7 Rainy Days “Down Under”

Trip Start Dec 25, 2012
Trip End Mar 27, 2013

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, February 25, 2013

We arrived in Gold Coast, Australia last week hoping for some more beach time – after all, Queensland labels itself as "The Sunshine State" on their license plates.  However, our arrival coincided with a cyclone stalled off the coast of Bali (glad we missed it there last week)….and it's been raining here every day since our arrival.  Fortunately, that hasn't stopped us from exploring the surrounding area, which the best way I can describe it as “Jurassic Park” in its scenery.  It’s tropical with palm trees, but not unpleasant or humid.  The temperatures are in the mid-seventies, and apart from not seeing the sun, it’s absolutely beautiful here with the ocean and mountains.  The Australian people are equally as friendly, and it’s nice to be back in a country that speaks English.  With the Australian dollar almost 1 for 1 – prices are easy to calculate too (but things here cost a lot more than the United States).  For example:  a dozen eggs is $5, a pound of chicken breasts are $10, a gallon of gas is $7, and a 12 pack of beer is $36-$48 on sale.  The only thing cheaper here is wine at $5 per bottle.  So, we’re drinking a lot of wine (especially when a bottle of Smirnoff is $68).  I paired some wine the other night with the Kangaroo Roast I prepared.  It was interesting to try it – not a “game” flavor, but not quite beef, either.   Don’t think we’ll eat it again, but had to try it (it was cheap, compared to chicken).  We have visited a couple wineries in the area, and done a little bit of hiking – but I quit early after being attacked by these hook worms that bored  right through my shoes and started latching themselves to my feet, ankles, and calves like leeches.  It was a freaky experience, and Steve got a good laugh out of it.  To me, however, I couldn't enjoy the hike with those things “sucking” on me.   Still, I’m sure you will agree from the photographs, this is some pretty country.  We've seen a couple koalas on some eucalyptus trees in the area (although the only photo we got was the road sign, as typically we see them from the road as we are driving by).  We also managed to get to the beach (but Steve forgot the camera).  They had these mini - blue jellyfish washed up on shore, and you couldn't walk a foot without stepping on one.  I sounded like popping that bubble wrap every time you walked.  We were so busy watching the ground while we were walking that Steve found a $1 coin at the start of our walk, and I found a $2 coin as we were returning.  It’s interesting because the $2 coin is smaller than the $1 coin.  Also, Australia (like Canada, New Zealand, England and others) have done away with the penny – rounding up or down everything to a nickel.   Makes a lot more sense – especially when it costs us almost 3 cents to produce a penny.  Anyway, we’re still in the Gold Coast for another day – with more rain in the forecast.  At least it’s pleasantly warm, and we’re looking forward to flying down to Sydney this weekend – which promises sunny skies, before our big RV trip through New Zealand next week.
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