non stop.

  37. alison says:

    I found myself walking a beach of sorts unexpectedly late last week in Sussex St, Sydney. Being in the city, definitely out of my bubble and slightly lost I asked a passerby for directions. I came across some historical information boards that said the original shoreline was 6 metres below where I was standing. Original sandstone stairs, drains, oyster covered rocks etc were discovered in a 2003 archaelogical dig. The current shoreline of this part of Sydney Harbour is many, many metres further out.