Post Queensland Summary

Another backdated post, not sure how it comes out to you few people who read here, no complaints?  No worries.

Our last few days in Queensland involved an amazing trip to Australia Zoo, no, we didn’t see any Irwins, we made it to South Bank Brisbane & graced Dreamworld with not only our presence but also our patience (lol).

Australia Zoo
If you’ve seen the photo in the previous post, Ingrid and I went to the wildlife park with my niece Mia & her awesome mother Kate.  Naturally there was a 3 car accident on the way in.  Queenslanders speed a lot, tailgate and avoid using indicators (I assume it’s a lack of intelligence thing).  We all hoped nobody was badly hurt, but there was a head-on element and combined with the speed of the road (ignoring the likelihood of speeding) anything over 50km/hr is generally lethal.  Look it up and stop driving like an idiot, please.
There wasn’t much of a queue to enter and the train/shuttle thing was just pulling in as we were ready to go.  The place is very different from what I remember – they have other worldly sections, it’s huge!  The shuttle took us to the African part, after showing most of every other part, which we’d walk back to.  No goading would make a rhino or zebra fight a giraffe, which is a shame, but understandable, I suppose.  After that we looked at the Asian section (perhaps South East Asian… will confirm in 100 years), then we got to the business.  Ingrid need to see, touch, taste & smell a kangaroo & koala, at least.  We could see koalas in their section, sleeping it up, the patting would come in a few hours.  Girls were squealing in the “it’s so cute” way at many furry things.  At one point some tourists were sneaking photos of me in, I saw you, you bastards, cover my entry cost!
After the big midday show, with all the birds and croc action, we all got to pat a koala, I’m not actually sure if that was before or after patting some kangaroos, except for Kate.  Every time she got close they seemed to take issue.  Mia even threw a stick or something, kind of at one (2 year olds throw like unco’s) and it didn’t move, but when Kate wanted to pat “Hey!” and it freaked the ladies out.  Kate had to take Mia home in the early afternoon, Ingrid and I planned to be out of there not long after, but we saw passed out wombats, some fairly still dingoes and a catbear/Biturong… never heard of it either, that’s why you have the gift of a link.
I think after that we went to the Botanical Garden in Brisbane, it was very small, but quite nice.  Stupid mosquitoes.

South Bank
Ahhh the elusive South Bank of Brisbane… we were delivered to Caxton St and had a good time, what will this new approach to the old problem of “getting there” show us?  We parked in the city center, paid for the privilege and walked there, that’s how we solved that riddle. I’m not happy about it, ok?  If you want to know something rebellious, know that we were late returning to our car and got no fine!
South Bank was very pretty, they even have a public pool, that’s kind of set out like a beach, with its own lifeguard and everything.  When we soaked our feet in the waters many drunk late teens were trying to sexually impress each other with dumb things.
We went to a Russian restaurant, because that’s what appealed to us out of all the Indian/Thai/Usual-in-every-place restaurants that was in the area.  Russian food is hearty and good.  It grows your back for mighty tasks.  By the time we’d finished eating we were late for the car.  Originally Ingrid convinced me that getting a fine wasn’t so bad.  Then I remembered that they can actually tow your car… that would be far worse.

Our final day in Queensland saw us drive through Brisbane to the Gold Coast for a tipple in Dreamworld.  There wasn’t really any queue to get in, we figured because we were kind of early.  Turns out the park was kind of empty for most of the day.  Thank you school children!  One issue this posed was that the few people who were there all wanted much the same rides (I think 3 of the “thrill” rides were out of order), so while the queues were minimal at some rides, they were still present at the better ones.  Another, we would later discover, is that pretty much all the food joints inside close really early and we learned that if you don’t have at least 8 adults on a roller coaster, you cannot complete a loop de loop.  😦
At one point we ended up in the animal section and got to see more dingoes amongst the regulars.  We also got to see our first Tree Kangaroo and Bilby.  The Tree Kangaroo is kind of like a possum and kanga combined.  I’ve seen a bilby before and you can look it up if you want to.
A highlight was entering a “Zombie” laser tag game and then being forced onto the other team from Ingrid and then her getting the lowest score of the game – including the little children that played.  Her team won though.  The town was overrun with zombies and my team of defenders just couldn’t cope apparently.
Ingrid really liked the Tower of Terror rides, the giant drop and car thing. They were pretty deece.  Good times for all, except when we decided to get something to eat before we left.  Closed mate.  Closed.

Once all was done, we got in the car and headed to Byron Bay, where we would stay the night, warm, in each other’s arms, while a storm approached where we had left.


Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day!

I’m sneakily putting this on its date when I’ve actually writing it 11 days after.  The wonders of technology!

Ingrid and I got up early to go to Alexandra Headlands beach to watch the sunrise, we then fell asleep on the beach for a little while.  After a walk we were ready for food, which continued with our established theme of mashing most of our meals together because time didn’t really have a meaning.  The cafe we went to explained that it’d be around a 20-30 minute wait for food, so I ordered a piece of carrot cake to hold us off until the main meal.  The piece they served was huge and delicious, although apparently not the best Ingrid has ever had, but very close to!  This created a problem, our large drinks arrived and not so long after the huge servings of our meals turned up.  By the end we were both feeling a little ill from putting too much in, I think Ingrid went to empty herself out, involuntarily.

We eventually returned to Kyle & Kate’s place to plan what our evening would be.  Being our final weekend in Queensland, we decided to give Brisbane’s nightlife a good go.  I think by this time I’d driven to Brisbane 3 times, so I was getting used to getting in and out.  Brisbane itself is a mess.  Stupid one way streets which mean that if you’ve missed the planned turn or the planned turn is infact forbidden (due to a one way street) going around the block to start again is almost impossible.  It’s almost as if somebody planned Brisbane to be like Melbourne in layout but Parramatta in road usage (don’t get me started on Parramatta!).  The blocks appear to allow easy navigation, but it’s only if you’re local enough to know which streets are permitted on your journey or not, that you will gain much success and joy!

Upon the recommendation of Kyle we headed to South Bank.  The above paragraph meant that we actually ended up somewhere else.  Luckily we still had our tourist books, so the place we ended up offered some ‘cool’ places to check out.  Without having done a night out in South Bank, I cannot compare, but Caxton St was rad.  There was Brewski, a place that has a lot of beers, like a 6 page menu of local and imported, in order of style: lager, pale ale, ipa, stout etc etc.  I was driving so I had 2 beers and forced Ingrid to have 3 with the promise that I’d not be driving until about midnight.  The last one Ingrid had was like 9% or something and she was saying that she was a little dizzy from all those beers and food was needed.  Smart, beautiful girl.  Across the road was an interesting place, apparently we got in just before the kitchen was closing, both meals were awesome!  The final destination was a place that claimed to know whisky (Ingrid’s favourite drink) and had bearded barmen.  They did have a lot of whisky, that was true.  Their facial hair was wanting, I think the closest to a full beard I saw was one guy who had maybe 2 weeks worth of growth.  Another was only sporting a mo and one was disgustingly clean shaven!

There was a live band playing, a kind of gypsy, country, blues combination.  They were pretty darn good.  The funny thing was that they would say they are going and we’ll see them again some time in the future.  Implying that they were leaving for the next den on the horizon.  What happened was they returned in about 20 minutes and played more songs.  It was a kind of odd.  Forgivable, because we enjoyed dancing to them.  Around midnight I was feeling like a pumpkin so we started to leave, then Ingrid’s ears picked up Rage Against the Machine playing upstairs.  We had found THE PLACE!  hahaha!  It was nowhere near as crowded and the people seemed cooler (downstairs we were laughing at this pissed dolled-up chick who kept saying to her friend “I hate this place, why do I come here?” – because you’re a vacuous idiot who wants to be seen I imagine).  We watched lone ugly men hit on a table full of women and we’re not sure if they succeeded or not, but some of them seemed to be around them later on.  RATM played until we left.  Ingrid got a whisky, the barman looked a little like the drummer for Broozer but was keenly interested in what she liked about whisky so she would get the right one (I was ordering, don’t think he was trying to get into her pants, maybe, didn’t have that vibe though).  We watched as everybody lit up when Killing In The Name Of played and then I laughed as nobody knew the better songs like Bulls On Parage or Bombtrack – Brisbane loser hipsters it seems hahaha!

We returned to sleep at 4ish in the AM.  Oh!  On the way home I stopped to make toilet.  I returned to the car and Ingrid was gone.  The passenger seat was empty.  I started to panic a little, where could a drunk, tired Colombian girl go when we’re at a petrol station half way between Brisbane & Sunshine Coast?  I was still approaching the car but looking around the car park, then I saw her.  She’d climbed into the back of the car and was asleep on the bed we’d set up.  I tried to wake her a little, because it’s not safe, but we made it home fine and she had a sleep.

Driving and looking for a car park

Taught the poor girl how to drive on the wrong side of a car on the wrong side of the road and then put that education to a grueling test: substitute driver for a 11-13 hour drive to the Sunshine Coast.  It went pretty well, just got some traffic here and there.  Ingrid suspects she may have had the honour of getting her likeness caught on a speeding camera. We’ll see what interesting things happen there.

Kyle and his gift for creating monsoons has discouraged us from going much further north.  I don’t believe we’ll make Bowen this trip.  Future plans perhaps…?

Woke up as soon as Mia announced that she was awake, after probably 5 hours sleep.  Played with some puzzles while eating breakfast.
So far we’ve battled Brisbane, we drove in because the trains don’t really make sense and we have no idea of cost.  Parking was interesting… customer only you say?  We had a look at your wares and chose not to follow through to being a full fare paying customer.  We still believe we’re entitled to your 3 hour free parking though, thanks. 😉
We used the parking time gifted us to get some information on what to do in Brisbane.  By the time we actually got to the information centre (naturally most locals don’t know where anything is) we had to have lunch & look to leave.  We ate down by the river, a beautiful view and very relaxing.  Then we left…
I sent Kate a text, it time stamped our departure.  Due to driver incompetence and I think there was an accident (hope nobody got hurt) a little over an hour drive took 3 hours.  Thanks Queensland drivers for wasting a large part of our day, learn to merge.

We then went to the markets with Kyle, Kate & Mia.  The drive in saw me knowing more Wiggles songs than I was aware of: Mia, Ingrid and I were dancing it up in the back seat though.  The market was pretty good, quite busy.  Highlights included finding a bar that had Colombian beers & spirits.  Had to try it, did a shot (Aguardiente) with the beer (Cerveza Aguila) to cruise through.  The shot has a slightly aniseed flavour and was whiskey-ish in strength.  The beer is smooth, low carbonation with a slightly sweet flavour.  Apparently both are dirt cheap in their homeland, naturally, not so here hahaha

Tomorrow being Valentines Day, we’ll see if we can make the beach by sunrise.  Other plans are currently unresearched.