447. Sunday 12th July 2015. Back home on the Gold Coast…

Monday 6th July

So begins our first full week at home. By now we thought the jet lag would have worn off. We still seem to be getting sleepy (and hungry) at odd hours. Our sleep pattern has changed and we are waking at silly early morning hours.

I must also mention what a joy it has been to drive our new Hyundai i30. We have just discovered we can load music from our iPad into the car radio. Now we can have music wherever we go when away from radio signals without the need to carry a CD or music on a USB stick.

During our first drive through the Rockies using Alecia’s car we were spoiled with Satellite Radio,Station XM 31, The Coffee House Acoustic Singers /Songwriters Station.    http://www.siriusxm.com/thecoffeehouse   This station gave us delightful music all through the Rockies where normal stations just cannot be tuned in. We already have our own acoustic collection so it makes sense to transfer it to the car radio.

*Yes I am still a little sad RALLYE has gone but i30 is doing a good job of replacing it.

We packed a picnic lunch and a couple of cold beers and drove to Cabarita Beach in northern NSW.

Another cliff below Cabarita Whale viewing headland.

Another cliff below Cabarita Whale viewing headland.

Surfers at Hastings Beach.

Surfers at Hastings Beach.

I have been to this beach before, it is very pretty and has a high headland suitable for whale watching in the season. Tis the season now! We cllmbed the timber staircase to the top of the high cliffs and found a dozen or so people on the viewing platform going ooh and aah to the distant sightings. Distant! Yep. Even on 48 times zoom the Lumix FZ200 can only show limited detail. From the photos it seems a pod was heading north.

Whales in their annual migration from Antartica to tropical waters.

Whales in their annual migration from Antartica to tropical waters.

More whales in a pod.

More whales in a pod.

We then travelled a little further south to Hastings Point and enjoyed a little splash in the ocean.  Well, at least Donnis rolled up her jeans and splashed up to calf level. Although the sun was shining and warm, there was a cold wind blowing off the water. No way was I going to shed shoes, socks and roll up my trousers. Then we returned via Cabarita and stopped to buy a piece of fish to share on our way home. Indulge me for a few moments as I explain what happened.

The sign on the wall read “ fish of the day” $8 and “fish and chips” $7.50”. Hmmm! That’s a strange price. Now let me back up a little here. I do not eat the , imported fish from Vietnam known as Basa.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basa_fish

Why? For the following reasons. It is not local fish, it is a bottom feeding catfish and it is farmed on the Mekong delta in questionable quality of water and to us the flesh tastes soft and jelly like. Generally, the fish is prepared as fillets in Vietnam, lightly battered, partly deep fried, deep frozen, packed in boxes and sent to Oz, the US, Canada and other unsuspecting nations, ready for cooking. Each fillet is a clone of every other fillet. Stores use different and dubious names to sell the product. We only patronise shops which proudly name and display their fish as being local wild caught. (not farmed not from Vietnam, China, Thailand etc)

I asked the lady behind the counter what the fish of the day was. Basa, came her reply. I asked if she had any real, local caught Australian fish and what fish was “fish and chips”. Her answer was so quiet I had to ask her to repeat the reply. She said, “we only have Basa”. That’s right, Fish n Chips and fish of the day and all the other options proudly displayed are…Basa . I thanked her and left the shop. The feeding of the farmed Basa in Vietnam is by questionable bottom trawl side catch, ground into a powder, cooked, pelleted and fed to the ugly catfish living in sewerage infected waters of the Mekong. Basa?? Thanks, but no thanks, we have plenty of good local quality wild fish right here. Why we need to import questionable fish is beyond me. No wonder our local seafood industry is struggling.

http://www.marineconservation.org.au/news.php/374/what-are-you-really-buying-at-the-fish-shop-most-aussie-flathead-comes-from-south-america-barramundi

 

End of rant.

Tonight Greg B, a family friend arrived for a few nights. He is moving to Melbourne at the end of the week.

Tuesday 8th July

Nothing much of importance happened today, except…OMG…I was so excited…Finally, after two months Google search and reading my Lumix FZ200 user manual over and over I finally found how to format the SD memory card in the camera. The format instructions are tucked away in the manual in a place I would not have thought to look and did not, look. Even after successfully formatting the SD card I doubt I can remember how to do it again without consulting the user manual in frustration again.

Wednesday 9th July

Just before Donnis left for Canada in March this year, the large vacant block of land next door with creek side frontage was being prepared for building several high rise apartments. Now there are two cranes and a small army of workers on the first and most exclusive of the apartments.

Cranes next door.

Cranes next door.

Crane drivers cabin.

Crane drivers cabin.

This one has the best views and water access. The tallest of the cranes is operated by two men who sit in air conditioned cabins. It takes them 20 minutes to climb the ladder to their work station.

Hmmm! Today is open house for “off the plan” sales and a “demo” apartment at Water Point for viewing.

We took a walk to the sales office and were suitably impressed with the presentation of the display office and the photos of how the interior of the units will look and what views will be available. All very nice of course and the price tag is reasonable. If you are looking for an investment these are worthwhile looking at   http://waterfrontresidences.com.au/waterpoint

Tonight a group of residents went to our clubhouse to watch the final game of the State of Origin. This was an important game as Queensland has won one game and New South Wales has won one game. This is the decider. The venue, Suncorp Stadium, originally named Lang Park when it was completed in 1914 was packed to capacity. In fact it set a seating record. Incidentally Lang Park is considered the best spectator friendly sports stadium in the world. We were in the clubhouse to watch the game on the big screen and to have footy food at half time. Queensland were favourites to win by a small margin. Queensland won, 52 to 6. That’s a bit more than a small margin.

Thursday 9th July

This morning I realised that during our travels I try to give snippets of information about places we visit but have never given such information about where we live. The area was visited by Captain James Cook in 1770 but the region did not begin life until about 1875 when the location of Southport was surveyed. The area remained a little known destination with huge expanse of beaches. It was not until the 1950’s that a hotel was built and an enterprising business man called it the Gold Coast. The name and the beach reputation stuck and the rest as they say is history. Gold Coast is today a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. More information can be found here.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Coast,_Queensland

Friday 10th July.

Our village Christmas In July lunch was held at Treasure Island Holiday Resort next door. We had 45 residents roll up for an enjoyable meal and fellowship. Christmas in July is a sort of Aussie excuse to get together and have a Christmas style meal at a cold time of year. After all those hot foods in the middle of the day are more suited to the northern hemisphere where Christmas is during winter.

Greg B, left today to head towards Melbourne, safe travels Greg.

Saturday 11th July

I am almost back into my exercise regime. I have started riding my bicycle but am easing into the Klms. Instead of 20 Klms at 5.30am I am doing 10Klm at 7am. It is simply too dark and cold at 5.30. I am still doing my floor exercises but surfing will have to wait until the weather warms up.

Earlier this year we were given a gift of use of day spa facilities at Wings of an Eagle Spa at Mudgeeraba so today used that gift.   http://www.oneaglewings.com.au/index.php

We used the hot spa tub, the sauna and relaxed around the pool. Although the pool is solar heated it is still too cold to use. The spa is on the mountain road to Springbrook and has glorious views across the valley to the Gold Coast below. Darn! I forgot the camera.

Sunday 12th July

The forecast cold snap and blustery westerly winds arrived this morning. Darn!!! It is winter and snow is falling in the Snowy Mountains and just across the border at places like Tenterfield, Orange and Guyra where we house sat two years ago.

We spent the afternoon threading timber slats through our front verandah railings. My my it sure looks good and several people walking by commented on how it changes the look of the front of the house.

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2 Responses to “447. Sunday 12th July 2015. Back home on the Gold Coast…”

  1. shan Says:

    Hi Guys, great to hear you are back safe n sound and adjusting to life in the Southern Hemisphere again. I agree about the Vietnamese fish. Wont buy. I have eaten seafood in Vietnam and suffered the consequences. I am one of the few people who do not rave about Vietnam. Not my favourite Asian destination. Lots of love Shan

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Hi Shan, more anti Basa data coming up in next post. Actually I have another story just before I left Oz for Canada. A friend in Sydney suggested fish n chips. $8. I suggested he ask what sort of fish it was before he bought and maybe we should go for a dearer named fish. I sat at a table outside while he went to order. It was very busy an d he did not ask what type of fish it was.Fish arrived looking suspiciously like clones of each other. Uh Oh please let it not be Basa. First bite confirmed my suspicions. He did not finish his fish and has vowed to ask in future.

      Like

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