(Kirsty and Pauls House)
13.12.2011 - 17.12.2011 35 °C
Today is going to be a lazy day! lounge around by the pool, catch up on the blogs and maybe go fishing!? Our lovely friends offered to lend us some fishing rods and as they were planning a barby for tonight, we felt a little under pressure to catch some fresh fish!
So off we stomped in search of the sea with rods in hand and not a scooby what to do with them once we found water! Luckily there were 2 guys on the pier with numerous expensive looking rods and when I told them I didnt have a clue which way up to hold it, they were only too happy to give us a free 2 hour fishing lesson!
So we chilled out on the pier, hurling old pieces of Squid and chicken into the sea attached to our rods. We had many close calls where we just didnt strike at the right time and Jayne nearly hauled a huge crab out until it realised where it was and let go of the line to plummet back into the depths. We also saw a giant turtle pop up for air before scooting off into the deeper water. All in all a very interesting day!
Back at the house we decided to be honest and show we had caught nothing, although we did consider a trip to the local fish shop!
A lovely barbecue and few drinks on the balcony whilst watching an electrical storm in the distance and watching bats circle the trees made up the rest of the night. So blessed to have such good friends and so pleased that I decided to travel
After a lazy day yesterday (and a cheap one thank god) we need to plan some more of the trip or we will be leaving Kirsty's without a clue where we are going and when we are getting there! 4 hours, yes that's right 4 hours of planning this morning!! BUT, good news is up until boxing day is pretty much sorted. AND we booked a 2 day 4x4 and hiking adventure on Fraser island (the only island in the world to have a jungle growing out of purely sand!).
Once the planning was done we needed a break so off into town we went on a rather interesting train. When we got on there were decorations, xmas music and kids everywhere. We then found out it was the Santa Express and were soon greeted by Santa himself coming down the isles dancing to the music and Ho Ho Ho'ing to all the people on the train.
After not seeing much xmas celebrations we stepped off the 45 minute journey feeling like we had been slapped in the face with a very big Xmas stick!!
South Bank was the part of Brisbane we got off at and it was very nice to walk around, a lovely place with coffee shops, parks, bars and even a man made beach. The Art gallery and Museum were near by so we ducked in for a quick look. The Art gallery was huge and there were lots of interesting and weird pieces of so called 'ART'. The museum was closed for renovations so the next place was the Modern Art museum. Now in here was very very weird. There was the inside of a giant pumpkin with mirrors, giant acrylic trippy flowers and other crazy things.
Including an interactive area where it was a huge room with furniture etc in and they want to cover it with coloured dots. So they give you a sheet with 28 brightly coloured dots on of various sizes and the idea is you stick them wherever you want in the room. It is based on a crazy chinese woman who was an artist and from an early age could only see things in dot patterns. Needless to say she is in a mental hospital now, but glad to see her ideas live on!
The art gallery closed at 6 and kicked us out so we went for a quick drink with a german guy we had met on the coach a few days ago (the one that looked like Tom Cruise) before heading back to Kirstys for a humous and pitta snack for supper.
Woke up to a much cooler and rainy day. Jayne and myself both decided it would be good weather for a run so we set off to run to the beach (about 3k). When we got there Jayne decided to run on further along the coast while I turned back and made my way through the rain back to Kirsty's house. Soaking wet (but still very hot!) it was not looking like any day trips were not worth doing today. So we sat for the whole morning and planned some more of the remaining trip round Oz and started delving into the planning for Thailand as we havent even started planning that country yet!
It's amazing after so long travelling, you get less and less worried about where you will stay and where you are going next. Before you leave you feel like you should have every last minute planned out, but in reality taking 1 day a week to plan the following few days is much better. No rush, no real deadlines, no worries!
Kirsty took us to the local shopping centre in the afternoon where we did a spot of impromptu xmas pressie and card shopping. The plan was to get something to say thank you to our hosts so after much deliberation settled on a Dora sparkle and dance doll for little Charlie and a Guinnes Book of World Records for Kirsty for a bit of fun.
Much warmer day today! Decided to take a ferry over to Stradbrook Island (Straddie as the locals call it). It is a huge island with great coastal walks and miles and miles of beaches (the longest being about 20k!).
After a short bus journey to get as far north as we could we made our way along a pretty coastal walk taking in the great views of the beaches and even found a rock that made noises like a whales blow hole when the waves hit!!??
After the walk it was time to hit the beaches so we walked for a bit, sat for a bit, walked for a bit, sat for a bit as we made our way along the many lengthy beaches (pretty much all to ourselves). Along the way we did however meet a crazy lady with a sausage dog called Frank that she insisted would be able to jump 3 feet in the air and steal my sandwhich (I was slightly dubious as Franks legs were about 2 inches long!). Then I nearly knocked myslef out on a tree! Let me explain, when walking through the bush in Oz with nothing on your feet I have become paranoid about stepping on something nasty so constantly stare at my feet. This led to a severe blunt forced trauma as I walked straight into a low branch and had to sit down for a while to let the stars and little birds wizzing round my head go away!
Got the bus back to the ferry at sundown and the ferry back to the mainland as the night drew in. Stupidly we had run completely out of cash so unable to buy a bus ticket, stomped off down the road in the general direction of the train station in the hope we could pay by card. The train was on the platform so we ran onto it after trying to get a ticket with no success and ended up sitting next to the people who had caught the bus from the ferry! It was only 2 stops so hopping out without having to pay was a bonus. Back at Kirstys we made our now world famous Spag Bol as a thank you to Kirsty and Paul and sat down to a lovely last meal with them. We gave little charlie her christmas/birthday present as a thank you and gave Kirsty the latest Guiness Book of Records which we all sat down and marvelled at the stupidity and grossness of some of the so called 'records'.
Just before bed I went into the WC and after flushing turned to see the most almighty spider on the wall staring back at me!! I called Jayne to come and have a look and she squeeled as she realised she had been in there only minutes early and hadnt noticed our new guest.
I grabbed a bin to try and trap him in it but every time I tried to push it on the wall it scurried around making us both jump like startled school kids. I decided the bin trap wouldnt work as frankly the spider had other ideas and I wasnt sure he would actually fit in there anyway! So the next plan was to try and shepard it out of the currently closed window. I got a pool cue from the games room and being very careful not to startle it, opened the window slowly. Tapping the pool cue in various places around him I managed to get it to run to the other side of the glass and then dived for the window to shut him out. SUCCESS!! Although he did sit there on the other side looking at me angrily for a while until I turned off the light and headed warily to bed (checking all the walls in the bedroom for any of his brothers and sisters first!).
Another early coach planned so up at 5:30am to do the ritual packing of the back pack and last minute grooming to make the most of the luxury of having our own comfy space. Waving goodbye to Kirsty was a mixed bag. I was sad to be saying goodbye to such a good friend and to leave their lovely house behind, but excited at the thought of something new and a different place to head off to. It's weird when you stay in a place for a few days, you get comfortable there but in some ways start to feel a little penned in. Then when the day comes to move on its like the feeling you get as you leave your house for your annual holiday, excitement, trepidation and slight butterflies in your stomach.
It was another boring coach journey, broken up only by a brief stop by a giant Kangaroo!
The Hostel we are staying in at Hervey Bay is called Flash Packers and is aimed at the slightly older back packer with the desire for a bit more comfort and a bit less pissed up shouting. It is actualy really nice with a 10 min walk to the beach, a cinema and a huge room with a bathroom just as big! After check in we popped down the beach which goes on for miles and sat watching the sun go down to the sound of christmas carols being sung in the nearby park. Looking forward to our Fraser Island adventure for the next 2 days we headed off to bed early to save our energy for what laid ahead!