I spent two nights in surfers paradise. Two too long!! It was the complete opposite to Byron Bay, extremely commercial and filled wth massive sky scrapers. The beach was disappointing aswell and our hostel was a 25 minute walk from the centre. I arrived on a sunday just as the massive weekend indy car race was drawing to a close. It was nice walking round and watching the street artists but everything was so expensive! In surfers paradise there are girls called metre maids- who walk around in gold bikinis and put coins in the parking metres so noone has to pay. Not quite sure how this works but it has been going on since te 50s i think when the mayor decided noone should have to pay parking tax. They also raise money for charity. On the second night I went for dinner with two girls annie and kat who i met in byron bay then we met up with some people i knew from the bus- welsh ryan and his friends. The next day i walked about the shops with one of the danish girls who id been with for a bit- louise, had a really good day.
I then left for Brisbane on the tuesday. I was really looking forward to this as i was staying with sam and yorico mcgweon and their four kids. Sam picked me up from where the oz experience bus left me in the city centre and we drove to their house. It was so nice to have my own ensuite bedroom after sharing in hostels for so long! The next day Sam brought me to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary- this was amazing! There were so many koalas nad i got to hold one and get my photo taken! I also got to feed kanaroos right out of my hand! We went to a bird show but it rained really heavily. After finding out a day or two before that a dingo is not a samll rat but actually a wild dog it was incredible to see some in real life!
The next day I went into Brisbane but got completely lost trying to find the city centre. Must have walked about an hour in the wrong direction! The city centre is beautiful it is all so clean as if someone had polished the whole city that morning- Sydney is like this aswell. Later that day we went to Gatten with two japenese boys to a backpacking fruitpicking cafe. I got some advice about fruitpicking etc. That night I stayed over at the Rileys house (more friends of Nuala and Maurice). It was good fun and the next morning Carol and I met her daughter Grace for breakfast. We went to the art gallery and walked along the southside where there is a lagoon and lots of flowers. It was really nice but I hadnt been feeling well for a few days now and I started feeling dizzy- perhaps exhaustion/flu?
But I had planned to go camping that night with some friends of Sams- Rachel and Serena who were going to live in Thailand for a year and I didnt want to miss out on this. That night I drove to Boreen Point- a beautiful campsite about 2 hours from Brisbane with serena and her sister Jocelyn. We were camping with a few of their friends Scotty and Tim and a couple of girls who work with Kren refugees- from the border between Thailand and Burma.
The next morning we got up at half 5 and went canoeing along the Noosa river. It was a beautiful day even if very tiring (I was getting flashbacks from my 2 day venture down the ardeche river in france- ie of very sore arms) It was very hot and at the end we all jumped in. After a two hour drive back to the campsite it felt so strange that by half 6 it was pitch black. The sun sets so early out here- very different to camping back home when you can sit out in daylight until half 10 at night. The difference was this was my first time outside at dusk since entering queensland (in new south wales there is daylight savings so it gets dark later.) I have come to really dislike this.
I fell asleep before I had even had dinner (but the kren culture of rice for breakfast/ lunch/ dinner was prooving to be quite a challenge) The next day I felt ill again- slept the whole way home and unfortunately had to cancel my plans to visit Sophie Hancock (michaels little sister) from home who has just moved with the family to Brisbane. It was a great week in Brisbane and I was tempted to stay longer. Thanks to Sam and Yorico for putting up with me!- hopefully I will get a chance to go back!