From Byron t Surfers paradise, itsa up the coast we go! After managing to get 2 night free at 'Trekkers' backpackers, we could hardly believe our luck when the hostel turned out to be really nice! We were picked up from the bus bay in town, made a cup of tea upon arrival and given the best room in the house! Something that has become a common theme on our travels is the initial lack of good weather-Surfers was no real exception. Don't get me wrong, it was warm, but when you discover that Inverness is basking in 27degree heat...warm just don't cut it! We made the best use of our time, continuing another tradition and exploring the near by area on foot. Seb (Peter's son) described Surfers Paradise as being 'great for kids!', not too shabby for us big kids too Sebby! But I can see his point! We were staying just outside the main town area, near a harbour with it's own in-closed lagoon (with it's own man shaped floating jetty). The long strip contained huge built in bouncy castles, play parks and sandy beaches to kick back on. Over the weekend the parks were filled with parties celebrating birthdays etc. Just like the movies! One invention I really like in Oz is the built in free gas BBQs found in parks-what better way to enjoy your weekend/evening than to throw a 'shrimp on tha barbie' in such a picturesque spot. A less desirable way to spends ones evening may well be diving into the hostel's freeeeezing cold pool,needless to say we did it anyway, much to the astonishment of our fellow backpackers...they forget...were English, not to mention bitter- did I mention the Inverness heatwave of twenty twelve?
It was now time to prove our 'Englishness' once again, in 'Waxys' Irish bar the $2 buds were-a-calling (as if I needed an excuse!). The next days activities accumulated in a trip to the near-by wildlife park, we were to enjoy an 'aboriginal evening'; Consisting of a brief history lesson, a traditional buffet and tribal dancing...o the dancing! Much like the Maori experience in New Zealand, the first matter at hand was to pick a tribe leader, or 'bollo'. Luckily I wasn't chosen, 'dodged that bullet' i thought, 'he's gonna be made to look really silly!'...but wait...
After our Bollo led us just outside a local tribes village, we were made to wait whilst the locals took our peace offering for inspection. Our Bollo gave the tribesman an emu shin bone covered in, what appeared to be simplistic markings. We discovered the 'upside down Vs' indicated mountains, whilst the little dots were forests; this actually told other tribes how far we had came from- a map of sorts! Luckily the tribe allowed us into their home and even put on a bit of a show! Dancing,singing and Didgeridoo! It was time for the tribe to take a breather, and for our very own Bollo to strut his stuff! Expect he would not be alone, I was also plucked out of audience to join our mighty leader on stage...
For those who have ever seen 'The Have It Your Ways', your'll know i'm used to performing silly dances in public; But I tell ya, these skinny jeans ain't made for Aboriginal dancing! The Bollo and I took it in turns to strut our stuff, Hannah was adamant my jig was the best-my bruised thighs weren't too sure!
We then hobbled over to the Kangaroo enclosure,where to my surprise we were allowed up close and personal to the Roos! Hannah and Katie fed the Kangaroos whilst I watched the crazy critters hopping all over the joint! We all went to hold a Lil Crocodile before tucking into our tukker! A feast of pork, coconut curries and Baramondie fish (my new fav thanks to B & N). Before heading back to the hostel, Hannah and Katie got the chance to be snapped holding a Koala! Even I have to admit there pretty cute, although they did remind me of a certain friend of mine- they sleep for over 20 hours, are furry and smell...
We spent our Saturday day time by the Lagoon. Whilst I went for a dip, the girls talked about flowers and fairy dust. By night we went on the 'Backpackers Big Night Out'. The night was an organised bar crawl for traveller folk, it included free entry and a drink for the main four clubs in town. It was nice to get out and about but after the third place we decided to call it a night early- possibly the best decision ever! As soon as we hailed the cab blaring out Michael Jackson,we knew we were in for a treat! The driver resembled Mr Chow from 'The Hangover' and was clearly a Wacko Jacko super fan! Hannah and Chow's rendition of 'you are not alone' had me crying with laughter!!
Sunday was our final night in Surfers so we took a wander down to the wax museum... Luckily we weren't expecting much from the models, although the 'torture tour' (with a real shrunken head!) was quite interesting. Another interesting point about the museum was that it housed one of only three wax models Madame Tussards made of herself! Her hands were wrinkly yet her face was smooth- apparently she was going blind and couldn't see her reflection too well...
All booked for our Frazer Island trip now, next stop though- Brizzle (Brisbane!)
Oliver James Kenneth Smith