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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I enjoyed the walk along the beach and indulged myself in taking photos of the Surfers paradise skyline from many angles.
At the entrance to Gold Coast Waterway there were a couple of racing yachts doing what they do
and a bunch of Asian tourists walking onto the beach with colourful umbrellas to shade them from …the sun? rain?
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.
Tags: Air Canada, Coolangatta Airport, Curumbin, Gold Coast desalination plant, Gold Coast Sand Pumping Jetty, Griffith University School of Dentistry, Harbourtown, Hyundai i40, Jet Star, Kirra Beach, Put Another Log on the Fire, Qantas, Qantas Link, Subaru Liberty, Surfers Paradise Skyline, Toyota Camry Hybrid