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Published: November 28th 2010
kathryn and alan
walking burns beach walk
rip to Australia
When the plane landed in Perth we knew that one of our expectations was not going to be met. The coats went back on, and the jumper, it was not boiling by any means. Still weather was not important when we were to see Kathryn and Richard, our friends of over 35 years. Their house was in one of the suburbs north of Perth and it was beautiful, the large deck overlooking a golf course, and in the mornings when we had the early morning waking from jet lag, we saw kangaroos run past our window, on the lush green of the golf course. They stood on a rise just looking around; it was interesting to read that when they jump and bound they use the energy to make their lungs work. Nature is amazing.
We went to the beach at Mullalloo for a walk; it was still pretty chilly, and even started to rain. The beach was windswept, long, and golden with gentle surf. Parks and designated walks were alongside the beach, with people in jogging gear all out for their exercise.
We had a really good time with Lucy, Lister, Marie, Duncan and
little Sophie, it was fantastic to see them all again, looking so well and happy.
We visited the winery at the swan valley, the jacaranda trees were really magnificent, a solid mauve colour, the grounds of the winery’s, we went to several, were almost colonial, and well maintained buildings, tumbling vines over a pergola, generally very pretty and interesting. It was warm enough to sit outside, sun warming our cold northern bones.
A concert in Kings Park, with Chicago, and Peter Frampton. As Alan said, who is that old guy on the stage, oh, that’s him, looks just like us! The years are unkind aren’t they? It got colder and colder, we were sitting on our chairs on the grass with layers of clothes on, I so wished for my ski jacket, hot chocolate more attractive than all that champagne. Eventually America came on, and by that time we were frozen. It was a great venue, on a hot evening must be fantastic.
We also had the highlight of Alan’s stay , we went to the fishing club for lunch, the manager being a friend of Kand Rs, we had a great lunch, met some good people
and watched the weigh in. It was rough out to sea, and the wind blows from the south west in the morning then changes to easterly in the afternoon.
We arrived on the gold coast, drove across the toll bridge from Brisbane in the large 4wheel drive Nissan patrol. I called it the beast, when Alan tried to do a ‘uie’ it had the worst lock ever on a car, three point turns for everything. I had booked us in at surf parade, a block of apartments with a pool and bbq. We went down to Broadbeach, or should I say what was left of Broadbeach, it is massive, great big high rise, huge shopping malls, leading to more malls, and squares, and restaurants. The beach was the same, endless surf, and we soon got in the water. We took the beast to underground carparks, walked round pacific park, which had grown twice in size, and enjoyed a few meals out. We thought we would go to Surfers paradise, wow what a terrible place. Full of drunken teenagers, and inferior restaurants, with large highrise blocking the sun on the beach. We went to broadbeach the next night,
which was not really that much nicer.
We followed the winding road up into the lush hinterland; Tambourine Mountain was where I used to drive up in Cyril’s split screen vw to try to sell fireplaces to the locals. There used to be a little village, once I had to wait while a sleepy snake crawled over the strip of tarmac that was the road up there. Now it is a village of entrepreneurs with every house a coffee shop, a boutique, or bed and breakfast. They certainly have embraced tourism. \we had coffee under a jacaranda tree, and carried on to Lamington Park, having our picnic lunch in the rain forest, luckily unspoilt and charming.
We were home in time for a swim in the pool and Jacuzzi and dinner at home. The balcony looked over the surf beach and the lights of the city, looked a lot nicer from there.
When we were young we used to go to Stradbroke island for the weekend. We decided to go back and see if it was still as beautiful. The ferry trip and the drive to the ferry were interesting, shallow mangrove
shoreline, calm sea to the island. We drove down the island, about 15 miles to the end and found point lookout. But our campsite had disappeared underneath a surf life saving station! Still we found a lovely apartment, beautifully furnished right on the beach. We had a great surf, even if it did tip us upside down head first into the sand. Then fishing off the rocks for Alan, who left me dangled on a sheer drop, but he did not catch anything. In the morning we set off down the 4 wheel drive along the beach. It was just like Namibia.
We drove for about 15miles along the long beach, chatting to various people, surf relentlessly pouring in and drowning out all other sound. We decided to camp in one of the designated areas, obviously someone had been there before us as there was a flattened area of sand. We got the camping gear out, only to discover that it was pretty basic to say the least. The tent was a two man, but no mattress only bedding rolls, two slightly damp sleeping bags, and two pillows. As darkness fell, instead of the stars above us, there were
dark storm clouds, and by the time I had finished my one pot cooking the rain was lashing down. In the tent at 9pm, we read our books and dozed as the tent flapped around us, the rain so heavy it bowed down the sides. Knowing noone else was there for about 10 miles felt quite strange, and the sand outside was muddy and cold.
Alan got up early to do some fishing, he looked a miserable figure along the empty windswept beach. AS soon as possible we packed up the tent, waiting for the low tide. When I went to the loo, behind a bush, in the bush, I looked up to see about 8 kangaroos stood in a row watching me, with amazement on their faces. Some had little joeys in their pouches, their neandandertal bounding helps to push oxygen into their lungs helping energy supplies.
Soon we were heading up to Noosa, a completely different world of cappuccinos, and a fantastic apartment,. Noosa is a long estuary with lots of holiday accommodation, a quite sophisticated resort, boardwalks out along the headlands, with information centres, signs telling you the history. We went to Maisies restaurant, had
to go there, for my mum. It was really good. When Alan went for a walk at twilight hundreds of lorikeets filled the trees. Next morning we walked in the still pouring rain to the end of the headland, about 4 miles, the sea was really rough and a surf rescue boat was pounding through the waves.
We went to visit Cyril and Kasia, they have a lovely house in Maryborough, right on the river, an old railway house, a queenslander , wooden, colonial feel to it, at the back the garden falls down to the Mary river, a brown huge river, the size of the upper reaches of the Thames. Kasia is an incredibly talented artist, and her art work was displayed beautifully, it seems as if she can paint and sculpt in any medium, and Cyril too had created sculptures and a lush garden. Kangaroos are so close to the house, but not tame apparently. We had a great time with them, and enjoyed a bit of reminiscing.
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