14th Jul 2011 - 19th Jul 2011 - Queensland 2011
Running away - to the beach at Surfers Paradise
I, Helen, only decided that I was deprived of a beach holiday a week ago, so after a couple of hours thought, I "wotif"ed Surfers - Grosvenor Apartments - and they could give me the 5 nights I wanted - so I booked it!
THURSDAY 14th - Flew Jetstar as Qantas don't fly into Gold Coast. We left an hour late - the reason was that "our" plane had a misbehaving computer which needed a spare part from interstate. So they pinched the Sydney plane, cancelled its flight, and we were ok.
On the third floor and enjoying the view of the waves on the beach. There are a few trees between me and it, but I can see through ok, even if the camera struggles a bit.
Tea in Cavill Mall – surf and turf – while watching Mr Bean shows on the TVs. Enjoyed the first couple of shows, but a bit tedious by the third.
FRIDAY 15th – delightful sitting on the balcony watching the waves while eating my Sultana Bran. Dressing gown and sunhat completed the outfit. Lovely beach walk in bare feet and paddling. This is what it is all about!!! Such a shame that I am not allowed to body-surf anymore as the Ear Doctor says “Don’t you get water in your ears!!”
Had a trip on the aquaduck – travels on the roads and in the water. Good fun and lovely to see more of the area. Heard about some absurd costs – 13 million for a mediocre house with beach frontage; $20,000 for a mature palm tree.
Coffee in Cavill – actually Chai Latte, which I was introduced to recently. Very pleasant. I had tried to have coffee at the Hard Rock Café, but their machine broke down 2-3 weeks ago. Would a cocktail suffice?
Went to a wonderful show at night – Australian Outback Spectacular2. I saw Version 1 in Melbourne a few years ago, but this one has its own purpose-built building out near Movie World, etc. The show has lots of great horses and great riders showing their skills, and there is singing and they told and showed the story of the “Light Horse” in the First World War. Dinner was served very efficiently during the show. Transport from outside my front door in the specially-labeled bus. All excellent – even sharing a seat with a 75yo retired butcher who was more overweight than me and had recently had a knee operation. I thought my legs would never work again as I couldn’t move, but we had a pleasant chat (as did his wife in the seat in front with her neighbor).
SATURDAY 16th - well I think Melbourne is warmer – 14 degrees here. So I am sitting inside looking at the waves and writing. The “bom” site looks like it should be clearer this afternoon. The rain is only light, but hopefully it will stop this afternoon. But I have my cross-stitch, and Travel Trimmings to read, and puzzle books, so all is well.
Everyone said I would notice a big difference since I haven’t been here for about 20 years. I am very unobservant – (Bev is good at that) - but I haven’t noticed much difference! They have taken away my minigolf course at Cavill –that was a bit of a shock! Unfair I say when I am on my own – Dad and Bev are such reluctant minigolf players! The other main difference is that there are no Japanese and few other Asians, but lots of Arab/Muslim families. But the predominance is Baby-Boomers and anglo families.
Time to go out to the beach, even if it is spitting.
Walked south along the beach and back to Cavill. Lunch of fish and chips on the corner overlooking the sea – they thought I was odd because I wasn’t freezing. I was chilly after I cooled down from my walk. Had to fight off the seagulls. Checked out plans to get to Nerang.
Home for washing etc, then caught the bus to Nerang Station, and changed to another bus to get me into Nerang proper. Sat in the Chinese restaurant reading Travel Trimmings – decided my sister got a lot of Grandpa’s traits with his love (obsession?) with travel. I had only read about 10 pages of Grandpa’s book on previous attempts – I am feeling very proud that I have read half of the book now! Walked in the dark down and up hills to get to Javeenbah Theatre. All this was to see 2 one-act plays, both comedies, being performed by the locals. They were advertised in the local rag. Both very good. Caught a taxi home.
SUNDAY 17th – Nice sunny day – breaky on the balcony and dressed quickly so I could get out on the sunny beach. Long walk north and back. Morning tea on the balcony and down to the bus stop on the highway and bus to Currumbin Sanctuary. It has magnetic qualities for me, although I decided today that maybe I have almost outgrown it. Still enjoyed it, but I have done most things that I am likely to do there. They have added a really good rope course, and kids’ playground, but these aren’t really my scene! They have also added a crocodile plus baby, and aboriginal dancing, which I enjoyed, but don’t need to see again. However I did enjoy the Free Flight Bird Show, and the wombat, and the very-baby koalas. So it was a lovely afternoon.
Bus home, and realized the power of suggestion. Some-one on the bus suggested to their partner that pizza would be good for tea. I had to agree so went out and bought one and ate it watching the partly-lit waves in the almost dark outside my place.
Watched/listened to the Western Bulldogs get beaten on Foxtel (while lying flat out on the couch regaining some strength. Now listening to the MAX music channel on Foxtel. Radio is very frustrating here – I can’t even get ABC local in this building, and the best-reception station is ok for a while. I think I blame the tall buildings for this problem. Whilst talking technology, the wifi internet in my room is problematic – varies between very low and no strength. The iPhone is much more reliable for getting emails and for simple googling. However, I managed to get the data onto getjealous at my second attempt yesterday.
I had planned to go to Jupiter’s tomorrow night to see their show “Stomp”, but it isn’t on! Monday night and they think I should be watching movies, so I won’t bother – well not at their place anyway. I suppose it is reasonable that the cast should get one night a week off. So I shall have to be content with whale-watching from a boat in the morning, and seeing penguins and polar bears etc at Sea World in the afternoon.
Enough for now.
MONDAY 18TH Well today was a great day. It started (and finished) with lovely weather. I caught the local bus to Sea World, and walked to the Sea World Cruises building and boarded their beautiful boat for a 2.5 hour trip. They warned us that there was a sea-sickness alert, as the sea was still confused after the rough weather. I was fine, but at least 25% of the passengers weren’t. The staff coped with them very well. The whales were great – particularly two who stayed near our boat and came even closer when we stopped. The boat staff put a microphone arrangement in the water and we heard the whales singing. It was all lovely. We saw 3 other pods on our return trip. I had pondered going yesterday, but I am glad I didn’t as the weather was much rougher, and the whales weren’t as obliging. All this was with the beautiful scenery of the Gold Coast in the background.
As part of the deal, for only $10 more, you get entry into Sea World. So I spent a lovely afternoon there seeing the Antarctic penguins in snow and swimming, the monorail full circuit, the Sea Lion show, the polar bears (who are out in the open with cold pools, but we are assured they cope with hot weather in the wild), the sharks, the dolphin show (they are beautiful), “little penguin” feeding, the stingrays and Happy Feet in 3D. This is just gorgeous – it is a 15 minute version of the film. Bus home (along with dozens of others in a very full local bus) and stopped at the beach to watch the sunset.
So now it is just tidying things up to be ready to leave at 9am tomorrow. Sorry there aren’t any new photos – I have wasted so much time with my computer not being willing, and the internet being even less willing, over the last 2 days! But otherwise it has all been lovely.
TUESDAY 19th Shuttle bus to the airport in Coolangatta, flight delayed by 30 mins, but fine, and home