Even at 6am.
In fact, more so at this time, as the crisp fresh air was untainted by the warmth of the day, but the sun was shining and the sky a glorious blue. (This was in stark contrast to the thick fog which had greeted us on Saturday morning, so thick that flights were cancelled, and we could hear ships horns all across the harbour.)
Not just any walk though, we had signed up for the Seven Bridge Walk.
The route was a circuit around the harbour, taking in, not surprisingly, 7 bridges:
- Sydney Harbour Bridge. You may just have heard of this one. The world's largest (not longest) steel arch bridge, the top of the arch stands 134m above the harbour.
- Pyrmont Bridge. This stands on the entrance to Darling Harbour. When it was constructed in 1902, it used electric power, at a time when the cities streets weren't lit by electricity yet.
- Anzac Bridge. Constructed in 1955 and costing $170m, this is the longest cable-stayed span bridge in Australia. It is named the ANZAC bridge as a memorial to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
- Iron Cove Bridge. Finished in 1947, a duplicate bridge was finished in 2011 to help traffic flow.
- Gladesville Bridge. This spans the Parramatta river. At the time of it's completion in 1964, it was the longest single span arch ever constructed.
- Tarban Creek Bridge. Spans Tarban Creek.
- Fig Tree Bridge. Spans the Lane Cove River.
The walk passed through 7 villages, and each of these was a registration point and starting point, which was a great idea as it meant that the 15,000 or so walkers were spread out rather than everyone beginning at the same point. We started at the nearest point to us, Lane Cove Village, which was fantastically quiet. I had feared we would be queuing for quite a while to get our map and wrist band, but we were off walking in five minutes! We did pass a very busy point, at Milson's Point Village where people looked to be queuing for quite a while - worth remembering.
Everyone walked in a clockwise direction, which meant less congestion too!
Mostly consisting of walking on pavements, there were a couple of sections of bush walk, which not only broke up the concrete, but was lovely and cool. This respite from the sun was very welcome, as it was one of the hottest days we have had since being here - reaching nearly 32 degrees!
What I really loved about the walk was the organisers firmly stated the walk was not a race - walkers were encouraged to stop for coffee or lunch, have a look around the various villages. You could do as much or as little of the walk as you wanted and free buses were laid on at various points. This meant everyone could have a go - from young to the old, from those not as fit, to the fitness freaks. Everyone could do their bit for charity.
Not only was it a satisfying thing to do; it was also really interesting walking through suburbs we had never visited before, and noting down little gems of picnic spots, beaches, and restaurants for further exploration.
There were a few blisters, and very sore and stiff legs, but an amazing feeling. I am not well enough to run marathons or even 10km races, but doing this, and for such a great cause, is a start!
Needless to say, we did nothing but sit on our balcony that afternoon!