Another update and lots to report…
I will start from where I left off before – in Byron Bay. The place is stunning with amazing beaches and a very picturesque lighthouse and shoreline. The girls, Hannah, Ruth and Caroline, had a surfing lesson which they said was good fun. They were all ‘catching rips’ and ‘riding totally narly waves’ by the end of their session. I decided that surfing wasn’t really for me even though it looks very cool. I mused over the possibility of hiring a surf board for the day instead and parading up and down the beach with it in an attempt to look hip and part of the Byron Bay surf scene.
The following day we went to Wet n Wild. This time I ‘manned up’ big time by going on one of the scariest rides imaginable. Contemplate, if you will, climbing hundreds of dizzying steps and then being escorted into an Avatar-style pod whilst standing up. Cue a countdown from a Stephen Hawking type voice machine and then “3-2-1” the floor disappears from underneath your feet and you are catapulted down a water tube. Think of that scene in WillyWonka when Augustus Galloope is shot through the chocolate piping and then imagine watching that in super fast forward. That was me. You had to get up the necessary speed because the tube went down and then performed a loop-the-loop. It was amazing but my heart was pounding fast when waiting in the ‘death pod’! There were loads of other cool rides to go on although the day was slightly spoilt by the crazy, patterned sunburn I had inflicted upon myself the previous day. I resembled a red and white map of the world as I wondered round the water park topless.
After Wet n Wild we drove to see Dale and his family in Beenleigh, just south of Brisbane. We had a great evening and were once again bowled over by the amazing hospitality of Aussie hosts. I had barely finished a swig of cold beer before I was offered another stubby.
The following day we went to Australia Zoo, former home of the croc hunter Steve Irwin. It was a blistering hot day and we saw some cool animals. Hannah was unable to name a favourite animal as she liked 5 animals the same – the kangaroos, ko-alas, tigers, giant tortoises and elephants. My favourite animal was the Enchida – a cross between a hedgehog and a platypus. Hannah had read it on the zoo map in the morning and mistaken it for a food stall – Enchilida’s! We stayed in Maroochydore that night where we found Hannah’s favourite American restaurant – Sizzler! However, it was ridic expensive which put Hannah in a sulk all night!
The next day we drove to Noose stopping en route to climb a mountain. It sounds impressive but it was a mini-mountain at 208m but it was climbed in the midday soaring heat. As you may have gathered from the previous blog posts, Hannah likes the physical activities like long walks and long, uphill bike rides. She usually leads the way like an eager Scout Akela while I lag behind like a fat kid on Sports Day. However, this time it was different. I raced up that mountain over rocky terrain and through the undergrowth while Hannah came in a distant second. When we got to the top she said to me how all those other walks and rides we have done this trip have paid off and how I am now much fitter than before. In reality it was the fact that I was s*#t scared of snakes jumping out on me at any point! The views from the top were really good. We could see the Sunshine Coast which was our intended destination that afternoon.
When we got up to Noosa the fabulous foursome was reunited as Ruth and Caroline came to meet us with us again. We bought our own stubby holders so we can now enjoy cold beers in the evening.
Noosa is a beautiful town. The weather was very good for the three days we spent there. We did an amazing coastal walk and managed to see a Ko-ala in the wild. That wasn’t the only wild thing we saw that day as we finished the walk at a beach called Alexandria Bay. While the rest of us sunbathed at the bay after the walk Hannah went for a stroll along it. Minutes later she came screaming back claiming she had seen a naked man walking along the beach with a rucksack on. We all mocked her for her stupidity but she convinced me to come on the walk with her and surprise surprise she was right! There wasn’t just one naked man but dozens of them! We had wondered onto a nudie beach! There were even 60 year old couples merrily strolling along the beach hand in hand completely naked. After 10 minutes of walking along and trying to maintain an ‘eyes-up, head high, don't look down’ posture we turned around and then had to follow a naked couple back along the beach this time with a ‘cracking’ shot of their flabby bottoms for company. Of course some may argue that it should have been the naturists who were scared of me with my new ‘wife beater’ style shirt on. Needless to say one good thing about the nudie beach was the chance to get another naked traveler shot without anyone objecting!
We soaked up the sunshine at the Noosa beaches over the last few days. Me and Hannah also took the opportunity to climb Mt Tinbeerwah for cool 360 degree views of the area. We then went to Eumindi markets which was really cool with loads of things to look around. The best bit being the free samples that the popcorn vendor gave out! After, we drove past a strawberry farm and went Pick Your Own strawberry picking. It was brilliant doing something that we had such fond childhood memories of. Hannah done most of the picking while I partook in sampling the strawberries before they went into our tub.
That’s about it for now. We are off to Fraser Island tomorrow and then making our way up to the Whitsundays for cruise next Sunday. Life is tough.
Check out the tan lines on this beauty…