Archive for July, 2013

327. Sunday 28th July 2013. We visit the University of Queensland and Manly Harbour…

28/07/2013

I will start this week’s post with a little self- indulgent literary wandering. Recently, I read a book by Bill Bryson. (William McGuire “Bill” Bryson, born December 8, 1951), is a best-selling American author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on science. Born an American, he was a resident of Britain for most of his adult life before returning to the U.S. in 1995. In 2003 Bryson moved back to Britain, living in the old rectory of Wramplingham, Norfolk.) The book, called, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, is all about returning to the US after 20 years in the UK. The book was a series of articles he had written, published in various newspapers and pulled together as a best-selling volume. Although I enjoyed the first half of the book, the humour was beginning to wane in the second half and I was waiting for the end to arrive. So it was, with a little trepidation and a hint of curiosity I have begun another of his many books. This one has a local flavour and is called In a Sunburned Country and according to the author, the title is a bit of a play of words on our favourite poem by Dorethea MacKellar, I Love a Sunburnt Country. OK Bill, apart from your irreverent look at the Ozzie lifestyle and idiosyncrasies, which I can forgive, I cannot forgive your lack of research and poor spelling of place names. That said, I am enjoying his trip through “the outback” and errors aside, I feel is a better book than the I’m a Stranger Here Myself. If you get a chance to get your hands on a copy, do so.

While reading the book I was taken by his comments about historical sites in Australia. Generally speaking and it seems in real life, Bill is generally speaking, In Oz unless a historical site is popular it tends to get sort of, well, forgotten. Therefore  there are no signs, safety railings, posters, billboards, ranger station etc etc etc to show where the site is located. Ya hafta get out there and find it for yaself! Or words to that effect. He compares sites in OZ to sites in US of A. In the US there are usually flags and marching bands and a whole commercial industry backing their historical sites. I mentioned much the same thing when I visited the site of Captain Thunderbolts Cave when based in the New England district late in 2012. My comments can be read at post number 282.

Friday 26th July

72.8

Knowledgeable, astute and memoried readers may have noticed the little numbers which occasionally start a daily post. So, what are the little numbers all about?

Somewhere in late May this year ( and I regret not marking the date on the calendar) I started a diet. My little pot belly which has been a constant companion for over thirty years has increased in recent years and I decided it was time to get the little paunch back to comfortable proportions.

So I weighed myself and lo the scales read 81Kg… exactly.

Gasp Shock Horror Dismay!!!

Hmmm! I would really like to get back to somewhere around 65Kg which was my weight when I was discharged from the Army 1,000 years ago.

I planned to lose weight slowly in which case there would not be much difference day to day.

I also planned to start my daily walks again and a bit more physical activity. Something which I have not done on a regular basis since starting our travels in September 2010.

I also introduced some mild yoga type exercises especially for my back.

The way I would reduce my weight would be via what I put in my mouth.

Reduce alcohol intake. No beer or spirits at 5pm. No wine with dinner.

No snacks, salted peanuts, chips, cheese and crackers at 5pm. This would also be a blessing to reduce my hypertension.

Reduce meal sizes.

No chocolates, jelly babies, cakes, puddings, ice cream, desserts.

Reduce carbohydrate intake. Such as no potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, pasta, rice, cous cous, bread (oh sob sob no more rye sourdough bread) and all other carb type foods. I still eat some carbs as it should be a part of a regular healthy diet but not to the amounts we used to have included with each meal and between meal snacks.

No meat pies (more sobbing)

Increase vegetables to compensate or preferably more salads.

Those little numbers are my weight at the beginning of that day.

So, 72.8 was my weight in kilograms this morning.

I made several dietary intake blunders today.

While shopping, I decided, on a whim, to celebrate by buying a meat pie and three potato scallops for lunch. After all, Donnis was working at St,Vincents Hospital at Kangaroo Point and she was not here to slap me on the wrist.

Sigh!!!

Big mistake.

For those who do not know, a potato scallop is a thick slice of potato, dipped in batter and deep fried.

I managed to eat two greasy scallops, both dripping with oil, (actually I was hesitant about starting the second) and threw out the third. I felt terrible with all that greasy food clinging to my mouth and teeth and sliding around in my stomach. It felt like I had consumed enough oil to lubricate the car for the next 12 months.

Yuk!

For dinner I had two Lamb Short Loin Chops with lots of salad of course. For those who are not aware, Lamb is probably the fattiest, greasiest meat and lamb loin chops are the worst.

I weighed myself before going to bed.

Eeeeeyerk!!!

73.9

That little dietary forgetfulness increased my weight by 1.1Kg. In one day.

After lunch I went to Kangaroo Point to collect the CO-PILOT after her shift. Kangaroo Point is one of our favourite spots in Brisbane.

This tower sits atop the cliffs at Kangaroo Point. Known as "Venus Rising: Out of the Water and into the Light".

This tower sits atop the cliffs at Kangaroo Point. Known as “Venus Rising: Out of the Water and into the Light”.

Today I visited the park on the topmost cliffs to take a fresh look at the area and to wander around St.Mary’s Anglican (Church of England) Church at Kangaroo Point.

St.Mary's Anglican (Church of England) Church at Kangaroo Point

St.Mary’s Anglican (Church of England) Church at Kangaroo Point

http://www.saintmarys.org.au/   This delightfully designed and preserved church is built from rock known as Brisbane Tuff which externally appears to be sandstone. It was built in 1873. The views across the river to the city are spectacular and especially the view from the rectory could not be rivalled anywhere. The unused rectory sits on land which would be valued in the millions of dollars. For good reason too.

View of Brisbane City and the river from St.Mary's Rectory at Kangaroo Point.

View of Brisbane City and the river from St.Mary’s Rectory at Kangaroo Point.

In the Kangaroo Point cliff-top gardens I found two healthy juvenile Wollemi Pines.

Juvenile Wollemi Pine.

Juvenile Wollemi Pine.

These trees were once thought to be extinct as only 200 million year old fossils had been found. In 1994 a stand of trees was found in Wollemi National Park in NSW and through steps of seed propagation are now being planted to save it from extinction. In fact it has been sent overseas to USA, Japan and Scotland to name a few. The seeds have become collector’s item and often when the trees are in seed a protective fence has been built around them. Access to the Wollemi National Park site is also restricted. The story is a good read. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wollemia

Saturday 27th July

Donnis has enrolled in a 2 day course at the University of Queensland so I dropped her there early this morning. Wow! The Uni is a worthwhile destination and we have bookmarked it for a future visit together.

I drove 25 Klms to the coast at Manly.

When I was a young boy, our family made occasional visits to Manly on the north shore of Sydney. Our favourite trip was via the Manly Ferry and I loved the beach and surf. As I grew older and could catch buses and ferries alone I continued visiting Manly. Later as a hormonally inspired teenager I visited Manly with my rowdy friends. This time as surfers to ride the specialist waves at Fairy Bower at the end of Manly Beach.   https://www.google.com.au/search?q=fairy+bower+surf&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ZsP0UbHrO43VkwWToYEo&ved=0CD8QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=643    My memories of Manly therefore, are fond recollections of clear water and breaking surf. Manly,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manly,_Queensland    a suburb of Brisbane is another matter altogether. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moreton_Bay  Brisbane and its southern and northern bayside suburbs are within Moreton Bay. The bay is protected by a handful of islands, notably Stradbroke and North Stradbroke. For that reason what Brisbane calls “seaside suburbs” have no surf and therefore the water does not have that same appeal as Manly in Sydney. I visited the Manly Boat harbour Marina and admired its impressive size. Apart from the marina there was nothing to keep my interest.

Manly Harbour Marina

Manly Harbour Marina

One part of the marina caught my attention. Runabout type boats are stored in multi story racks.

Boat ready to be stacked.

Boat ready to be stacked.

Stacked boats.

Stacked boats.

After my visit to the “coast” today I have to revise comments we have made over the years where we describe ourselves as coastal people. We are coastal people, provided there is surf nearby.

Late in the afternoon sister Enid arrived so the three of us caught a bus to West End and had dinner at a Thai Restaurant.

Sunday 28th July

In the morning I drove Donnis to Dutton Park then walked her across the Eleanora Schonnel bridge to the University of Queensland

The Elaenor Schonell Bridge from the University of Queensland side.

The Elaenor Schonell Bridge from the University of Queensland side.

then back to the car and then home where I had morning coffee with Enid. After that we went back to Dutton Park, parked TERIOS and walked across the bridge, (AGAIN) then around lakes

Fountain at the UQ Lakes

Fountain at the UQ Lakes

and the perimeter of the Uni then around the grounds, including walking the entire cloisters surrounding the Great Court

The sandstone cloisters around the UQ Great Court.

The sandstone cloisters around the UQ Great Court.

Within the cloisters.

Within the cloisters.

and back to the car. We walked about 6 Klms.

Late in the afternoon after Enid went home I drove back to Dutton Park and crossed the bridge once more to collect Donnis. In all, I have probably walked more than 12 klms today.

326. Have a little faith…Oh Brother! More Churches…

25/07/2013

In all of our travels an often dominating feature in a town or town skyline is a church. often the church is small but has a unique style all of it’s own. Perhaps it is the only church in town. Sometimes the town is well endowed with old and historic churches. Churches are part of world and Australian history so here we go again with a church tour.

020 vancouver can

I have no real idea why I have included this photo because it was taken in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and apart from that we have no idea what denominational group it belongs to or even where in Vancouver. However I do like the old Gothic style and the green mossy patina covering the stonework.

Black Mountain Baptist Church

Black Mountain Baptist Church

Between Armidale and Guyra is the small village of Black Mountain.   The railway line no longer runs through town. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Mountain,_New_South_Wales   The village has been by-passed by the new highway so has fallen into a state of semi collapse. This old church, built in 1902 is not made from Armidale Blue bricks which was the building material of choice for many of the historic buildings in the Armidale and New England area of New South Wales. The church like much of the town is suffering from lack of population.

This solid Catholic Church at Guyra is built from the brick known as Armidale Blue. he bricks are common throughout historical buildings, especially churches in the Armidale area. The bricks are also featured inb uildings in nearby towns such as Uralla, Guyra, and Glen Innes.

This solid Catholic Church at Guyra is built from the brick known as Armidale Blue. the bricks are common throughout historical buildings, especially churches in the Armidale area. The bricks are also featured in buildings in nearby towns such as Uralla, Guyra, and Glen Innes.

This old church is St.Mary of the Angel Catholic Church situated on the New England Highway at Guyra.

Armidale Uniting Church

Armidale Uniting Church

This is another of the churches or buildings built in the Armidale Blue brick. For some reason, this church is simply known as Uniting Church Armidale. I cannot find a “saint” name as most churches are known as “saint something or other”.

St. Andrews Anglican Church, Braidwood. NSW. Braidwood sits atop a mountain range above the coastal town of Batemans Bay NSW an d is roughly midway between the coast and Canberra, ACT the nations capital.

St. Andrews Anglican Church, Braidwood. NSW. Braidwood sits atop a mountain range above the coastal town of Batemans Bay NSW and is roughly midway between the coast and Canberra, ACT the nations capital.

We visited Braidwood in August 2012 while on our way to Canberra, Albury and Mt.Beauty in Victoria. Even at that time of year, approaching Springtime, Braidwood is a cold place, open to the westerly winds blowing across the plains. Because the town is on the main highway to the coast it has found a new lease on life supporting the tourist and Canberra traffic. Most Canberrans use this road to travel to the coast for their weekend escapes and annual holidays. If we were looking for a place to settle down, Braidwood would not be on the list.

Holy Trinity Garrison Church, Millers Point, The Rocks, sydney

Holy Trinity Garrison Church, Millers Point, The Rocks, sydney

The Sydney Rocks area is a wonderful place to wander from an historical point of view. It is also a wonderful place to wander from a gastronomical point of also. I digress. Oh, by the way this church,the Holy Trinity Garrison at Millers Point, one of the original in Sydney is worth visiting. Like many old buildings, especially churches, the money needed for maintenance and repairs is not nearly sufficient to keep it looking pristine.

Original Presbyterian Church, Hillgroved

Original Presbyterian Church, Hillgrove

Somewhere around 1857 a community had grown in the area now known as Hillgrove, NSW. Originally known as Eleanora Township it quickly became a bustling community of at least 3,000 people in 1898. The town included four churches and six hotels. The reason for the towns existence was mining. Over the years it has been a boom and bust economy reliant on gold, until 1900, then along came antimony ore, then back to gold then tungsten during World War  II and finally back to gold during the present day. This old Presbyterian Church became the home of of the Uniting Church in Hillgrove.

St.Andrews Presbyterian Church Forbes.

St.Andrews Presbyterian Church Forbes.

The St.Andrews Presbyterian Church at Forbes was built in 1877. It is quite a substantial building when you consider the first settlers only arrived in in the area around 1834. This central western NSW town was like many in the mid 1800’s. They were established in response to a goldrush. Like many towns they grew and prospered, the gold ran out, people left but those who stayed built a new economy. The town is still considered wealthy, especially when compared with other towns in the area.

Culcairn Anglican Church

Culcairn Anglican Church

Culcairn in south western NSW was, like Forbes, settled in 1834. Unlike Forbes and other towns at that time there was no goldrush. Culcairn and surrounding district had good grazing land. The parishioners now number about 10 regular worshippers. Related churches in nearby smaller communities band together and visit each others churches each month.

Walla Walla, NSW Lutheran Church.

Walla Walla, NSW Lutheran Church.

The Lutheran community in south western NSW is strong AND wealthy. Walla Walla is a small dry and dusty town in a community farming wheat and canola on land which was once used for grazing. The Lutheran influence on the town is evident in the St.Pauls College, the only Lutheran Secondary school in NSW on the outskirts of town. The town was settled in 1845 and now boasts the largest Lutheran Church in NSW.

325. Sunday 21st July 2013. Food and Culture…

22/07/2013

The week started off quietly with just the usual household items and the CO-PILOT doing a nursing shift at Brookfield, a new suburb for us. Although this is an older nursing facility the CO-PILOT was impressed with the facilities, the staff and the routine.

Of course on Wednesday night the final State of Origin Match between New South Wales and Queensland was played at ANZ Stadium. Queensland won its eighth series in a row, a feat most believe will never be matched or bettered. To say the game was exciting would be a bit of an understatement. It was a good old fashioned nail biter right to the end and even had a streaker just near the end of the match. It seems this streaker has streaked before and has a ban from attending another venue but has now been fined $5,000 and has been banned for life from ANZ Stadium. Hmmm! How they gunna ban him??? He could have somebody else buy his tickets and just walk in. That seems like a bit of a wishy washy useless penalty. Oh well!

Friday 19th July

Did you ever have one of those days where you planned and executed the plan except for…

Donnis was asked to take on a shift at a private hospital on the north side of Brisbane River at Kippa – Ring near the coastal suburb of Redcliffe. So we planned to pack an evening meal for Donnis and we agreed that instead of making the trip backwards and forwards that I would stay on the northside, visit the beaches, take photos, have dinner and perhaps take in a movie before collecting her at the end of the shift at 9.30. I packed my good camera, iPad, Kindle and mobile phone and we headed out. I dropped Donnis and went to get my bag before heading down to the beach. Wot The!!! No bag. That meant no phone, no wallet,  no money and no licence. I had no choice but the head home again. The bag was still sitting on the kitchen chair where I had placed it so I would not forget it on my way out.

Sheesh!

What’s that? Why doesn’t Donnis just drive there herself?

Good question.

Perhaps I can answer it this way.

That is why she is the CO-PILOT. Not only that but she is also the CO-NAVIGATOR. But, she is the NO 1 PASSENGER.

So far the mystery of understanding how the GPS works has eluded her.

Nuff said.

Saturday 20th July

Today we journeyed by bus to what is fast becoming our favourite place in Brisbane, Southbank and the Brisbane Cultural Centre. Today we visited the Regional Flavours Expo.   http://regionalflavours.com.au/

Kids enjoy cooking

Kids enjoy cooking

Childrens Cooking Demonstration

Childrens Cooking Demonstration

Seating made from cardboard.

Seating made from cardboard.

We thought because the weather was threatening to be wet, there may not be too many people crowding the site. Wrong! If anything, the crowds had the same idea as us. The festival is a showcase of various foods, cheeses, produce and wines. Hmmm! For some reason the wine area had the biggest crowds especially as there were lots of free samples.

The Regional Wines area just as the rain began. Within minutes it became a sea of many coloured umbrella's.

The Regional Wines area just as the rain began. Within minutes it became a sea of many coloured umbrella’s.

Celebrity chefs gave talks and demonstrations and the atmosphere was just one of gastronomic happiness. Of course when the rain started the crowds became a sea of umbrellas of many colours.

Did anybody leave? Nooo. The crowds got bigger and all the local fast food outlets, restaurants, bars and coffee shops all did an absolutely roaring trade.

Whew! If you were not careful you could spend a lot of money.

It was fun. Pity about the weather.

On our way home we headed over to the Eleanor Schonell Bridge

Eleanor Schonell Bridge over the Brisbane River linking Dutton Park and the University of Queenslands

Eleanor Schonell Bridge over the Brisbane River linking Dutton Park and the University of Queenslands

Looking towards Mt. Coot-Tha from the bridge.

Looking towards Mt. Coot-Tha from the bridge.

to the University and watched as the clouds began to disperse and offered a great sunset.

Sunset from the balcony.

Sunset from the balcony.

Sunday 21st July

72.4

Back on the bus and into the Cultural Centre on the banks of the Brisbane River. The State Libaray and the Gallery of Modern Art had movies screening today. Free! In a real theatre. One of the movies we saw was Bran Nue Day, a musical including Jessica Mauboy, Ernie Dingo and Jeffrey Rush.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bran_Nue_Dae_(film)    This was a big bold bright and colourful funny musical and worth seeing, especially on a big screen with the big sound speakers.

We could very well visit this area a couple of days a week now we know that they have a daily program of events over the next few months.

324. Sunday 14th July. Brisbane, Gold Coast, Brisbane. Generally, a quiet week…

15/07/2013

Monday 8th July

Late last night Donnis received a phone call offering a shift at ARCare Endeavour Nursing Home at North Lakes. She has previously worked shifts there so accepted the job…a 7am start.

I set the alarm for 5am so we would have plenty of time to have breakfast, make lunch, get dressed etc before we left to drive the 35Klms across the river at the beginning of peak hour.

I woke at 6.11am!!! WTF! The alarm did not go off. Later I discovered when setting the alarm I failed to specify AM or PM and the default setting was PM. We were out the front door at 6.30 am and I drove through the front gates of the nursing home at 7am.

Donnis likes working for this group as the facilities are upmarket and there is sufficient staff so residents get the attention they are entitled to…and pay for.

I drove home and spent the next few hours carrying out domestic duties but never had time to make a start on waxing WWWGO.

Tuesday 9th July

In a moment of madness we decided to wash and wax TERIOS. I knew the action of polishing would play havoc with my back and I would pay the painful price tomorrow but heck, that’s what Panadol is for.

Right?

Not only wash and wax but the floor mats were removed and cleaned, the carpet vacuumed, the plastic trim on dashboard and around doorframes was wiped with Armour All. External plastic fittings were wiped with baby oil and gasp, shock, horror, the engine bay was sprayed with degreaser and hosed down. Mag wheels and tyres were also washed.

TERIOS looks like it just came out of the showroom.

Hmmm! I now want to remove the roof racks, which are not being used at the moment. That will allow us to open the moon roof when the sun is shining.

The day became cooler and more overcast as we worked.

Wednesday 10th July.

My usual walk at 6.30am started off OK but then it started to rain. At least my clothes kept me dry and warm until I got home and left the sodden tracky pants, jacket, Canadian Tuk, gloves and shoes on the verandah to dry.

Winter is back with a vengeance.

Brrr!

Friday 12th July

My sister Enid arrived for an overnight stay as she is attending a training session in Brisbane tomorrow.

Saturday 13th July

Earlier this week I spoke with Jerry P on Skype. He and wife Sue are Kiwi’s who live a few months in NZ and the rest of the year on the Gold Coast where they own an investment unit. They are both in Oz at the moment and we arranged to meet for morning coffee at their hotel, on the beach at Coolangatta.

Jerry, Sue and Frank on the cliffs at Snapper Rocks.

Jerry, Sue and Frank on the cliffs at Snapper Rocks.

We first met Jerry and Sue in 2005 at a Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia –CMCA – mini rally at Townsville Dam. They had just started their 12 month around Oz trip. We have kept in touch ever since. At that time we had our first motorhome, a converted Toyota Coaster bus. We met up for coffee then went for a walk to Greenmount Beach

Greenmount Beach through a lovely Pandanus Palm.

Greenmount Beach through a lovely Pandanus Palm.

Greenmount Beach with Kirra Beach and Coolangatta high rise in the background.

Greenmount Beach with Kirra Beach and Coolangatta high rise in the background.

across the street then  Greenmount Point,

Jerry, Donnis and Sue at Greenmount Point.

Jerry, Donnis and Sue at Greenmount Point.

Frank Sue and jerry at Greenmount Point.

Frank Sue and jerry at Greenmount Point.

Rainbow Bay Beach,

These young Boogey Boarders were catching waves and pulling out just before slamming into the rocks. The rider standing did not have a leg strap and lost his board twice. He had to climb on the rocks to retrive it.

These young Boogey Boarders were catching waves and pulling out just before slamming into the rocks. The rider standing did not have a leg strap and lost his board twice. He had to climb on the rocks to retrieve it.

Snapper Rocks,

Wedding preparation on small Beach at Snapper Rocks.

Wedding preparation on small Beach at Snapper Rocks.

Point Dangar

Abseiling practise and or classes at Point Dangar (or Point Danger depending on which history you read) The abseiling was done on the NSW side of the cliffs.

Abseiling practise and or classes at Point Dangar (or Point Danger depending on which history you read) The abseiling was done on the NSW side of the cliffs.

Frank and Donnis straddle to border of New South Wales to our left and Queensland to our right.

Frank and Donnis straddle to border of New South Wales to our left and Queensland to our right.

across the border into the NSW town of Tweed Heads and followed the Tweed River to Twin Towns Club

Twin Towns Club.

Twin Towns Club.

where we had a coffee and crossed back into Queensland to our starting point. The day was sunny with a cool breeze blowing from the south. It was a fun walk and good to catch up with S&J and I am sure we will be able to see them again this year. While at the Point Dangar Light Station we could see the spray from Humpback Whales on their annual migration north.

We left Coolangatta and began the 101 klm trip back to Fairfield but stopped at busy, busy, busy Hyperdome for dinner. The reason we stopped at Hyperdome was that traffic was bumper to bumper, stop, start, across 4 lanes of traffic due to a traffic “incident” somewhere ahead of us. We ate at a Sushi Train. We have not been in a sushi train type restaurant for around 10 years so it was fun to enjoy the different dishes on offer. At a Sushi Train, small dishes move along a track which snakes around the restaurant, You simply take a plate of whatever catches your fancy. When finished you take the empty plates to the register to pay. Each coloured plate has a different value.  We shared six plates of food, a green tea ice cream and a cup of green tea each and it only cost $30.

Sushi Train

Sushi Train. The coloured plates and the prices are shown on the wall in the background.

Sunday 14th July

In the afternoon we caught the bus to Brisbane Cultural Centre and visited the Queensland Art Gallery   http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/ and the Gallery of Modern Art.

Hmmm!

Some of this modern stuff leaves me cold although we only had time for a quick visit and will have to return another day.

As we were leaving we visited the State Library of Queensland   http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/  Both buildings are beside the Brisbane River and have stunning views across the water to the city. The size of the buildings and the myriad of levels and rooms can be a bit daunting. The sheer size and design put me in mind of when the visited the National Art Gallery in Canberra last year.

323. Sunday 7th July 2013. The River City…Brisbane…

07/07/2013

Monday 1st July

Cold wet and miserable.

Donnis has been staying with Chris while his mum and dad go to work.

Tuesday 2nd July

Today we took Chris to the movies at Hyperdome. It was Cheap Tuesday admission prices and it seemed most of the population of the surrounding suburbs had the same idea. I wanted to see the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, while Chris wanted to see Despicable Me 2. The Superman movie was only a third full while Despicable was sold out. I felt the Superman movie although good on special effects and some 3D scenes was long winded, overly violent and the only word I can think of which describes it is…boring.

Hmmm!

Wednesday 3rd July

74.2

We took Chris with us again today. First we visited an office of my previous employer Oceanic Marine Solutions, to visit an old workmate, Bill L. Bill was not there today but the Managing Directors daughter, Lizzie, recognized me the moment I walked in the door. We had a 15 minute catch up before we moved on.

We re-visited Kangaroo Point

Paddlers on the Brisbane River at Kangaroo Point.

Paddlers on the Brisbane River at Kangaroo Point.

and caught a ferry to Eagle Street wharf

Chris and Donnis aboard an old timber cross river ferry.

Chris and Donnis aboard an old timber cross river ferry.

then caught another ferry to the Brisbane Powerhouse where we stopped for a pizza lunch and Chris tried his skills at a rock climb wall.

Chris struggles to learn rock climbing.

Chris struggles to learn rock climbing.

All morning Chris did not want to go with us or go for a ride on the ferry. By the time we left the first ferry he did not want to get off. Each subsequent ferry ride thereafter was the same reaction. Despite himself he enjoyed being on the water. Of course by the time we got back to TERIOS it was peak hour and crawled along the motorway  to take Chris home .

Thursday 4th July

73.8

Good friends Tony and Dawn J arrived on their way home from Mackay after visiting their son. Tony being the good worker that he is, volunteered to help wax WWWGO. Previous cleans and polish  just did not give it the gloss it should have. I bought an expensive Canuba Wax and he polished a small section of fiberglass. Wow! What a difference.

In the meantime I touched up the external plastic surfaces with baby oil. Another Wow!

Friday 5th July

I came back from my usual early morning g walk to find Tony waxing WWWGO again. Go Tony!

Brisbane is a river city. In fact it promotes itself as The River City. The Central Business District is situated between two reaches of the river with suburbs radiating out in all directions. The main part of the city is richly endowed with 15 bridges.

Go-Between Foot Bridge.

Go-Between Foot Bridge.

Goodwill pedestrian and cycle bridge.

Goodwill pedestrian and cycle bridge.

Kurilpa Bridge

Kurilpa Bridge

Merivale Bridge

Merivale Bridge

Story Bridge.

Story Bridge.

Eleanor Schonell Bridge linking Dutton Park with the University of Queensland.

Eleanor Schonell Bridge linking Dutton Park with the University of Queensland.

Captain Cook Bridge.

Captain Cook Bridge.

William Jolley Bridge

William Jolley Bridge

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridges_over_the_Brisbane_River   Bridges for car, bicycle and foot traffic, bridge for rail only, bridges for foot and bicycle only, a bridge for bus, foot and bicycle. There is even a bridge, built in 1936, the Walter Taylor Bridge which has accommodation built into the pylons at one end.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Taylor_Bridge  Originally the accommodation was for the bridge tollmaster. In recent years it has been rented to the public although it has been vacant for the last two years as the previous tenant was so grossly overweight he could no longer walk up or down the stairs. Nor could he walk through doorways. Eventually windows were pulled out and he was evacuated by crane.   http://www.smh.com.au/national/300kg-man-up-there-for-years-20090821-eszq.html

Today, with Tony and Dawn we took a ferry ride on the Brisbane River as far upriver as the Qld University and on the return voyage stopped at Eagle Street Pier. In the process we passed under or viewed from the ferry, nine of the fifteen bridges. Our original plan called for a trip all the way down river as far as Teneriffe but that would have taken another hour or perhaps two.The small section of the river we traversed took the ferry two hours, stopping at all wharves along the way. So, we left the ferry at Eagle Street and stopped for a leisurely lunch overlooking the river and Story Bridge.

After lunch we walked to Queen Street Mall and went the movies to see The Lone Ranger. As usual Johhny Depp gave a fun performance and I came away feeling it was a much more enjoyable movie than the latest Superman movie.

After the movie we had a quick snack type meal in the Myer Centre food hall then visited King George Square to see all the lights

Brisbane Town Hall

Brisbane Town Hall

Donnis tony and dawn outside the Brisbane Town Hall.

Donnis Tony and Dawn outside the Brisbane Town Hall.

and then caught a bus home arriving just after 8pm.

Wow a long tiring but very pleasant day.

Saturday 6th July

Once more Tony was polishing WWWGO when I returned from my walk. Hmmm! I wonder if I can chain Tony to the bus for another week?

Tony and Dawn packed up and left before lunch. It has been so nice catching up with them again.

Sunday 7th July

Today we took a bus trip to the Brisbane Cultural Centre which encompasses Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Museum   http://www.qm.qld.gov.au/    and Science Centre, Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Library with South Bank Precinct across the road.

On the bus trip to town, the driver stopped at an umm err bus stop and talked with her base by radio then announced that was as far as the bus would go and we could use the next bus following in a few minutes. We could hear her base conversation and it seems she had a fall shortly before starting her shift and could drive no further. Base was sending an ambulance for her.

We spent a couple of hours in the Queensland Museum and one exhibit which really attracted attention was a small pod of fiberglass whales suspended from the ceiling between two buildings. What made the scene fascinating was a recording of actual whales calling to each other.

Whales in alley.

Whales in alley.

Across the road at Southbank there was an area of park fenced off for a Snowball Fight.

Snowball Sign

Snowball Sign

Snow Ball Fight

Snow Ball Fight

The operator makes snow and heaps it in the park and supplies gloves and buckets and bits and pieces so kids can play in the snow.

As we were leaving we saw a group, the Brisbane Husky and Malamute Club   https://www.facebook.com/BrisbaneMalamutesAndHuskies  with their dogs, one of which is probably the biggest dog I have seen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaskan_Malamute Even bigger than the Maremma Sheep dog   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maremma_Sheepdog    I cared for last year while house sitting at Mt.Pleasant in the Victorian Alps. Many Alaskan Malamute’s have strange eyes, one an icy blue while the other is often wishy washy brown.

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

When the Snowball centre was closing for the day they allowed all the Huskie’s and Malamutes into the snow for a romp.

The bus trip home was uneventful.

322. Sunday 30th June 2013. Brisbane RiverWalk…

01/07/2013

Monday 24th June

I started reading a book called Googled, written by Ken Auletto in 2009. I will discuss this a bit more in a day or two when I have read some more. I cannot believe a book of this nature will keep me intrigued from the beginning.

Wednesday 26th June

Donnis had an interview for an aged care nursing position at a facility located at Waterford West about twenty minutes south west from Fairfield. The facility is noteworthy in that it will house about 200 tenants – most needing nursing care – but at present has just 40 tenants all requiring minor to high care. It would be good if Donnis can be a part of this new venture especially as they only require staff three to four days a week for the first 12 months. All we can do now is await a call to tell her she has the position.

Thursday 27th June

I am still reading Googled and although it has lots of fact and figures it is also an interesting read. Considering Google was created in a garage in 1998 with virtually no budget it is now a world class, world leader in information search. I first started using Google around 2004 or perhaps 2005, reluctantly at first, as I considered using the MSN search engine was good enough. It did not take long before I realized how wrong I was. Now I use Google every day for my information searches, email provider and the biggest boon of all, Google Maps and Google Earth. Of course Google is more than those four services but they are all still free. They are accurate. Google Maps in particular still leaves me in awe.

Friday 28th June

74.6

I drove Donnis across the Brisbane River to RNA Showgrounds where she wanted to take part in a Mind, Body, Spirit Festival.  http://www.mbsfestival.com.au/index.htm   Of course she came home with tales of her wonderful day. In the evening sister Enid arrive for a weekend visit.

Saturday 29th June

Donnis and Enid both went to the Mind Body Spirit Festival.

Since we arrived in Brisbane I have wanted to visit Kangaroo Point. Today I took the opportunity to walk down the steep stone staircase built into the cliff walls at Kangaroo Point on the Brisbane River.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_Point_Cliffs

Looking down the steep cliff staircase.

Looking down the steep cliff staircase.

The area I explored is a popular picnic area, a training area for rock climbing,

Rockclimbing at Kangaroo Point cliffs.

Rockclimbing at Kangaroo Point cliffs.

adventure centre for kayaking and walking and cycling tracks.

City Bicycle Hire with over 2,000 bicycles spread over 150 locations throughout Brisbane. Much of Brisbane if flat and lends itself to touring especially around the river, parks and gardens.

City Bicycle Hire with over 2,000 bicycles spread over 150 locations throughout Brisbane. Much of Brisbane if flat and lends itself to touring especially around the river, parks and gardens.

The cliffs were created by quarrying of the local stone, known as Brisbane Tuff (http://windsorhistorical.org.au/?p=38 ) for use in many Government buildings. Quarrying ceased in the 1930’s but the area was largely taken up with industrial pursuits.

It was also the site of the Australian Naval Depot was located here until 1959. After wandering around for an hour or so I promised myself to come back and explore some more.

It is a credit to Brisbane City Council who have transformed that was once an eyesore into a family and sports oriented public parkland. Of course quality high rise housing units has contributed to the overall good feel of the area.

City skyline and Brisbane River seen from Hangaroo Point clifftop.

City skyline and Brisbane River seen from Hangaroo Point clifftop.

Looking East towards the Maritime Museum and the beginning of SouthBank.

Looking East towards the Maritime Museum and the beginning of SouthBank.

 

After the festival we all went out to a Thai meal at nearby Tarragindi.

Sunday 30th June.

We took a vote on what to do today as it was cool and a drizzly rain made the morning miserable. Despite the wind, the cold and the rain we decided to walk from Kangaroo Point cliffs along the river-walk to South Bank, cross the Goodwill Bridge, through the Botanical Gardens, along Eagle Street shopping precinct to the Story Bridge, cross it and back to our starting point.

Whew! Although it was a distance of 6.5klms we stopped for coffee and pancakes at South Bank and rubber necked our way along the entire trip, stopping to look at whatever interested us.

Rock Climbing at Kangaroo Point   http://www.riverlife.com.au/rock-climbing/

Story Bridge Climb and Abseil  http://www.adrenalin.com.au/land/bridge-climb/?gclid=CPzs84Tzi7gCFcVKpgod4VoAIw#location=qld;selected=;price=;sortby=most+popular;

Story bridge and a converted paddle steamer on a lunch cruise.

Story bridge and a converted paddle steamer on a lunch cruise.

Paddle Steamer Cruises on the Brisbane River  http://www.kookaburrariverqueens.com/

Lunchtime Brisbane River Kookaburra Paddle Steamer cruise.

Lunchtime Brisbane River Kookaburra Paddle Steamer cruise.

 

Eagle Street Pier Eateries   http://www.eaglestreetpier.com.au/

Bicycle Hire  http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-recreation/sports-and-leisure/cycling/citycycle/

Queensland Maritime Museum  http://www.maritimemuseum.com.au/

Part of the Maritime Museum exhibits.

Part of the Maritime Museum exhibits.

 

Assorted statuary along the walk.

Fossil artwork made from metal machinery scraps.

Fossil artwork made from metal machinery scraps.

Pelican statuary made from old mechanical parts.

Pelican statuary made from old mechanical parts.

Confucious statue at SouthBank.

Confucious statue at SouthBank.

Markets at South Bank   http://www.southbankmarket.com.au/

A recumbent cyclists has just riddeen uo a short steep hill near the maritime museum and a wheelchair bound man has just pushed up the opposite slope.

A recumbent cyclists has just riddeen uo a short steep hill near the maritime museum and a wheelchair bound man has just pushed up the opposite slope.

and River Life at Kangaroo Point.

City Botanical Gardens   http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/facilities-recreation/parks-and-venues/parks/city-botanic-gardens

Brisbane Customs House   http://www.customshouse.com.au/

Brisbane Tuff river wall at the Brisbane Customs House.

Brisbane Tuff river wall at the Brisbane Customs House.

 

Brisbane Customs House entrance from Eagle Street Pier

Brisbane Customs House entrance from Eagle Street Pier

 

Cliffs cafe   http://www.cliffscafe.com.au/

The climb back up the steep staircase cut into the cliffs was murder on our calves and thighs but was a fitting finish to our tiring, wet but a most enjoyable walk.

Looking up the steep cliff staircase.

Looking up the steep cliff staircase.

A total of 4 hours of walking, sightseeing and refreshment breaks.

When can we do this again?…Soon. Preferably on a sunny day.