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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Monday the 23rd of August 2010, 8:45pm

So much to catch up on, it’s been a very full few days here in beautiful Queensland! We’ve caught up with Laura Prentice, a well travelled individual who we enjoyed lunch and several coffees with before, sadly, she had to make her way back to her office at 36,000 feet with Emirates. Such a novel thing, seeing a friend on the other side of the world, especially someone who had spent our wedding reception with us so recently back home in Norfolk.

On Saturday, we took a trip out to Brisbane’s neighbouring hills to visit a wildlife park. Set in a forest, close to ‘Enoggera Reservoir’, the forest park is home to many of Australia’s famous bush wildlife and for just a few dollars, you can get up close to wallabies, snakes, birds and even a platypus! We had a coffee and a packed lunch by the reservoir and took in the sights and sounds of the area during a 5 km stroll. It was starting to feel like a real holiday by this point – not that it hadn’t been until then, but with so much to organise with regards to the wedding and accommodation and dry-cleaning of wedding attire etc, much of our time had been full until this day!

Mel and I travelled up into the Tamborine Mountains yesterday after we hired a car, in search of an area famed for its wine and European influences. We were not disappointed as our first port of call was an eatery which boasted not only a European menu, but specifically a Dutch desert menu, cooked by Dutch settlers – Poffetjes, lightly sprinkled with icing sugar, dipped into maple syrup and spiced apple pie with clotted cream!

The main streets that surround the upper reaches of Tamborine are laced with typical middle class interests, such as local art galleries and collectables; one shop of interest was a German Grandfather Clock warehouse which had many clocks on display ranging vastly in price with an average clock setting the purchaser back around $15,000. To my and Mel’s taste, most were seemingly well crafted but extremely detailed, which meant that they were too busy, give me a simple Edwardian time piece any day!

After a short while meandering around the shops, Mel and I decided to investigate something very exciting – The Tamborine Mountain Glow-worm Caves – we have always wanted to see such a natural phenomena and we were not disappointed. The cave itself was man made, apparently by the same company who made the Polar Bear cave at Sea World. After a brief introduction by our guide, we were led into a 20 metre long cave, full of thousands of blue stars, shining down from the roof of the cave. Truly beautiful, another first for us and well worth the $11 entrance fee!

Later in the afternoon, we went in search of one of the look outs which were easily accessible to tourists by car at the very tip of the mountain range. We hoped to find a nice view by which we could BBQ some of the provisions we had procured from a local supermarket. We were not disappointed. The view from the top of ‘Knoll Section’ was one of the most epic I have ever had the privilege to view – videos are available on our Youtube site for your viewing pleasure!

We decided to book into a B&B last night as we knew that we would be staying at altitude for the night. Mel managed to find a lovely place called ‘Tambaridge’ on ‘’. A clever bit of thinking which saved us over $100 on the booking fee. That’s my girl! Built on the sunset side of the mountain range and run by a lovely gay couple, Robert and Kevin, we were able to enjoy a double Spa bath, giant bed, lots of different tea and coffee, our own balcony and as many DVD’s as we wanted to choose from to enjoy whilst drinking our tea in bed. All in all it was quite an overwhelming amount of luxury after the nights spent in our tent immediately prior to this. We would like to thank Robert and Kevin for their hospitality, and the lovely continental breakfast they served us this morning on our balcony!

Mel was due to go up in a Tiger Moth today, but as we packed the car to drive to the airport strip the rain began in earnest and to this hour it has not really stopped, so as expected, they have re-scheduled the flight which will now take place this Wednesday, the 25th, at 12pm! As the rain had scuppered our hope of spending the day enjoying outdoor activities in the sun, we resigned ourselves to a trip around ‘Surfers Paradise’ on the Gold Coast. It turned out to be a nice afternoon spent together walking up and down the enormous beach from which the area takes its name. We saw people fishing from a break wall and the beach and all of whom were successful – another contrast to life in the UK – you would be lucky to catch anything off the beaches back home these days!

After 2 hours wandering together on the beach, Mel and I touched base with Savannah again to check when she would be free to catch up as she had mentioned that we should meet up today. We arranged in a roundabout way to meet tomorrow on her island - ‘Russell Island’ sometime after 12pm.

We searched for a campsite on our map and once again Mel’s impressive eagle eye has led us to a gem of a town, and a peach of a campsite. ‘Jacobs Well’ is a perfectly formed little town, just 20 minutes drive from Brisbane, but a world away from the fast paced, high priced city. We have pitched up on the town’s campsite, and 50 yards from our tent is the local Tavern, which boasts a wide range of food and beers at half the price of the city. The town has everything that you need to exist including a bottle shop, pizza and kebab shop, grocery store, doctors, bakery and coffee, and an Asian takeaway, incidentally where we enjoyed some great noodles this evening! It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and despite the rain; we are really enjoying the fine hospitality of the area and expect to spend 2 nights here.

We both miss Millhouse lots and we talked about him a periods throughout the day today. I suppose it will get easier. News from Holland suggests that he is enjoying life with Johanna and Henry. I spoke to mum on the phone the other day, just briefly, but it was good to hear her voice and to learn that everybody at home is doing ok. Term at Sage Academy will start soon – I hope everyone there is doing ok, I miss the students particularly.

Just over a week until our wedding, we have decided to rent the car for an extra couple of days to ensure that we have transport up to the Botanic Gardens on the wedding day!

1 comment:

  1. Millhouse is alive and well, had a long walk this sunny morning on a nearby heath, buzzing with insects as it is in full flower.