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Published: December 16th 2009
...the rather fine surf side beach at Woorim
Here's a revelation: having a car is very useful in actually seeing stuff in Australia.
Since my time in Brisbane I've been wanting to visit Lamington National Park
; a paradise of waterfalls, wildlife and trails only an hour's drive away from from Brisbane. But since I don't have a car and the one person I know that does works weekends, I've had to accept that I shall never see it. I've therefore had to make do with visiting places that are reached by public transport instead. Surfers Paradise
(yes, an actual place on the Gold Coast) despite the long sandy beach and gleaming high-rises is a remarkably dull place. A pedestrianised town centre and sort of Costa Del -less
) feel to it - it's not Nice or nice. the weekend we visited had the V8 races
around the streets but 90 dollars was prohibitively expensive for a fourth rate Formula 1 so we hung had some drinks, hung out on the beach and watched fighter jets roar over. We also had the pleasure of hordes of obnoxious drunken "bogans"
trying their best to start fights in the town..We even witnessed a violent brawl in the least friendliest 'Oirish' pub
and the Times Literary Supplement
I've ever been to. A steroidal muscle-head chasing a small dweeb
around the pub and then violently crashing into tables with five security staff trying to restrain him: the couple behind us who were on a date chose the wrong location for a quiet drink.
Not excited by this example we bought a couple of bottles of wine at the bottle shop and headed to the beach. We had to be quiet about it as drinking is not allowed - everyone would be doing it otherwise. We ended up getting pretty drunk and then took a cab to our hostel, which was a bloody hour away in Coolangatta
! Distances can be very deceptive in Australia, or rather websites can be misleading about what they consider "close". Of course when we arrived they didn't have my reservation but it didn't matter as they had plenty of room. The hostel seemed to be part of a bigger complex with night club and gambling slot machines complex but the dorm room we had was very clean and we had a large wide veranda to look out over. The loud music and free entry courtesy of our stay there drew us into the
club eventually - a bit strange really, it seemed to be run by Irish lads. We spent ages getting back to Brisbane the next day, buses, trains and then cancelled trains - so we gave up on going to a water park - Wet 'n' Wild...
We needed to get to another beach however and so a few weeks later Tracy and I went to Bribie Island in Moreton Bay
. From door to door it took two hours; first via bus to Central Station in Brisbane, then a train to Caboolture Station then another connecting bus to Bribie itself. It was tiring doing that twice Tiring, but worth it for the beautiful day spent reading on the beach, swimming and flopping over the surf that came crashing in, and a nice stroll down endless beach. Oh and the surf taking my sunglasses, however,they were orange and I probably deserved to lose them to the unfashionable Gods.
We're in the Aussie summer now, so expect lots of photographs of me frolicking in the warm sunshine - whilst you all back home deal with cold snaps.
What I'm reading: Rough Guide to Classic Novels
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