Posts Tagged ‘State of Origin’

483. Sunday 27th March 2016. Toowoomba, Aunts in Brisbane and Noosa…

28/03/2016

Monday 21st March

We had a long day of travel today. Alecia has only a few days whilst in Australia so a visit to her 92 year old great aunt Peg who lives in Toowoomba was in order.  Toowoomba is somewhere around 200 Klms by road from The Gold Coast, it was founded  somewhere around 1816. It is known as the garden City as is has an annual Festival of Flowers. It is also called a University City – University of Southern Queensland conducts a campus there. There are a large number of cathedrals and heritage listed buildings.

Aunt Peg still drives a car, still spends time on the computer sending email jokes and is a fervent fan of The Brisbane Broncos Rugby League Team and the State of Origin Rugby League series. It was a long day of travel. Aunt Peg is  still as bright as the last time we saw her around ten years ago.

Alecia great Aunt peg and Donnis

Alecia great Aunt peg and Donnis

Alecia and Great Aunt Peg.

Alecia and Great Aunt Peg.

Tuesday 22nd March

Today Alecia wanted to catch up with her Aunts, Rosslyn and Sara both of whom live in Brisbane. After visiting them we drove to The Hyperdome and had sushi for dinner with Regelyn and Chris. Afterwards they had 4 games of Tenpin Bowling.

It was another long day of travel.

Thursday 24th March.

A delightful walk along the Broadwater then Donnis and Alecia swam in the sand enclosure. Before we knew it, we had to leave for the airport so Alecia can fly to Sydney and spend a few days with her brother in Wollongong.

Friday 25th March – Good Friday

Today we travelled to Noosa to Visit sister Enid and hubby Ken. It was a good thing we did not travel yesterday evening as the traffic was queued up for hours bumper to bumper heading north. It was the same heading south. As it was, traffic was relatively heavy although there were no delays. As usual when we visit Noosa, Enid tries to pack as much activity into the day. We went to  the mouth of the Noosa River and the breakwater river mouth. Ken and I both took kites, my stunt kite and his strange looking kite. Mine simply could only get a few metres off the ground before sliding back to the beach. There was too little wind. On the other hand Ken’s kite soared to the end of the single line and stayed there until he wound it in. Noosa and particularly the Noosa Woods and river mouth are noted for traffic jams and parking is hard to find. Today was no different.

Sunset shadows at the rivermouth lifeguard station.

Sunset shadows at the rivermouth lifeguard station.

At sunset all the photographers arrive for sunset photos.

At sunset all the photographers arrive for sunset photos.

Frank, members of the public and lifeguards are fascinated by this Hobie Canoe with extra ama and trampoline.

Frank, members of the public and lifeguards are fascinated by this Hobie Canoe with extra ama and trampoline.

One of several tourist boats on the Noosa River day and night.

One of several tourist boats on the Noosa River day and night.

Saturday 26th March – Easter Saturday

We were up early and down to Noosa Beach before the crowds. The crowds got there before us. No matter Ken dropped us off with all our gear and went to look for a carpark. Ken went off for a surf on his longboard, Enid and I Boogey boarded while Donnis body surfed. The water temp was ideal, just cool enough to be able to splash right on in without gasping for breath.

The Groyne lifeguard hut mid Noosa Beach.

The Groyne lifeguard hut mid Noosa Beach.

Frank, members of the public and lifeguards are fascinated by this Hobie Canoe with extra ama and trampoline.

Frank, members of the public and lifeguards are fascinated by this Hobie Canoe with extra ama and trampoline.

For those readers who are unfamiliar with Noosa Beach, let me add some details.

In 2011 Travellers Choice Magazine readers poll placed Noosa Beach in the top three beaches in the South Pacific. Hmmm.noosa-headland-map

Noosa Beach is at the extreme northern end of the Sunshine coast about 90 minutes drive from Brisbane. The main shopping street, Hastings, follows the beach line but is the only thoroughfare to Noosa Woods and the river mouth. Two other streets feed into Hastings via a pair of roundabouts, creating the worst kind of bottleneck. As the beach is on a peninsular surround by the sea, the river and several creeks there is no land to build alternate roads. The bottlenecks will always be a problem.

Enid on her Boogey Board.

Enid on her Boogey Board.

Frank leaves the water with his Boogey Board.

Frank leaves the water with his Boogey Board.

Frank, members of the public and lifeguards are fascinated by this Hobie Canoe with extra ama and trampoline.

Frank, members of the public and lifeguards are fascinated by this Hobie Canoe with extra ama and trampoline.

Leaving the Noosa River mouth was frustrating bumper to bumper grind along a narrow tree and bush shrouded road taking us over thirty minutes to move one kilometre.

Thank goodness for a wonderful barbecued chicken dinner expertly marinated and cooked by Ken.

Sunday 27th March – Easter Sunday

Although not as early as yesterday we were still on our way before 8am. Enid had planned a 4 Klm walk along bush tracks in the Noosa National Park on the Tanglewood Track to Noosa Headland.

Enid Ken and Frank on the Tanglewood Track.

Enid Ken and Frank on the Tanglewood Track.

Tree huggers Enid Frank and Ken.

Tree huggers Enid Frank and Ken.

It was another hot day but once back on the coast section of track there was a gentle, very gentle breeze from off the ocean. We saw big black clouds gathering on the horizon and could see rain falling far out to sea.

Donnis Enid and Ken take a break at First Point Beach or was that Second Point Beach?

Donnis Enid and Ken take a break at First Point Beach or was that Second Point Beach?

Standup Paddle Board Rider on a gentle Noosa Headland surf break.

Standup Paddle Board Rider on a gentle Noosa Headland surf break.

Noosa Surf Life saving does not provide beach patrols on Noosa Headland. Instead a lifesaver on a jet ski floats near the beach. Each lifesaver is rotated every hour or so.

Noosa Surf Life saving does not provide beach patrols on Noosa Headland. Instead a lifesaver on a jet ski floats near the beach. Each lifesaver is rotated every hour or so.

We walked back to the beach at Noosa Woods for a cooling dip before the big fat heavy drops arrived. Within minutes it was a soaking rain and people were rushing off the beach to find their car to join the bumper to bumper to get home or back to their campsite.

Noosa Beach

Noosa Beach

Noosa Beach.

Noosa Beach.

After a late lunch Donnis and I headed home, expecting to beat the traffic jam. Because of the rain many people left a day early. We got caught in traffic and the journey took another hour on our usual average time.

Next week we follow the New South Wales Coast to Sydney on to Wollongong then western districts before heading north and home. It should be good fun.

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

12/07/2015

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.

321. Sunday 23rd June 2013. Exploring around Brizzie…

24/06/2013

Monday 17th June

75.4

It was a quiet day much like many we have experienced lately. We went to see a Retirement Expo at the Brisbane Bronco’s Rugby League Club at Redhill.   http://www.broncos.com.au/

Over the last 20 or so years on TV, I have watched interviews and training sessions of the Broncos. Now I have seen the clubhouse and training grounds for myself although the primary object of coming here was to see the Retirement Expo.

The good thing about the trip was we got to see parts of Brizzy (Brisbane for all those reading this who have never heard of Brizzy) we have not seen before and wondered why we did not bring the camera with us.

Hmmm! To say I was underwhelmed is a bit of an understatement. In all there were about 10 stands of people promoting retirement homes and or care centres. There were no options from the other side of the “retirement village” – that is, over 50 resorts or villages – no Government representatives to talk about retirement pensions, no superannuation experts, no medical people, no hearing or dental offerings, no travel agents, no camping and RV representatives. After making an obligatory stop at 9 of the ten stands and collecting brochures, pens and useless nick knacks, we left. Hmmm! Why did we not stop at the tenth desk??? It was more of the same and the sole representative was already talking with a much older than us person. Why wait to talk with somebody about all the same stuff we already knew about anyway. We did fill out of a couple of entry forms to win hampers and free bus trips and overnight stays. The nice carry bags will come in handy for storing stuff and the paper has joined the re-cycling bin while the nifty key ring with a lens cleaner inside will join all the other key rings we have accumulated over the years and now sit in a box in the hope we might use them one day.

Not likely!

 

Tuesday 18th June

Every morning about 6.30 I go for a walk (well almost every morning…if it is raining heavily I sissy out).

Every day my walk takes me through the park to the Brisbane River where I see the racing skiffs with one, two or four rowers aboard doing their early morning training as the wispy mist rises off the water. The road beside the river has groups of cyclists whirling along on their early morning training. As always I wonder why I have not brought the camera with me. Hmmm! The good camera is too bulky to carry with me on a brisk walk and quite frankly the small camera, although quite handy and with good megapixel count is not in the same league. Besides I am here for the walk. Maybe one day I will get up early and walk to take photos instead of walking for the exercise.

Donnis accepted another nursing shift tonight. I dropped her at the Carina Heights Nursing Home and took the opportunity to visit Carindale Shopping Centre.

Wednesday 19th June

We drove to a suburb called Gaythorne on the north side of the Brisbane River. While trying to interpret and ignore the GPS instructions what should have been a straight forward 20 minute drive turned into a 40 minute lesson in frustration control, traffic and a growing sense of impatience. Despite the GPS trying to send us on a toll road and while I was equally trying to avoid tolls, the GPS won!

Twice!

I suppose all this driving in the city and suburbs we have never heard of let alone visited, is good for our education of the city of Brizzy.

My employer for 13 years, Maria D, often told me challenges were “character building”. I guess I got lots of character building Monday and today.

Thursday 20th June

Winter is here. Mornings and afternoons are cool. The middle of the day is usually quite nice…provided the sun  is shining. There was no sun today and we both wanted to get out of the house and just do a bit of wandering around and window shopping. It is too cool and overcast to polish WWWGO or TERIOS for that matter. It was too cool and overcast to do a river cruise so we went to the Westfield Shopping Centre at Mount Gravatt where Donnis found a dozen bargains in a dress shop. I love my Kindle. I can read it anywhere especially while the CO-PILOT is shopping.

Friday 21st June.

Lots of rain and again a cool to cold day. Ummm! Correction. I have been told it IS cold. The CO-PILOT was offered a shift at AR CARE Nursing Home at North Lakes. After dropping her at the facility I wandered around the nearby shopping centre before driving an extra 60 Klms to Kawana Island to visit friends Joan and George at their retirement village. We enjoyed dinner and afterwards they showed photos of their trip to the Northern Territory and Western Australia in July and August 2002.

Hmmm!!! Whoa!!! We visited Northern Territory and Western Australia as far as Kununurra    http://www.westernaustralia.com/au/Pages/Destination.aspx?n=Kununurra&pid=9009576&cid=dgm:sem:au1213:inter:Kununurra&gclid=COqh27in9rcCFQISpQodBCYAZQ   during July 2002. We were probably in the same campsite on Lilly Creek Lagoon

Lilly Creek Lagoon as seen from our campsite. The brooding purple grey mountain in the distance is known as Sleeping Buddha.

Lilly Creek Lagoon as seen from our campsite. The brooding purple grey mountain in the distance is known as Sleeping Buddha.

http://www.visitkununurra.com/attractions    at Kununurra at the same time as Joan and George were there. We did not meet J n G until probably 2005 or 2006 and it was only while seeing their slides on their new Smart TV that I realized we saw the same sights including an air flight over Kunnunurra, Lake Argyle,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Argyle  Argyle Diamond Mine   http://www.argylediamonds.com.au/  and The Bungle Bungles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purnululu_National_Park

All the photos of our trip, taken on my trusty oldPanasonic FZ7 digital camera, are stored on floppy discs…YES floppy discs, which are stored in the shed at our home in Airlie Beach. I do have one photo from our trip, taken at the caravan park on Lilly Creek Lagoon One day when we settle down I will have to transfer all those photos onto an external hard drive.

After the slide show and reminiscing about our travels I drove 60 Klms back to North Lakes to collect Donnis after her shift then drove the 30 Klms back to Fairfield. We were home by 11.30pm.

Saturday 22nd June

In the late afternoon we went for a walk through the park – comprised of three cricket pitches – past the three Australian Football League grounds, one of which had a noisy game in progress

AFL game in progress.

AFL game in progress.

and on to Brisbane River.

Eleanor Schonell Bridge at Dutton Park

Eleanor Schonell Bridge at Dutton Park

As the sun was setting we traced our steps home again.

Sunday 23rd June

Today we took a bus into the city and all the way to New Farm on the Brisbane River. As the bus crossed a bridge and ready to turn into Adelaide Street we were stopped by a motorcycle Policeman. A protest rally supporting similar rallies in Brazil which have occurred this week. The long ling of mostly happy well behaved protesters marched past the bus.

Agitated Brazillian protestors

Agitated Brazillian protestors

Our destination was to the Brisbane Powerhouse Museum.

This place is worth a visit.

This place is worth a visit.

The museum is in the original umm err Powerhouse, hence its name. Much of the equipment has been retained within the building. It is a place for art and photo exhibits as well as a venue for rock groups and other performing artists. Today we came to see the 56th Annual World Press Photo Exhibit.   It is also beside New Farm Park a popular family picnic park. The Powerhouse is also a popular eating and drinking and socialising focal point. Busy, busy, busy.  I started to take photos with the little camera but the @#$%^&* battery died after only a few photos. Grrr! http://brisbanepowerhouse.org/events/2013/06/01/world-press-photo/ . We also experienced a very loud rock band before catching a City Cat Ferry   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TransdevTSL_Brisbane_Ferries to SouthBank where we had a coffee before catching a bus back home.

Looking south across Brisbane River from the Powerhouse.

Looking south across Brisbane River from the Powerhouse.

The ferry passed under several bridges including the iconic Story Bridge   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Story_Bridge which just this week has had the old lighting replaced by state of the art LED Lighting which is capable of being programmed to illuminate in different colours. We watched as the colours changed. Commencing tomorrow the bridge lights will be in Maroon to support the State of Origin Queensland team which plays against New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_State_of_Origin_series

Go Queenslander!