Monday 23rd September
Up early for my usual exercise except this morning when I went to walk on the beach I started jogging. Yeah! It felt good. Better even than a walk along the beach. There was a cold wind blowing out of the south east but I was soon warmed by the jogging.
After breakfast we drove Alecia to Brisbane for her flight to Sydney. But first, a side visit to her aunt uncle and cousins. She has not seen them for at least a decade and it has been longer since Donnis has seen them.
Then it was on to the airport drop Alecia and head back to the Gold Coast. On reflection it would seem like a no activity day but we were both worn out by the time had dinner.
Tuesday 24th September
We were on the road by 10am and joined the M1 to travel about 234 Klms north to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Somehow I missed the Sunshine Coast Motorway exit but turned at Yandina and followed a road through the pretty Yandina Valley to Coolum Beach and instead of joining the Sunshine Coast Motorway we followed the coastal road through to Noosa Heads.
We parked in the street outside sister Enid’s house and joined her husband Ken for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing. This will be our home for the next 12 days or more.
The television reception on their TV was constantly dropping in and out, probably due to the strong winds or more likely a weak tuner in the TV or even a combination of the two. We installed our Dick Smith special set top box and viola there was a strong TV signal with no dropouts. Problem solved, they need a set top box to boost the signal to their TV.
Wednesday 25th September
Ken took us to Sunshine Beach in the morning. By 9am it was quite hot. The type of hot which turns the sand into a bed of hot coals and walking on the sand becomes a series of ouch ouch ouches! We had our first of the season venture into the surf. In fact it was more of a struggle against the undertow and the rip (cross current) than a surf. The water was too deep for the waves to break well enough for a surf.
A group of young people, about 300 of them, looking happy and expectant of the day’s activities, came trudging along the beach. We guess they may belong to a church youth group as they all wore different coloured T-shirts with the same logo.
Shortly after the group passed by, a couple of whales cruised by about 300 metres offshore. They were easy to see as a large and a smaller whale, probably mother and calf.
Thursday 26th September
We took Ken to Cooroy at midday to catch a train to Gladstone where he will be working for the next three weeks. At sunset Donnis and I walked along Noosa Beach. It was our first day of relaxation.
Friday 27th September
The CO-PILOT had an acupuncturist appointment at Kawana this afternoon. As the trip is around 100Klm return we visited friends Joan and George who live in a retirement village on Kawana Island.
Saturday 28th September.
This is the day we have been planning for around three months. The culmination of the Brisbane Festival, RiverFire, http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/as-brisbane-gears-up-for-riverfire-2013-plan-your-best-viewing-spot/story-fnihsrf2-1226727722861 was our destination today. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151599153332522 The return trip by road was 310 klms and we arrived home just after midnight, on the last of our stay awake energy. We were booked on the MV “MORETON ESCAPE” for a 7 hour cruise on Brisbane River.
The vessel is a car ferry with a smallish air conditioned passenger lounge and several open air decks plus of course the car deck where most of the passengers, the entertainment and the food was served. It carries a maximum of 300 passengers. The cruise included snacks, dinner, a band and solo entertainers. The cruise along the river was slow and peaceful while we saw crowds building up along the shore.
Surprisingly, although it should not have been surprising, this huge vessel anchored at the shortest reach of the river at one of our favourite Brisbane locations, Kangaroo Point.
From here we could see two fireworks barges, the Story Bridge and several of the tallest Brisbane buildings from which co-ordinated fireworks would be fired. During the trip RAAF Blackhawk helicopters buzzed the river which by now was a traffic jam of small and large craft anchored waiting for the spectacular. The choppers came in low over the water and sent a spray of water over passengers and people on the shore. Then a pair of RAAF Super Hornets flew over the city and along the river. The precision flying was announced by the noise of the aircraft flying so fast that by the time we heard them they were past us.
The Police launch, “BRETT HANDRAN” cruised by, slowly and so close you could see the people on board and gasp, gasp, what the? Was that, surely not, could it really be? Centre deck and all officers a respectable distance away from what appeared to be, HRH Prince Harry. Now we knew Harry is coming to OZ for a visit but we did not know he was already here. Hmmm! On checking Google, Harry is not expected to visit OZ until October so who was that look alike with the same HRH mannerisms and dressed in battle dress standing on the bridge?
We dined on the lower car deck and listened to the excellent entertainers
then as the sky darkened when at 7pm a lone Super Hornet blasted its way across the city and along the river dropping starburst fireworks from the fuselage and the 20 minute fireworks spectacular began.
Each direction, although co-ordinated, had a slightly different show in pauses of the main spectacular. The finale was just awesome and extracted a huge round of applause from the boats and the half million people strung out along the river banks and along high rise apartments.
Whew! Wow! This was what we planned and paid only $85 to enjoy. The weather started out with rain in the morning but turned into a brilliant afternoon and night.
The weather was mild enough to not require a jacket. The passengers, young and old also enjoyed the entertainers on the car deck especially as we were arriving at our landing place as two women singers sang I Still Call Australia Home. The performance raised the hair on the back of my neck. I do not know who any of the performers were but they were top class and held the audience spellbound. Also holding us spellbound was the skippers intricate manouvering of the huge vessel through a bevy of small boats anchored in stupid positions just off the access beach. The skipper got a huge round of applause as well.
What a night!
Sunday 29th September
Can you believe we slept in???
Well, at least until 7am.
We took a stroll to the Noosa Sunday morning Farmers Market where we enjoyed a cup of coffee and a muffin made with non-wheat products. I would have been quite happy with a wheat and gluten product at half the price but we have to experience these things. I am always amazed at these places which sell “alternate’ products or sell “organic” produce which looks like the bugs got to the fruit first, or the growth is stunted and then they charge twice the price!
The morning was hot, around 32° but by lunchtime the clouds began to roll in and thunder rumbled before rain began and the temp dropped to 15° in an hour.
Hmmm! The trip to the beach was cancelled and we spent time watching TV. (and falling asleep…still tired from the late night