So after Byron Bay most backpackers head to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. I had heard very mixed reviews about this place. As Bentley had been made to relocate to the Gold Coast for one month for his job it seemed logical to stay with him.
To say he had landed on his feet with this relocation was an understatement. As he was doing his boss a favour by working there alone for a month he was given a fully furnished two bedroom holiday apartment to stay in, rent free, for his time up there. The apartment came with use of a shared heated outdoor pool, hot tub, sauna, steam room and gym. And was about a ten minute drive from Surfers Paradise.
I had my own room which was such a luxury after staying in a shared dorm bunk bed for the past few weeks.
We headed into surfers on our first night for a drink and a catch up. Immediately I could see why it got such mixed reviews from Backpackers. Many people told me it was very much like Miami or Dubai, as it is made up of a long highway and lots of high-rise buildings by the beach. As I have never been to these locations I couldn't compare but as we ventured into the bars and clubs in Surfers one major point of less complimentary comparison sprung to mind - MAGALUF! I've noticed that wherever British people holiday they have this habit of turning the location into a hotter version of Britain. And that's exactly what has happened in Surfers. Every corner we turned was another bar offering "a full English breakfast for just $10" and Irish style pubs were ten a penny. We went to an Irish bar that was scarily like Weatherspoons Slough inside. The Lions game in Brisbane had been on the night before and so many of the Lions fan had made the trip down on the Sunday to check out the Gold Coast. They had completely taken over this pub to the extent that I could no longer hear an Australian accent. Myself and Bentley had a laugh and a great catch up, but I was so relieved to make the ten minute drive back to the sleepy suburb of Labrador where his apartment was, to escape the rowdy English Rugby fans.
For the next few days life was pretty easy. Bentley would get up early and work; I would have a lie in, go for a run then go for a swim. I would then spend the next few hours sunbathing by the pool and reading my book. For the entire time I was there I never had to share the pool with anyone else. Bentley was his own boss out there and so usually finished work at about 14:00 so we could spend time together in the afternoon. Life was good, and a far cry from the hectic hostels and backpacker breakfasts that I had got use to.
Bentley then took the next two days off. On the first day we took a two hour drive up to a national park. Much like the Blue Mountains this park had amazing views around every corner. We started off with a two hour trek around a waterfall. You start off at the top of the waterfall and track all the way around to the bottom and then around to the top again. Incredible. We then got back in the car and drove to the famous "Natural Bridge". Again, a great trek and great photos.
The following day was raining and so we went to the cinema (again!).
Then it was time for me to book my bus and hostel in Brisbane. I loved the apartment and luxury life I was living and truly felt like I'd been on a fancy holiday for the past week. I could have easily stayed out there for the entire month that Bentley was going to be based out there. But logic told me that I had far too much exploring to do to spend too much time in one spot, and so I knew it was time to move on. Despite the fact it would mean going back to crowded hostels and terrible showers.
I said goodbye to Bentley at the bus stop. It was horrible. He has such a good life and good job out here I find it hard to believe he will ever return to the UK. But then me and him have now met in three countries and never even seen each other in the UK, so I'm reassured that at some point in the future our paths will cross again, although its very unlikely to be anywhere in the UK.