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November 10th 2010
Published: November 16th 2010
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Hello again -
It really is the 10th November now - and I am in Camp Hill , Brisbane, Queensland in Fiona and Antony's house. I am just not sure whether I am still in the same time zone as NSW???
I have driven here in my lovely red VW Jetta automatic ( thanks Susan and Geoff) - it was about 600km and so I took 2 days and taking some of the well marked Tourist Drives on the way. Well the main Pacific Highway road and M1 is a bit rubbish ( if you Aussies dont miond me saying so!!). Sometimes it is a like a country road, sometimes there are bumps and potholes , lots of roadworks and road building ( be good when finished!!) and occasionally there is a nice stretch with 5 lanes - but then there is loads of traffic. So on the way back I will be doing more of the tourist drives ...
And so to yesterday's drive... my lovely friend Geraldine back home got me to meet up with her sis in law Yvonne on the way north. She lives in a small town , Sawtell, with another lovely beach and a pretty tree lined main street. So it was lovely to meet Yvonne and I hope we will have more time together next week on the way bay back.
After lunch I drove inland on a tourist drive...steep hills and banana plantations reminded me of Sri Lanka!!! It defo is getting a lot more tropical and temperature reaching 26 deg as well as a few heavy downpours. Hilsides also studded with trees - macadamia nuts I think.
And sooooo beautiful - I have been so lucky to be here while all the jacaranda trees are blossoming and you aussies what are the beautiful red blossoming trees which in some places are alongside the jacarandas? ? If Grafton is not famous for something else it should be famous for the trees... I drove through in a purple haze.
And I had forgotten about all the old wooden bridges crossing the rivers ...and yesterday I seemed to cross river after river or was it the same one?? And fields of sugar cane ... this really was getting like the Daintree up at Cape Trib, Angie!! Then after a riverside drive - mangrove swamps - high water levels I was suddenly having to cross a river on a ferry. My god - that was the scariest ferry crossing I have been on. I was right at the front and felt like we would tip into the river - the water was very chopppy, swirling brown . Not exaclty the Hawkshead ferry on Windermere. Fortunatley it was pretty short- phew!!!
Into the town of Maclean - famous for something to do with Scotland I am not sure what. The B+B I was heading for which sounded nice in the Lonely Planet didnt exist any more ..so tried a motel , which was nice and clean but very 80s and a grumpy old cow running it...so that was off the agenda - and after a visit to the tourist info I decided to drive on a bit to a coastal town Yamba and try the YHA there.
I should know by now that I am always happy in a hostel..the guy running it Shane was so friendly and nice - gave me a 4 bed dorm with en-suite to myself. So I only paid for the one bed $30. This hostel was also a resto and cafe , and bar so lots of locals popping in , right on the main street, leather sofas to lounge around and read with a shandy in me hand ( yes Jenny you have got me onto shandies now!) . And i even got a parking space in their garage. So after a walk to the beach and nice dinner of crumbed lamb chops and reading my book I was happy to go off to bed. If I had stayed in a motel I would have been stuck on my own in a the room all evening.
A few km from Yamba it is worth taking a little detour to another exquisite beach at Angourie. See the photos...sorry I havent got any of the jacaranda trees - I just couldnt stop and take photos and I was just ebjoying driving looking at the spectacle.
And thanks to good directions I easily found my way to this house and I will be here about a week and then back to NSW and Port.
The house is a tradional Queenslander house as are many in this area here - with a corrugated iron roof , large verandahs, wooden - in fact they tell me that the top half of the house is 19th century and was brought from somewhere and added to the bottom half. So it is a lovely big house ( I keep opening a door to see what is there!!) with lots of character ...another nice thing about home exchange - so much variety in the styles of house you stay in. And I have already been invited for lunch on Sunday with Fiona's mum. So I look forward to exploring Brisbane ( I was only here a day last time) and making it a bit further afield.
Suz - was it Noosa Heads you said was lovely when you and Tracie were here? I might have a drive up there as I also want to go to a National Park to see the Glass Mountains.
Well - that looks like I am now up to date with whats happening.
Love to everyone , goodnight.
Lynne xxx



Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


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Volunteer feeding the koala.Volunteer feeding the koala.
Volunteer feeding the koala.

At the Koala hosoital in Port.
Cute litlle YHA dog Cute litlle YHA dog
Cute litlle YHA dog

he followed me into the lift and then just stayed there- everytime you opened the door there he was!!


10th November 2010

Jacarandas
Hola, We planted a jacaranda a few weeks ago as we have lots round here and as you say they are so beautiful, however it went a bit brown and some leaves fell off. So we uped the watering and it 's looking so much better, fingers crossed it was just the settling in period and should be fine. xxx
10th November 2010

Red Flower Trees, Blue Flower Trees
Hi Lynne - the Red flowering trees are Poincianas (very similar to Jacarandas aren´t they?). By now you have probably seen the huge one in our yard. Grafton - famous for Jacarandas? They have a Jacaranda Festival and ´Miss Jacaranda´every year - very ´big country town´. Make sure you mention Sawtell to my Mum as that was a favourite holiday spot for she and Warren and my little brother (we were all grown up by then...). Glad you are enjoying our house. Fiona & Anthony
10th November 2010

B.....y Teeth!
Gosh Lynne it makes me cross when I think if it wasn't for my b..... teeth I could well have been enjoying all that with you!! It looks sooooo beautiful and I agree with you about the jacaranda trees - when we were in Perth the streets near my cousins were full of them - I not that you have deliberately avoided my question about the sewing projects!! Forget about them you are far too busy to think about it .......... was in the Pumpkin Patch today with Margaret (new member) buying her Christmas materials to make table mats - very controlled only bought a pack of needles!! Love Jill xx
10th November 2010

PS
You should smile when your photo is taken!! xx
11th November 2010

Sunshine Coast Queensland
Hi Lynne Now you are in "our territory"!! You must drive up the Sunshine Coast! Use the coast road wherever possible after Caloundra. We have stayed there at Kings Beach 4 times! Have a swim at Dicky Beach. When looking for a meal always try the Surf Club or if you are at Kings Beach, the Tavern. They have great daily specials, particularly at lunchtimes. There is a carvery at the surf Club at Maloolaba and you can sit at the big window looking out at the water and at around 5pm daily during the week you can watch the young surf lifesavers in training. Inland from Noosa there is the Eumundi Market with lots of local interest. It is on Wednesdays and Sundays. Also up there is the pineapple factory with tourist activity and the ginger factory. On the way between Brisbane and Caloundra is Australia Zoo. Finally if you want to see what the Ozzies do in the evenings go to the RSL Club at Caloundra. If you are staying anywhere on the coast there is a free courtesy bus to take you there and back. It is the winning club in all of Queensland. The Coast is just beautiful. Our favourites...Coolum Beach and Peregian. Amazing!! Enjoy. Love Jocelyn

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