I’ve been unable to get out for a while after falling onto hard rock in a creek on the last walk I did (Manly Dam). At the time I had just got up and walked off with a few bruises but it became clear there was more of an issue. My left hip was bruised and swollen but my right hip developed a deep pain that shot down my right leg. I had overstretched a muscle or ligament or something and it has taken months to get better. Possibly I had pinched a nerve too. Did I go to the doctor? Why would I do something as sensible as that! No instead I turned to doctor Google.. I did find some simple exercises that helped but for the most part I just took it easy and popped an ibuprofen whenever the need arose. Not recommended but honestly I couldn’t make the time to look after me in amongst moving house again and regular family and work things.
So for this walk I decided I needed something under 10km with an optional hill climb if I felt I could handle it. I wanted to test my leg now that it felt much better. Looking at a satellite map of the central coast I found this odd green patch sticking out of all the buildings at Woy Woy (New South Wales). Blackwall Mountain reserve it was called, though it wasn’t really much of a Mountain, more like a hill. Anyhow I plotted a route along the foreshore to the top of the mountain and back again. Around 9km, completely flat except for the hill and I could easily choose not to climb it. So this ticked all the boxes. I managed to rope my daughter into coming along and she actually thoroughly enjoyed it. She made a YouTube video for her Channel and you are welcome to check it out.
We started out from the shops and first passed a chip shop with a pelican on its roof. Funny thing is that a few years ago we visited this spot and there was a pelican in the exact same spot. Guess it was just a good place to sit! We walked along the sand and found one of those weird jelly blobs things (salps?). One of the locals pointed to the water and said that if we looked we might see some sea slugs. So that became a bit of a mission though we had no idea what they actually looked like! We guessed it would be a bit like a sea cucumber. We didn’t find one though.
We found a little kiosk called the “Love shack” and had a cookie and coffee before carrying on. My daughter told me she was surprised the walk was so flat. I guess she doesn’t trust me after the last few walks through rough bush land. She liked the mangroves and started looking for crabs. There were many private jetties with bird adorning the railings. As we got closer the Blackwall Mountain we got some tree cover and say many birds flying around with sticks in their beaks building their nests. A large flock of pelicans flew by and landed on a sand bar filled with more of them. It was so lovely to be out walking on such a pretty day!
After a rest we started up the mountain. My leg was fine thankfully but I still felt woefully out of shape as the running jogged by up the hill. There were some interesting rock overhangs that I would like to have explored but I knew that if I stepped of the trail my daughter would not enjoy it so we looked and carried on past. We felt we reach the top and my daughter just slumped onto the rock for a rest – no victory dance here! We found an odd rock that we first though might be petrified wood but it was too rough so we decided it was just an interesting shaped rock. Shortly after we found a viewpoint!
The view was fantastic! We could see Lion island, Umina beach and Ettalong Beach. It was so clear! My daughter noted that the buildings below looked like one of those sun city type games and she felt she could just tap the screen and earn points! Tap that building- points! Taps that spot- build a hotel! We had lunch then made our way down. Our jogger friend passed us for the third time and I was a little jealous of her!
We walked along the road a quick way back to Woy Woy shops and had KFC before driving home. It was a fantastic walk and I was glad it turned out to be what I expected as that meant my daughter might trust me on future walks when I say it will be easy! My leg and hip held up fine with no extra pain so I feel I can start looking at other walks. Really though this had it all- waterways, ocean views, wildlife, friendly locals! I can recommend this as a lovely morning walk. Lotsa fun. Thanks for reading!