XXXX in the City
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
92Trip End Apr 22, 2011
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Where I stayed
Newmarket Holiday Park
Tuesday 26th October 2010
Tuesday is the best day of the week in Australia because everything is cheap....Tight Arse Tuesday they call it. This is the day you get all the best deals on food, drinks and movies. There was a big mall down the road from us in Southport high street which had a cinema, so packed up some homemade popcorn and a bottle of coke and jumped on our bikes. Once we picked a film (Let me in) we killed some time before it started by walking round the shops. The film was good, I do like a good vampire movie, and the theatre was almost empty so no-one near me to be noisy during the film. On the way back we bought some fruit and a couple of their giant rolls of sushi...delicious.
It was very hot the next morning, we got up early but just lazed around, doing a few chores and reading our books in the sun. After a while we packed a bag up and wandered over to the pool, so we could lounge on the sunbeds with our books and take a dip in the water.
At 5pm we were back in the saddle again and on our way to back to Surfers Paradise for the night market. It wasn't the biggest of markets and it was mostly really tacky touristy stuff, but there were a few interesting stalls. Gary bought some Beef Jerky and we watch an artist create an amazing picture in about 5 mins. We had a walk on the beach and an Ice-cream at McDonalds before heading back using our bike lights for the first time.
Thursday 28th October 2010
Weather Sunny - 25 degrees
Time to move on again, we are going the Brisbane today, we did all the usual packing up chores, put the bikes on the back, lock everything down, unplug the electric, but this time we had a tarpaulin to clear up. Most pitches have a grassy area and slab of concrete or two slabs of concrete, one to park on and one for you use to set up your tables, chairs, etc. This time our pitch only had grass and mud so we needed to put a tarp down to stop the mud and sand being trampled indoors. The problem with this was we had to dry it out and clean it off before we put it away....that was my job.
The clouds had come over while we were having lunch and by the time we had been on a couple more rides it had started raining and had turned chilly. We’d had a fabulous time and were happy to call it a day. We went back to the van and got changed (great thing about having your house with you at all times) and continued our journey to Brissie.
We had booked into a campsite in Newmarket, 4km outside the city, it was a good job as it was really busy, full of backpackers with vans smaller than ours. We booked in for four nights, parked up and then went over the road to get some milk and a pizza......hitting the rides makes you hungry.
Friday 29th October 2010
I woke up very excited ....IKEA today, there are four Ikea’s in Australia, Two in Sydney (one is still being built) one in Brisbane and one in Melbourne, I will visit all of them. The one is Brissie was about 20km from us so it was back in the van for a day out. Once we arrived we headed straight for the restaurant for a meatball breakfast....all the usual cooked breakfast items just with a serving of meatballs as well. With full stomachs we set about following the arrows round Ikea Oooing and Arring at the different ideas. I love it .... I know I am sad but I love Ikea. We bought a few bits..not too much, there is really no room left in the van. Had a hot dog and ice-cream on the way out...tradition, before jumping back in the van to visit some Big things.
Saturday 30th October 2010
Got up leisurely, we are heading in to the city for the day. Reception gave us a tourist map and the bus timetable so we are ready to explore the town. The bus stop was at the end of the road and the buses stopped there every few minutes. When we arrived in town we had a walk up the main shopping street full of big malls and then headed down to the river.
Brisbane reminds me of London, only cleaner, I think it’s because the river snakes through the middle of it and there is an embankment, a Southbank with theatres, a big wheel and restaurants on the river’s edge. Lots of tourist boats and fancy bridges crisscross the river. The big difference is the excellent road system that is built out over the water, following the line of the river, giving them four lanes of free flowing traffic in the middle of the city.
We walked over one of the bridges to the Southbank Museum and spent two hours wandering round their excellent exhibitions. One of the exhibits was on two Australian Explorers Burke and Wills, having read Bill Bryson’s book called Down Under (very good Read) we had already met these two characters.
There was a fascinating bug and animal exhibition, showing all the thousands of different insects, snakes, spiders, that live in Australia. As well a larger creatures like bats and birds. There was also a dinosaur display.
Lazy Sunday, bacon butties for breakfast, laundry day for all the bedding and our clothes, set up the mozzie nets we bought in Ikea, which made the van look like a wedding marquee. Had a disaster with the water dispenser, we have started buying the 10ltr water boxes rather than lots of bottles to save on room and they fit on the shelves in our cupboard nicely. This particular one was a cardboard box with a bag of water inside...like the wine boxes. It all went wrong when I tried to pull the tap out, being a bit heavy handed I ended up pulling the whole tap off which resulted in 10 litres of water rushing out the cupboard and on to the floor. With a loud shriek I grabbed the box off the shelf and threw it outside where Gary caught it. I spent the next 20min mopping up water......the water box lives outside now!!!
We are not getting our usual fix of footy out here, problems with the time differences and also the fact Australia has so much sport that it only shows Premiership Football on the Fox Satellite Channels which we can’t get in our little van. Gary now has his mum text him the results of any Man U games and we look up the Premiership games on the BBC when we get internet access.
Clean sheets tonight...always nice.
Gary’s turn to wake up excited, today we are visiting the Castlemaine XXXX brewery for their full tour with free beer tasting afterwards. We killed time all morning, I got the blog up to date while Gary made bacon butties....in his new frying pan. We walked to the bus stop and jumped on the bus to town, we then got the train to the brewery. We arrived an hour early, luckily there was a McDonalds and so we popped in for an Ice-Cream and took a long time eating it.