Archive for March, 2015

415. Sunday 29th March 2015. Bike riding, surfing and a hike in the bush…

29/03/2015

Monday 23rd March

Tuesday 24th March

Since arriving on the Gold Coast in September 2014 I had planned to catch up with an Insurance Underwriter I had worked closely with for 13 years. He retired several years before me and I knew he lived on the coast and I had his phone number. We arranged to meet at a bowling club where he is vice president. I was looking forward to meeting Geoff O and his wife Filo a Fijian Princess. In my mind I thought the club would be a small suburban green with a small clubhouse and a few poker machines and a part time snack bar. WOT THE??? Club Helensvale  ( http://clubhelensvale.com.au/ ) turned out to be a huge social club incorporating about 24 bowling rinks, rooms of poker machines, giant bars and a well presented dining room with extensive reasonably priced menu. Its logo is “the place to be”. I was looking at joining a local club and this one seems suitable and only 7 Klms from home. Besides I know the Vice President. It was great to catch up with Geoff and Filo who have both been bowling for 47 years. Geoff was part of the Australian Commonwealth games Team at Edmonton, Canada in 1978.

Wednesday 25th March

Wednesday? Already?

Weather forecast is for a hot and humid day.

Up early for a 19 Klm bike ride to Southport Surf Life Saving Club and back home again.

After breakfast I drove back to Southport Beach for a surf. It was low tide and the waves were dumping on a sand bar just off the beach. The waves were a good size but totally unsuitable for body surfing and there was quite a strong undertow. After ten rounds with what felt like being in  a washing machine it was time to head home again.

Refreshed.

Hmmm! It is Autumn but the air and water temperature are ideal for going to the beach.

Thursday 26th March

Today during my bike ride it rained. I got soaked.

Again!

Friday 27th March.

Ahem! Today I travelled by cycle to Southport Beach and rode along the foreshore for a Klm or so then rode home.

After breakfast I travelled by TERIOS to…drumroll… Southport  Beach.

The idea was to go for a surf but nature decided it would be low tide when I arrived and a sandbar ensured the dumping waves of Wednesday would be double dumpers today. Double dumpers are umm err a dumper which normally I would dive underneath and surface on the other side. The double dumper is when I resurface and get hit by another dumper before I have taken a breath from the first dumper. After getting swirled around in the wash for a few moments the undertow then tugs my legs from under me and drags me into the next double dumper. Eventually I got to the place where the waves are just hitting the edge of the sandbar and the undertow is trying to take me out to sea. Just a few minutes of fighting these conditions becomes pretty exhausting. Another man like myself agreed it was like a washing machine and wondered how we could get back to shore without being…dumped. Eventually I dragged myself out of the surf noting that my bathing outfit was coated in sand…on the inside. I spoke with a few other men walking exhausted from the surf. Even after a cold shower on the beach pathway there was still a fine layer of gritty sand clinging to my body. A second cold shower at the pavilion helped and I was able to change into dry clothes. I arrived home in time for coffee feeling tired but strangely alive.

Hmmm! I think the reason we came to the Gold Coast was to spend time at the beach – surfing . At last I am now beginning to do just that.

Saturday 28th March

Parking at any beach in a populated area, especially along this stretch of coastline is difficult on weekdays. On weekends it is just downright unobtainable.

I woke with sore muscles in my arms, shoulders and chest. Put that down to the exercise gained while surfing this week.

I drove over the border into New South Wales to watch the Australian Longboard Titles held at Kingscliff Beach over 5 days.   http://www.australianlongboardopen.com/   The finals will be held tomorrow. I am unable to determine exactly what constitutes a “long board” but am pretty sure it is any board longer than 7 feet.

Longboards at Kingscliff Beach

Longboards at Kingscliff Beach

Back in the sixties all boards were longer than 7 feet with the average certainly being longer than 9 feet. (shorter boards were beginning to appear on beaches when I was surfing but were mainly used by “Grommets” – schoolkids. We called our boards “dogs” because the surfing style for our boards was hot dogging) My boards, yes, over several years I had more than one, in fact I had four but not all at the same time, was 9 feet 3 inches long. However I digress. Today’s heats at Kingscliff were about junior surfers, male and female

Competitor reaching to "hang five".

Competitor reaching to “hang five”.

Young lady competitor in Longboard Titles.

Young lady competitor in Longboard Titles.

as well as various classes of “stand up paddle boards”. There were few waves and mostly small but rideable. Once the stand- up paddlers (SUP) started their heats I lost all interest. During the earlier heats it was overcast conditions. The SUP arrived and the sun came out. Imagine that? The better, well known surfers surf in the finals tomorrow.

I drove further down the coast about 8 Klms to Cabarita Beach to find totally different conditions.

Southern end of Cabarita Beach with steep hill of Cabarita Foreshore Trail

Southern end of Cabarita Beach with steep hill of Cabarita Foreshore Trail

Parking as mentioned above was difficult to find. The sun was shining and wondrous glassy waves were rolling in on a point right hand break. I have never been along this stretch of coast and Cabarita took my fancy immediately. A tall headland at one end gave a great view of the surf and also showed a left hand point break on the beach to the south.  A boardwalk called the Cabarita Foreshore Trail gives access to the top of the headland including a Whale Watching platform at the top.

Aboriginal Midden

Aboriginal Midden

Cabarita Foreshore Trail

Cabarita Foreshore Trail

Cabarita Beach from the Foreshore Trail,

Cabarita Beach from the Foreshore Trail,

Whale watching Station on Cabarita Foreshore Trail.

Whale watching Station on Cabarita Foreshore Trail.

On the cliffs above Cabarita Beach a Brahminy Kite feeds on a fish it caught.

On the cliffs above Cabarita Beach a Brahminy Kite feeds on a fish it caught.

What? No table manners? Wheres ya knife n fork?

What? No table manners? Wheres ya knife n fork?

Both breaks were busy with board riders. I could see the high rise towers of Coolangatta / Tweed Heads some 20 Klms to the north. These two towns are built on the border and you cannot see where one ends and the other begins. Currently NSW is still on Daylight Savings Time so is an hour ahead – until midnight tonight. Watching the great surf below I was getting itchy to get out there amongst the other surfers. Reason prevailed however as I do not have a board – yet – and at my age am uncertain if I will be capable of surfing with younger people.

Hmmm! The boogie board idea has re-surfaced in my mind.

Sunday 29th March

Readers may recall when at Post 411 when Donnis and I visited the Gondwanna  Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area at Springbrook. On the day we visited, we had had a couple of days of very heavy rain and the mountains were shrouded in cloud which meant most of the time we were walking in a cold misty rain. We chose not to hike the 2 Klm steep track to the bottom of Double Falls as it was declared as steep, slippery and challenging with rocky outcrops, tree roots and a track which was close to the edge of a steep drop. Add to this the constant rain and the track beginning was mud puddles and of course Donnis knee problems. I resolved to walk that track. I woke this morning with my mind made up. Today was the day despite the hot and sunny forecast but I could see cloud cover over the mountains. Thank goodness the cloud cover remained. It was hot on the coast but overcast and chilly on top of the mountain.

Escarpment of Springbrook National Park

Escarpment of Springbrook National Park

Double Falls. If you enlarge the photo and look towards the top left you will see a couple sitting on the edge of a rock beside the falls.

Double Falls. If you enlarge the photo and look towards the top left you will see a couple sitting on the edge of a rock beside the falls.

This couple are sitting on a rock precariously above a sheer drop beside Double Falls.

This couple are sitting on a rock precariously above a sheer drop beside Double Falls.

The track, as promised in all the signs, was steep, slippery on the edge of vertical drop-offs and peppered with tree roots and rocks just waiting to jump out and snap the ankle or trip an unwary hiker.

The trail leads past a sheer drop to the valley floor below.

The trail leads past a sheer drop to the valley floor below.

Mud puddles still made the track a messy slippery trek. The track passes along the edge of steep cliffs, under fallen rocks, through caves and passes behind Double Falls.

The path leads throgh a cavern of fallen rocks. Note the growth of moss on the damp rock.

The path leads throgh a cavern of fallen rocks. Note the growth of moss on the damp rock.

More of the path with sheer moss covered rock walls.

More of the path with sheer moss covered rock walls.

The path wanders through a cave.

The path wanders through a cave.

The path goes behind the waterfall.

The path goes behind the waterfall.

Remember that couple sitting on a rock up there?

Remember that couple sitting on a rock up there?

Along the way I saw a large fat giant black skink. I am used to skinks which are no longer then 10 or 12 centimetres in length. These black species are also known as Land Mullets. This one was well in excess of 30 Cm.

A Black Skink beside the path.

A Black Skink beside the path.

Wow!

At the base of the falls is a large pool area where despite the chill in the air and the even chillier water the temptation to stand under the falls was too much for a few women.

These young ladies braved cold water and even chillier air to stand in the waterfall.

These young ladies braved cold water and even chillier air to stand in the waterfall.

The pool at the base of the falls.

The pool at the base of the falls.

I had a snack here before beginning the slow climb back to the top. I arrived home tired but pleased for having completed the hike. Next I plan the longer 4 Klm trek which follows a different track to the top.

 

Advertisements

414. Sunday 22nd March 2015. The co-pilot fly out of Oz and heat wave and rain conditions prevail on the Gold Coast…

22/03/2015

Monday 16th March

I drove Donnis to Coolangatta Airport for her flight on Jetstar to Sydney. She was on a “standby” ticket. That means once at the airport and if the flight is full she gets bumped to the next flight and if that is full, bumped again. She has been going on standby tickets with Qantas, Qantas Link, Jetstar and Air Canada for years. It works for her and she accepts if she gets bumped. That is why we chose the earliest morning flight with the theory being if she gets bumped she has many other  possible flights during the day.

Plane coming in to land at Coolangatta Airport.

Plane coming in to land at Coolangatta Airport.

I drove to nearby Kirra Beach to wait, just in case she was bumped. I could then collect her at the airport and go back to the beach for a coffee before the next flight. As it turns out I was not needed, she was on the first flight.

Oh Joy Oh Joy Oh Joy. The surf this morning was rolling in endless swells with a south westerly blowing and stand the waves up straight and blowing spray behind them.

great surf at Kirra Beach framing the skyline of Surfers Paradise in the background.

Great surf at Kirra Beach framing the skyline of Surfers Paradise in the background.

Kirra Beach a surfer walks to the water while a belly boarder, exhausted from hours in the water, sits on a rock watching his mates still surfing.

Kirra Beach a surfer walks to the water while a belly boarder, exhausted from hours in the water, sits on a rock watching his mates still surfing.

This is the sort of surf surfers dream of.

This is the sort of surf surfers dream of.

The trip home along the Gold Coast Highway took an hour to travel less than 30 Klms. The culprit? Peak hour, with a few work teams on power poles with stop go men cutting traffic down to one lane.

Iconic fibreglass statue on a grassy knoll within Broadwater parklands. This was taken through the windscreen while the car was stopped at the traffic lights.

Iconic fibreglass statue on a grassy knoll within Broadwater Parklands. This was taken through the windscreen while the car was stopped at the traffic lights.

Wednesday 18th March

I had an early morning appointment at the Griffith University School of Dentistry.

Our wonderful Subaru Liberty Rallye (RALLYE) has continued to serve us well. I bought it new and after almost 20 years and 328,000 Klms it is still comfortable and performs quietly or with a growl depending on my driving style and road conditions. We have however looked at retiring our faithful RALLYE (sob sob) and have been researching options for another car.

We had put three cars at the top of our list.

Another Subaru Liberty 2.5i.Tourer

A Hyundai i40 Tourer

A Toyota Camry 2.5 Hybrid

Today I did some research on a Government website. I knew the fuel economy of the Camry was excellent but needed to compare a few other details. I have kept good fuel consumption records for RALLYE since  got it back from daughter Shelley in July 2013. It is averaging 8.7 litres per 100 Klm. That’s a 20 year old car with air con running all the time returning better fuel economy than many new cars.

In the comparison I looked at fuel economy, air pollution (out of 10) and greenhouse rating (out of 10)

The cars rated this way

Fuel economy                   Air Pollution                       Greenhouse

Subaru                                  8.3                                          8.5                                          6.5

Hyundai                               6.8                                          8.5                                          7.5

Toyota                                  5.2 √                                      8.5 √                                      8.0 √

On price the Subaru and Toyota are similar while the Hyundai is a little cheaper. On the information so far and a test drive in the Toyota, it is coming out a clear winner.

Thursday 19th March.

For our overseas readers let me point out we are officially in Autumn. Today the temp was somewhere around the 30° mark and humidity was about 80% and it was a typical mid summer day. I spoke with Donnis via Skype and at one point she excused herself to “put another log on the fire” (which instantly sent me into singing the tune   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HrQ4YQD8UY   and Donnis joined in when she returned. I did some Google research and am not sure who originally wrote and recorded the song)

A fire!? It’s Spring in Canada for goodness sake! What do you need a fire for? It seems while I am enjoying near heat wave conditions in Autumn here,  it is quite chilly and there is still a bit of snow about in Canada.

Friday 20th March

Happy Birthday Shan.

The morning started off with heavy overcast and threatening rain. I rode as far as Surfers Pardise. The photos are just some of the sights I see early mornings along the Broadwater and Surfers Paradise.

Hot air balloon drifting over the canals of the Gold Coast.

Hot air balloon drifting over the canals of the Gold Coast.

The Broadwater at sunrise.

The Broadwater at sunrise.

Looking across the Broadwater to Wave Break island and the entrance to the ocean Gold Coast Seaway at The Spit.

Looking across the Broadwater to Wave Break island and the entrance to the ocean Gold Coast Seaway at The Spit.

By midday it was brilliant sunshine with heat wave conditions. I rode the bicycle across the road to Harbourtown Shopping Centre (When I say across the street it really is about 400 metres from my front door) It was simply too hot to walk and if I took the car it would not have time for the air con to kick in and I would have trouble finding a parking spot and probably have to walk 400 metres in the heat anyway. By riding the bike I am in the heat for the minimum amount of time.

Back home and preparing lunch I turned on the air con and closed windows and doors and stayed inside the rest of the day.

In the evening I joined several other village couples and caught a courtesy bus to Runaway Bay Junior Rugby League Club. Our table of ten bought raffle tickets in a meat tray raffle which apart from 30 trays of meat each worth around $10 there were bottles of wine, fuel vouchers worth $50 and shopping vouchers worth $50. I won a breakfast tray of bacon, sausages and eggs.  The meal offering was nothing to write home about being what I call traditional pub food and the prices were not at all cheap. Still it was an interesting night and I did win a meat tray.

Saturday 21st March

The day started overcast and threatened rain but mid- morning we had heat wave conditions. I decided to take a drive in RALLYE to The Spit and walk along the beach. About 500 metres down the road black clouds suddenly erupted with a drenching downpour with thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure. WOT THE? I turned around and went home. About three pm the clouds gave way to some delightful sunshine and drove to The Spit. I wanted to look at what I thought was a de-salination plant (a huge device which removes salt from saltwater and gives up fresh water instead. In fact the de-salination plant is further south near Curumbin. The plant I saw at The Spit is a giant sand pump. It is continually removing sand from the ocean floor and pumping it back into the spit where it is used for land reclamation. The operators allow walks on the structure for $2.20 per person.

Sand pumping jetty.

Sand pumping jetty.

Under the sand pumping jetty.

Under the sand pumping jetty.

Further along the beach I saw the aftermath of a beach rescue. A very large man was pulled unconscious from the water. Lifeguards, then paramedics worked on him until the ambulance arrived. By this time they had him stand on his feet although he was groggy and required strong support before being stretchered into the ambulance and taken to hospital.

Lifeguard station and rescue jet ski on the beach at the north end of The Spit.

Lifeguard station and rescue jet ski on the beach at the north end of The Spit.

A swimmer being treated on the beach.

A swimmer being treated on the beach.

Barely able to stand he is soon loaded onto a stretcher and placed in the ambulance.

Barely able to stand he is soon loaded onto a stretcher and placed in the ambulance.

I enjoyed the walk along the beach and indulged myself in taking photos of the Surfers paradise skyline from many angles.

Surfers paradise from the Sand Pumping Jetty.

Surfers paradise from the Sand Pumping Jetty.

Surfers Paradise from the sandhills at The Spit.

Surfers Paradise from the sandhills at The Spit.

Yet another view of Surfers paradise from the carpark at The Spit.

Yet another view of Surfers paradise from the carpark at The Spit.

At the entrance to Gold Coast Waterway there were a couple of racing yachts doing what they do

Sailboat racers in training.in the Gold Coast Seaway

Sailboat racers in training.in the Gold Coast Seaway

Light Station  on the breakwall at The Gold Coast seaway The Spit

Light Station on the breakwall at The Gold Coast Seaway The Spit

and a bunch of Asian tourists walking onto the beach with colourful umbrellas to shade them from …the sun? rain?

A few of the colourful umbrella toting Asian ladies on the beach at...The Spit.

A few of the colourful umbrella toting Asian ladies on the beach at…The Spit.

Sunday 22nd March

Halfway through my early morning bike ride the heavens opened and I was drenched. I am oh so glad I did not take the camera this morning.

The rain persisted on and off all day giving me an ideal excuse to stay indoors and bake a banana bread. In January we bought a large quantity of bananas and mango’s. We cut them into serving size portions and froze them. The banana was easy to pulp. Hmm perhaps I can make a mango smoothie tomorrow.

413. Sunday 15th March 2015. Travel plans, markets and a sting…

15/03/2015

Monday 9th March

It was a sort of “nuthin” day although Donnis did have appointments at the skin specialist where he removed stitches from last week and declared that the skin cancer he removed last week was on the edge of being “nasty”. That said he removed another skin cancer and will send it away for another biopsy. She also had appointments at the Podiatrist where she came away feeling it was a wasted trip because they cannot offer any solutions to the pain in her feet , ankles, knees  and calves. Next was the Physiotherapist who offered some help with Osteo Arthriti s in her hand and nothing for her knees. Basically she has to find a way to live with the problem. (actually Donnis bought knee braces over the weekend) She needs to exercise more on walking, riding the bike and swimming.

Frank continued his severe no protein no fibre diet in preparation for a Colonoscopy tomorrow. For lunch I had a cup of beef broth with jelly and ice cream. Dinner was jelly, dessert was jelly and my nightcap was jelly.

I feel a political rant coming on. The last week or two there have been some people getting very sick, requiring hospitalisation. The reason is some brands of imported frozen berries were found to be the culprit.  The frozen berries it seems are washed with sewage contaminated water. The bug E-colli (from faeces)  is present in the berries in the frozen water. Those brands have been withdrawn from sale. State and Federal politicians have been scrambling to find a new wording for Australian products. Without going into a long explanation of how the wording allows loopholes I see no reason why we import foodstuffs at all. (other than from New Zealand who are honorary Ozzies anyway) . The simplest way of labelling foodstuffs should be something like this.

Grown in Australia.

Picked in Australia.

Canned or packaged in Australia

100% Product of Australia.

No imported foodstuffs whatsoever.

Nuff said.

Tuesday 10th March.

Up early at 3.30 am to take the final “dose of salts” and nil by mouth after 5.30 am. I was scheduled for hospital at 8am and arrived on time. After arrival and finalising the account I was quickly whisked away and the weigh in, height, BP and ECG were completed and after an interview with the doctor and anaesthetist I was on the operating table and recall being told we will just give you some oxygen and woke in recovery. It was all over, I was hungry and it was just after 10.30. Wow!

The rest of the day was spent just resting.  Although I initially felt hungry my appetite was no greater than any other day however I did have some jelly and ice cream after lunch. Naughty, naughty.

Hmmm! I seem to be developing a craving for jelly as I had some more with dessert after dinner.

Oh goody. I still have some jelly for tomorrow.

Wednesday 11th March

Donnis leaves here next Monday to fly to Sydney and then to Vancouver the next day. She arrives in Vancouver the same day she leaves here. Once in Vancouver she will board a seaplane at South Vancouver for a quick flight to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

This morning we established a debit card for her to use while in Canada. That way she can get Canadian dollars at a fixed exchange rate from ATM’s for a fee of only $3. Any purchases do not incur a fee.

Thursday 12th March

Now the boring information for you dear reader. Frank is also going to Canada so we will have lots of travel tales and photos for these pages. Frank will not leave home until 26th April the day after Anzac Day. Donnis will be in Canada for 6 weeks before I arrive.

Today I organised a Mastercard Debit Card pre-loaded with US dollars and Canadian dollars. For parts of our trip we will be in the USA including Alaska!!!

Will tell more when it is set in concrete.

Friday 13th March (oooh the dreaded Friday the 13th)

Tonight at our clubroom a local Rock and Roll Group of about 30 performers arrived and had a night of dancing and line dancing – the new type – such as Stray Cat Shuffle and Nutbush Walk. Apart from watching the amazing dancers and actually getting on the dance floor a couple stray cat and nutbush times and a few drinks and lots of light supper we had a great time. Even better we discovered two of the dancing couples have recently moved into the village.

Hmmm! Maybe we can get some dancing lessons.

Saturday 14th March

Peter Regelyn and Chris responded to our invitation to dinner. They arrived shortly before dinnertime, not early enough for a picnic on the beach.

Although Peter fell asleep after dinner the family declined our offer to stay overnight in our newly furnished second bedroom.

Sunday 15th March

Regular readers will know, Frank does not like markets. They pretty much bore him. He does not like the wandering around looking at stuff he does not want to buy or cringing past those stalls which sell cheap imported junk from third world countries. That is the introduction to this morning’s visit to Carrara Markets (   http://carraramarkets.com.au/   ) touted as being Queenslands Biggest and Best Permanent Markets. Mostly it is under cover with parking for 4,000 vehicles. As far as markets are concerned I found this one acceptable especially the art stalls. There were lots of coffee and food stalls but I found myself being (a) bored while waiting for Donnis to drag herself away from a stall or (b) being watched suspiciously by other stall operators as I waited for Donnis to drag herself away from a stall. It was fun in a sadistic Get Me Out of Here way. I must admit there were a few men’s stalls selling men’s stuff for men, items which are worthy of a second or in fact a first look. Today we were on a mission to find something Donnis wanted for her sister.

In the afternoon I put our rubbish bin and recycling bin out for collection. I grabbed the front and back when suddenly there was an incredible pain in the finger of one hand. I tilted the bin forward enough to view what was under the hand grip. WOT THE! A collection of Paper Wasps nests and a spider was nearby. I could have been stung by either of them.   http://australianmuseum.net.au/paper-wasps

Way back in January 2013 I suffered a bee sting when housesitting at Guyra. This sting was not so intense although the pain was enough to make me break into a sweat. We decided to put a soothing essential oil on the sting and wait an hour as we were still unsure if it was a wasp or a spider. Looking under magnification there was only one tiny puncture wound not two as you would expect from a spider. Several hours later the sting is still painful but when I put my hand in hot water the pain recommenced. In my research on paper wasp stings I found an interesting blog.   http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/3971/australian-wasps-big-bad-and-painful/

As I write this, Donnis has finally packed her bags. The main bag, a maximum of 23 Kg is allowed, is so full yet 7 Kg underweight. The other, a carry- on bag with a maximum limit of 7Kgseems quite empty but is .4Kg overweight. Some re-arranging will have to take place between now and breakfast in the morning.

Of course this is a bit of a worry for me as I will be following her in 6 weeks and will have to figure what to take and keep it within 23Kg and 7Kg.

Sigh!

Of course taking the laptop with me is out of the question.

Sigh!

More planning is required.

412. Sunday 8th March 2015. Sea World, frozen shoulder, a long drive and surf festival…

08/03/2015

Monday 2nd March

We went to Sea World today. We deliberately went after lunch with a planned no more than three hours and leave before the daily exodus at 5pm. It worked out fine for us. We got to see the penguins, a funny show with a couple of Sea Lions as main characters,

This well behaved Sea Lion is a big muscly guy.

This well behaved Sea Lion is a big muscly guy.

A Sea Lion is star of the show

A Sea Lion is star of the show

we saw the Polar Bears which occupied us for ages. 020315 bear1 020315 bearA dolphin show was just wonderful to see. These sleek marine creatures seem so intelligent and dare I say it…Happy!020315 dolphin 020315 dolphin1 020315 dolphin2

A young boy plucked from the audience was thrilled give instructions to the dolphins

A young boy plucked from the audience was thrilled give instructions to the dolphins

Before leaving the park we saw a demonstration on what can be done with a couple of jet skis and a new jet pack wowed the audience.

http://www.adrenalin.com.au/water/jet-pack-and-flyboard/?gclid=CjwKEAiAg_CnBRDc1N_wuoCiwyESJABpBuMXORvKH8deCalYdG8jZeModDKS-kF_v_6u-C_-nd9YdxoCZo_w_wcB#location=qld;selected=;price=;sortby=most+popular;

 

A jet pack display. On our way the beach a few days later we saw anew jet pack, worn on the feet like a ski board.

A jet pack display. On our way to the beach a few days later we saw a new jet pack, worn on the feet like a ski board.

We can visit Sea World again real soon and see the parts we did not see today.
Yay!

Thursday 5th March

The days got gradually hotter with a high of 37° today. We are pleased we had insulation installed last month. Although it was hot inside the house it was not oppressive. Outside was another matter. In the afternoon we drove to Main Beach and …surfed! Wow! What a wonderful romp in the surf. Donnis was bowled along as if in a washing machine but I am determined to teach her to body surf before she leaves for Canada. (Hmmm. That’s something  I will talk about at a future date when her/our plans are in place. It involves much more travel)

My sister Enid (alias Sue) lives in Noosa but commutes to work in Brisbane where she stays during the week. This morning she called to say she had injured her shoulder, is in a good deal of pain and could not drive her car. We offered to collect her from her lodgings and drive her home.  (A round trip of almost 450 Klms)While Donnis drove her in our RALLYE  I followed in her GETZ (Hyundai) She had already arranged to meet her doctor and get a referral to a Radiologist. Naturally the Radiologist is booked out and the earliest Enid can be seen is Monday.  If, as expected she has a “frozen shoulder”,  she then needs another referral to have a cortisone injection, possibly Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest. The hospital radiology dept is also booked out until Monday.

Sigh!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adhesive_capsulitis_of_shoulder

We decided to stay another day and help Enid with a few meals and keep her occupied and her thoughts off pain. We cannot stay longer as we both have medical appointments on Monday and Frank has to start a strict diet for a colonoscopy procedure on Tuesday.

After lunch and Enid was settled in for a snooze Donnis and I went to the northern end of Noosa Beach for a surf. The waves were a bit on the tiny side but we had fun anyway. The main part of Noosa Beach was being used for the 2015 Noosa  Festival of Surfing, now in it’s 24th year.  http://www.noosafestivalofsurfing.com/

Early Sunday morning on Noosa Beach

Early Sunday morning on Noosa Beach

The dreaded diet started this evening. To make life easy for myself I had beef broth and dry bread for dinner.

Hmmm!

Oh and followed up with a couple of scoops of ice cream.

Sunday 8th March.

I was up early and down to the beach for a walk around and a few photos.

Ferry jetty at Noosa Cove

Ferry jetty at Noosa Cove

Jetty

Jetty

Weyba Creek at Noosa

Weyba Creek at Noosa

Weyba Canal. Much of Noosa like much of the Gold Coast has canal development.

Weyba Canal. Much of Noosa like much of the Gold Coast has canal development.

In my walk around the surf festival area I saw a beared dragon

Bearded Dragon trying to grow back a tail presumably lost in an encounter with something b igger.

Bearded Dragon trying to grow back a tail presumably lost in an encounter with something b igger.

Bearded dragon

Bearded dragon

and a few surfing dogs straining at the leash to get surfing.

Surfing dogs at Noosa Surfing Festival

Surfing dogs at Noosa Surfing Festival

http://www.vetshopaustralia.com.au/2015-Surfing-Dog-Spectacular–C316.aspx

Afterwards we had coffee and a croissant at a French coffee shop. The coffee was warm and the croissant overpriced.

We drove home in the afternoon and after a lunch of tea and dry toast I relaxed. (For relaxed read “fell asleep in the recliner”.)

 

 

411. Sunday 1st March 2015. Walking in clouds, a death in the family and a long overdue surf…

02/03/2015

Monday 23rd February

The weather forecast was for showers and that was what we had. It was difficult to plan anything involving outdoor activity.

Tuesday 24th February

The weather forecast was for a few showers. On the strength of that forecast I thought it would be suitable for a trip to a Queensland National Park in the hinterland behind the Gold Coast and which is adjacent to the NSW border and sits on the edge of a giant extinct volcanic caldera. The hinterland was deluged with around 300mm of rain over the weekend so the waterfalls in the park should be pumping. The area is part of the Gondwanna  Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area.

The road to Springbook is narrow, steep, winding and in a few places, over timber bridges, single lane.

Narrow one lane bridge on the steep winding road to Springbrook.

Narrow one lane bridge on the steep winding road to Springbrook.

Our first stop was at Purling Brook falls and as expected, the falls were pumping.

Purling Falls

Purling Falls

Along with the heavy rainfall also came the problem of parts of the park being closed to tourists. Most of the walks to the bottom of the canyon were closed or too wet and muddy to consider. Far below we could see park staff working on a bridge with raging water all around. With the naked eye we could see the orange safety jackets of the workers. With the camera on 48 times zoom the men were easily seen.

Yet another view of the Gold Coast. This time from one of many lookouts on the escarpment at Springbrook.

Yet another view of the Gold Coast. This time from one of many lookouts on the escarpment at Springbrook.

We next visited the original public school at Springbrook built in 1910, now a Qld Parks office.

100 year old Springbrook Primary School now a National Park office,

100 year old Springbrook Primary School now a National Park office,

Original water tank and hand washing facilities. There is no town water here. Everybody relies on tank water.

Original water tank and hand washing facilities. There is no town water here. Everybody relies on tank water.

Next to the old school, is the stump of a huge Blackbutt tree. It seems the school was sited and built beside the tree estimated to be 1,000 years old at the time. A year after the school was opened it was decided to cut down the tree as it might become a problem and injure children. No thought was given to building the school 50 metres away from the tree. Nor was any thought given to moving the one room school away from the tree. The magnificent tree was chopped down and the wood burned.

This 1,000 year old tree was unfortunate to have a school built beside it. Fears for childrens safety resulted in the tree being chopped down.

This 1,000 year old tree was unfortunate to have a school built beside it. Fears for childrens safety resulted in the tree being chopped down.

Sigh!

Next was a place higher up the mountain to visit the Best of All Lookouts (yes that is its name). As we drove up the winding road we soon entered cloud and found the final 600m walk to the lookout was in dense moist cloud. The lookout itself was, initially, disappointing, as all we could see was thick grey cloud.

Donnis at Best of All Lookouts with a whiteout of clouds obscuring the view.

Donnis at Best of All Lookouts with a whiteout of clouds obscuring the view.

After few minutes we noticed a strange black cloud mixing with the grey then suddenly, like a curtain being opened we saw the valley floor and the distant township of Murwillumbah and the high peak of Mt Danger over the border in NSW. We were standing on the rim of a volcanic caldera which erupted 22 million years ago.

Same location with a break in the clouds.

Same location with a break in the clouds.

As suddenly as the clouds parted they closed again.

We stopped for a picnic lunch at a umm err, picnic spot. I heard Donnis squeal from the ladies toilets. The squeal turned into a request to bring the camera. Imagine my surprise (and certainly Donnis surprise) to find a large live specimen of a spiny crayfish, a sort of land based lobster. It was making a snack of a piece of toilet paper or maybe something which was in the toilet paper. These tasty but protected species normally live in and around creek beds or anywhere there is constant moisture and being on top of a mountain, in a rainforest which is covered in cloud much of the time I guess that counts for constant moisture.

This little creature is a Lamington (Lamington National Park that is, not a lamington cake) Blue Spiny Crayfish. From clawtip to tail tip it measured about 300 mm.

This little creature is a Lamington (Lamington National Park that is, not a lamington cake) Blue Spiny Crayfish. From clawtip to tail tip it measured about 300 mm.

Saturday 28th February

The remainder of our weekday was mainly taken up with health, dental and motor vehicle repair appointments.

We had planned to drive to the Sunshine coast yesterday afternoon to visit my uncle Bill. He had a bowel cancer operation last week and had indicated before the op that he hoped he would die on the table. ( he has had many health problems including cancer ops and broken bones over the last decade and was simply tired of living in pain). The op was a success – at first. He then started to decline then improve so we decided after we got the RALLYE back from the mechanic in the afternoon we would visit him. We collected the car at 2pm then received a call at 3pm to say he had passed away.

REST IN PEACE BILL.

Visiting with Uncle Bill in October 2013

Visiting with Uncle Bill in October 2013

We decided to visit with Enid anyway as she had spent more time with Bill than anybody else, including his children and grandchildren. His death was an emotional release for her and we thought a family visit would be beneficial to her.

On the way to the Sunshine coast we stopped in Brisbane to visit Peter and Regelyn. Peter has offered us his Mini Cooper so we took it for a test drive. We need to sell TERIOS before we can afford to buy the car and we certainly do not need three cars. It was an experience driving a low to the ground sporty car but Donnis is keen to own it so TERIOS is on the market.

At Enid and Ken’s we had chilli prawn pizza and a beer and wine as these were favourites of Bill’s so it was a way of toasting his life, saying goodbye and having a final meal with him, at least in spirit.

Sunday 1st March

We were all up early and drove to Noosa Beach. It pays to get to the beach before 7am especially on a weekend as parking is at a premium. We first walked to the National park entrance then on our return enjoyed a body surf and caught waves on a boogie board. I must have turned twenty again as soon as I waded into the surf. I enjoyed myself so much and was last out of the water.

Reluctantly.

However I had spent so much time on the boogie board I developed a rash on my chest and stomach.

Sigh!

I wanna go for a surf every day!

I forgot to take my camera this weekend.

After lunch and a siesta Donnis and I hit the road but once we joined the motorway traffic movement was down to a bumper to bumper crawl for the next 40 Klms. A trip of around 2 hours ended up being a 3 and a half hour test of patience.

I am sooooo tired tonight.

ZZZZzzzzz.