A Travellerspoint blog

October 2011

Has it been a week already?

Jeff Owens - Man of Leisure.

sunny 25 °C

Upon coming back to Gymps we've had the opportunity to see a bunch of the country surrounding it. One of the local spots on the coast that is frequented is Tin Can Bay. It's not a beach location but is great for launching boats and fishing and has a good beach town vibe. Had lunch at the yacht club practically with the yacht club members themselves. By that I mean our table was close enough for me to hear them discuss their business. From there we drove around the bay to Rainbow Beach which is a pretty great beach. Were able to lounge, kick the footy around, and swim in the surf for a few hours. Will certainly be coming back.

On Sunday got a call that Kirstyn and her girls were going to Mothar Mountain Rock Pools. Kyla had heaps of stuff to do so the Nance and I loaded the kids into the Commodore and met up with them and Keilley and Bianca. Was a beautiful day and the rock pools were cool and refreshing. Had a picnic lunch and almost got attacked by a lace monitor. Also got to see a kookaburra up close. All in all a good day. Mothar Mountain also has a STEEP CLIMB walking trail didn't do it that day but will have to give it a go.

Since we are unemployed Adan took us out one day to see where they were working and give us the tour of some of Imbil, where he grew up. It's pretty awesome seeing where they log on mountainsides. And they machines they use are massive. There is one called the skyline that is used on the steepest slopes where they have to cut the trees down with chainsaws. The skyline is used to haul two or three whole trees up from the hillside to where ever they can get to them with the other machines and trucks. It's a really cool and complex operation.

Jack turned 5 and so of course we partied. Had all of the traditional kids party foods. Cheerios served with tomato sauce, little meat pies, all washed down with cordial. Now cheerios are not only a cereal over here. They are also a little sausage-like thing that if you eat too many you die or something. They taste alright but they are not the cream of the butcher's crop to put it one way so you can't eat too many. The cordial here is what some try to tell you is the kool-aid equivalent, but IT IS NOT. I've been trying a few different flavours and some aren't bad while others it's a struggle to force it down. I got Jacko a set of mini nerf guns which went over pretty well with all the kids, young and old.

Got a call one evening from Kate asking if we wanted to go surfing with her and Paul the following morning. Trying to contain my excitement I said yeah sure that'd be cool, while on the inside I was stoked! Having never tried surfing before I wasn't sure how badly I was going to faceplant it in the water, but it wasn't too shabby. I even managed to stand up a few times. I'm scouting out a secondhand board so I can go more often. It was seriously one of the most fun things I've done.

We've been back in Gympie about two weeks or so and I've become so accustomed to lounging at the beach or never setting an alarm clock or ever having a set schedule that when George said that I was a man of leisure it sort of struck a chord and I think it will be the subtitle for this entire trip or possibly my life. Jeff Owens - Man of Leisure. Has a good ring to it.

Posted by owensj11 21:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Whoops...St. George to our arrival in Gympie

My goal was to blog it at least once a week. I have failed you. I'm not sure who you are, but nevertheless I am ashamed. I will do better, blog better, and just be better. You wait.

sunny 23 °C

So where did I leave off? Oh that's right about two weeks ago and about 1000 K's away from where I am now. Well we did make it out of St. George and took off back on the open road. Destination was the Gold Coast which contrary to what you would think, the Gold Coast is a city not just a beautiful stretch of beachfront, but it does happen to be a beautiful stretch of beachfront, hence the confusion. Now I have never been to the Gold Coast so I wasn't sure what area would be best or not. Instead we chose to go to the cheapest yet nicest hotel we could book and wash St. George off and do some much needed laundry. I was still on the 4a to 7p schedule so the first night after a relaxing 7 hour drive we just crashed. The next day even though it was raining we went to the area of Gold Coast called Surfer's Paradise because I'd heard it was a pretty happening place. The rain was cold-ish and there wasn't much going on at that moment, but the area was still really built up and touristy. We put our feet in the ocean and did a bit of shopping. There was a big volleyball comp going on and in between downpours we watched a bit. The next day we went back to Surfer's because the weather was cooperative and then hit up a huge shopping mall that was advertised EVERYWHERE and I was pretty impressed. It wasn't that there were better stores it was that it was integrated almost seamlessly with indoor and outdoor avenues. You'd be walking along what felt like any other shopping mall aisle and then look up and realize that the roof just ended 10 meters behind you. I'm really digging the outdoor culture over here. Everywhere you go it seems that there is no distinction between inside and out. It is more by need than anything. It is still only spring and we've had a few hot days already so I can only imagine what summer will bring. After our two days in the Gold Coast proper we decided to go check out Coolangatta which was about a 45 minute drive South. It was even better. It might have something to do with the sunshine that we had the two days we stayed there or the fact that the beach was a stone's throw from the shops, but altogether it just has a good beach town vibe to it. Live music, cold beer, and good food were all plentiful. Still not sure if we were going to find any work to last us the few weeks before we wanted to be back in Gympie we decided to start heading North. I looked up a brewery that was on a mountain surrounded by rainforest that was on the way towards Brisbane, our next destination, and we couldn't pass it up. I'm glad we didn't because Mount Tambourine was awesome! We drove up a mountain not sure what to expect and we found, in addition to the brewery, a whole little village thriving on the summit. We spent the whole afternoon wandering the rainforest and eating and going to scenic lookouts. If you're ever in the area I'd recommend a visit. The Nance booked us a hotel on the way into the Brisbane and since we were going to get there pretty late we decided to go on cost rather than location and surprisingly we didn't end up in a dive. Sure it was close to the airport but after 6 hours of walking up and down a mountain it was perfect. I was famished and went out to find some take away and nearly got lost in a residential area and the guy at Maccas had such a bad accent that I drove away not sure of what I had. Either way it was good and the next morn we took off to check out Brisbane, Queensland's metropolis. It is built around the meandering Brisbane river and has a heap of bridges that cross it. In that aspect it reminded me of New York where each area has a unique feel to it. Though since it is small and friendly it reminded me of Grand Rapids. It is thriving and has the population that made me think of Detroit during it's heyday. Though as you walk through the Botanical Gardens and see the popular river ferries or buy something at the pop-up weekend markets you can't help but think of Brisbane as a city of it's own. I loved the vibe of the city the most I think. It is subtropical in climate so the weather was choice the whole time we were there. The city is entirely walkable though it is big so make sure you have the time, but if you don't it has good public transportation and you could even hop on one of the bikes that the city provides. We went to an exhibition at the free museum and learned loads of stuff about Queensland fauna, aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander cultures, and they even had the car of a man who used to drive around the streets of Brisbane back in the fifties and little tidbits from people who remember him. It might not sound like it but Brisbane is a young city. They were building like mad all sorts of skyscrapers and other buildings. We spent three days there and that was not enough I can't wait to go back. The last day before we left we did a tour of the brewery that makes Fourex the beer associated with Queensland and it was a great tour. For whatever reason we were the only two on our tour and luckily we had a great tour guide and got to hear about all sorts of things you wouldn't hear in a large group. Then there is a restaurant attached so of course we had to sample a few of the beer inspired dishes, with kangaroo kebabs being a highlight. Then it was back in the car for the drive back to Gympie. We got a bit lost looking for Mount Coot-tha which overlooks the city because I couldn't find a bridge that took me where I thought I needed to go so after a while we just decided to give that up and just drive North. We found a sign that even said the Bruce Highway, but you had to take a toll bridge to get there and I'm like, psh I ain't paying no toll, I'll find my own way outta this city. Instead I found the Port of Brisbane. Yeah the toll bridge is the last bridge that crosses the river before ending at the ocean. Not a total bust though. Got to see the port in operation and had morning tea at the interactive visitor's centre. Needless to say we took the toll bridge just so we wouldn't get lost again and it was smooth sailing until we saw an exit advertising a scenic drive that only added a few extra K's to the drive, and it said there was a scenic lookout. Now the scenic lookouts at Mount Tambourine were easily accessible by car or on foot without any signs stating that "A moderate level of fitness is recommended" this one classified the walk to the lookout as a CLASS 4. You needed ankle supporting shoes and I think it said you should also carry a machete because you might get attacked by wild platypuses or something. Yet again that day I was like, psh they probably have to say this, it can't be that bad, my thongs will be fine I don't need no ankle supporting shoes." Oh. My. God. It was seriously the steepest climb I have ever done. I had to take off my shoes because it was killing my calves to walk/climb. After about 150m I HAD to take a break and it just kept going and going and going. The actual distance was only 1.4k and we had done a rainforest walk that was about that at Mount Tambourine but this one was so steep you could reach out while walking and touch the ground with hardly any bending. We made it to the top dripping with sweat and I thought I was dying but the view was spectacular. There are three mountains that are called the Glasshouse Mountains that are made from a dark stone that has sheared away over the ages leaving large cliffs with little vegetation that dwarf any of the rolling hills surrounding them and from where we were we had a great view of them. Made the hike pretty close to worth it. The way down was much better. I found that if you do sort of a skipping jog you could fly down, but if I had tripped or didn't slow down enough around a corner I'm confident I would have either tumbled to death all the way back to the carpark or flown off the side and fell to death, neither of which happened thankfully. We saw a guy with his kids getting ready to hike up and politely mentioned that when it says class 4 that they mean class 4 and it was quite a climb, I could tell the bloke was thinking, psh yeah right class 4, I could do a class 4 carrying my 3 kids on my back without breaking a sweat. He'll learn quickly though. After that it was enough of this scenic drive business I just hiked a CLASS 4 trail, I've done all I need to today back to the Bruce Highway! But we followed the scenic drive to the end, but ignored any of the signs that said SCENIC LOOKOUT. It was good to get back to familiar Gymps. I had really missed the kids and it was wonderful to sleep without worrying about a checkout though Jack makes sure I don't sleep past 7. He's thoughtful that way. Anyways it was good to be back around the fam. I had missed them.

Posted by owensj11 02:33 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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