Monday 16th September
While the almost last minute packing was being carried out I drove to Brisbane airport to collect Donnis and Alecia. After a brief lunch at Fairfield we drove to Woodridge where Alecia will stay with her brother Peter and in the morning they will drive to Bundaberg to visit their dad for his birthday.
Tuesday 17th September
Last minute packing. As always, my best efforts became secondary to the CO- PILOT version of packing. She went to the dentist and we drove WWWGO out of its home for the last 5 months. Not without incident I might add. The large hatch has been in the partly open position these last five months and the struts had seized. That meant the hatch would not open fully, or even close. With a bit of help from close friend, WD40 and Mike on the inside and me on the roof and gently easing up and down, the struts suddenly un-seized.
Yahoo! We could now leave. We had a final coffee and cake plus a flutter on the poker machines and a Keno ticket all compliments of the local RSL.
We were on our way at 11.45 am, south via the M1 and 78 Klms later found our new home – at least for the next 7 days – at Palm Beach Mobile and Tourist Park.
Wednesday 18th September
Ooops. I had forgotten school holidays. They begin on Friday night. The park will start filling up from tonight onwards. Part of the reason we were here isI had wanted to visit Currumbin Beach for their annual SWELL Sculpture Festival.
http://www.swellsculpture.com.au/index.php The event runs from 13th to 22nd September and this is the 11th annual festival.
The exhibition invites sculptures from local, intra-state, inter-state and overseas artists.
Along with friend Glenda who lives at Nerang we headed off to Currumbin.
So did the entire population of the Gold Coast and every school within a 100Klm radius – or so it seemed. It was crowded and trying to take a photo with all these people and children wanting to get up close and touch each sculpture began to get on my nerves.
Just a little.
About halfway along the beach I noticed a man sitting on the beach drawing in a sketch pad. He looked familiar. Sure enough, it was Adriaan Vanderlught, an artist I knew from Airlie Beach but have not seen for many years.
http://www.vanderlugt.com.au/vanderlugt.com.au/Home.html He has an entry in the competition and was looking at the other works.
We spoke for a few minutes and I continued getting more and more stressed with the multitude of people pressing around many of the exhibits. We decided to come back at sunset and have a leisurely stroll around.
Umm err. It seems half the people had decided to do the same thing! It was just as crowded at that time as it was at midday.
Hmmm! Perhaps 5am with the sun rising over the water might be a good time!
Thursday 19th September
Donnis and Glenda caught the train to Brisbane and visited the Mt. Coot-Tha Planetarium. While they enjoyed themselves I stayed home and did several loads of washing as well as a bit of pottering around, re-arranging our packing but certainly not relaxing.
In the afternoon I visited a display home on the beach. It is a M$2 home to be won in an RSL Art Union. http://www.rslartunion.com.au/Draw309 According to the promoters it has the potential to bring in a return of $140,000 per annum. I think those figures might be a bit rubbery but I expect that in peak summer season it could very well bring in a return of $12,000 per month for three or four months. Perhaps in the shoulder and off peak season you could expect a return of half that amount. The location is fabulous and adding up potential of rental and expenses I still bought a ticket. Yes, just one ticket. After all, only one ticket will win the prize. Besides, it was all the money I had one me at the time.
When the lasses returned from Brisbane I cooked up sausages on the outside gas cooker, prepared a salad and they brought fries from the nearby McDonalds. After dinner we walked along the beach towards Tallabudgera under a bright moon.
Friday 20th September
We spent another stressful day re-packing, sorting, throwing out clothes and books unused or unread for three years. The weather has been glorious for the past few days and we have barely visited the beach.
Saturday 21st September.
Instead of my usual walk I drove to Currumbin Creek to walk and take some early morning photos. Even at 6.30 in the morning the car park was almost full and people were walking, jogging, exercising, paddling and swimming. Across the estuary I could see the car park near the sculptures was chock a block full.
The remainder of the day was spent re-arranging the packing we have already completed.
Sunday 22nd September
Alecia arrived on the train for an overnight visit before she flies to Sydney tomorrow. She then returns to Canada on Wednesday. As a treat we went to the Vikings Surf Club at Currumbin Beach for lunch. We also struggled with the huge crowds who came to see the sculptures on the last day of the festival, and bumped into Adriaan the artist again. Afterwards we drove to Surfers Paradise so Alecia could do some shopping at Australia Fair Shopping Centre.
So ends our first week away from the house sit in Brisbane. We have enjoyed our hectic time here at Palm Beach. Next week we will start our new travels.
On this day in 2010 we had just started our travel adventure, we had left home and were camped at Pinevale west of Mackay and discovered a leak in the roof hatch when we were bucketed with torrential tropical rain. (fitting really as we were in the tropics)
See ya next week!