Gold Coast Pg 5

Not the best attempt at splicing but the height would be about right when you compare

Purlingbrook Falls Full Height (badly spliced, sorry!)

Purlingbrook Falls Full Height (badly spliced, sorry!)

it to the people and the railing on the right at the bottom. The falls were 100 metres high according to a website I just read. It really was beautiful to be there and I could have stayed. And stayed hehehehe. But we needed to get climbing. Fortunately, Swami had had the sense to bring a towel so we all dried off a bit.

You can see the strap leaf plants at the bottom of the photo too and it was huge clumps of these, complete with roots and accompanying soil, which had fallen on to the path from above. You see what I mean about it would not be fun to be caught underneath one!

On the way back up the path the guy in front of us found an owl in a tree. Talk about good observation skills; I was too busy watching where I was putting my feet to be leaf gazing! Some fool let Zak go in front so we were climbing at the pace of an energetic 9 year old for a while there LOL, but we all coped well and he slowed after a while in his eagerness to find the spot once more where the snake had been. I’m pleased to say the little snake had gone to find mummy and we did not see it again. And the people who had climbed the path before us were right, it really did not make us puff for some strange reason, despite the fact that there were 450 steps. No, I didn’t count them – the web is a wonderful thing. Maybe it was ‘waterfall energy’ given to us at the bottom?

Once we reached the top it was time for Swami and Zak to leave. They had errands to run and duties to attend to, but first she showed us on a map where to find a nice lookout and then we made arrangements to meet up again later.

David and I found the lookout without trouble. It was named ‘Best of All Lookout’ and I wouldn’t call that an unfair title. You couldn’t exactly bypass it as the road ended in a bit of a cul-de-sac shape which obviously doubled as the car park. This led to a lovely walk amongst heavily moss-covered trees and rocks. The moss in the tropical areas is so much bigger than any I’ve seen elsewhere and I took a few photos but won’t bore you with those. However, along the way there were some really beautiful Antarctic

Antarctic Beech Trees near 'Best of All Lookout'

Antarctic Beech Trees near 'Best of All Lookout'

beech trees which the sign told us would have started with a single seed about 2,000 years ago.

This photo really does not do them justice, they were gorgeous and moss covered. Check out the colours of lichen on the fence even!

They were really tall but I could not photograph that well and it was the trunks I loved the best anyway, they were so gnarled and beautiful.

Then we reached the lookout and the view was incredible…

Best of all Lookout's View

Best of all Lookout's View

This is missing a chunk from the middle but you get the idea. A little to the right of the long, highest outcrop in the left-hand picture we could see Coolangatta where we were staying which would have been maybe 30-45 mins drive away. The most pointed, and highest peak in the right-hand picture was Mt Warning where we’d gone to see our friend at Uki.

Anyway, I really must be more brief. From here we drove a long, long way to Ashmore to go and see Swami and Zak and to meet their darling doggy Ruby. We very much enjoyed the scenery along the way, first country and then suburbs. I think it was my favourite of any drive that we did whilst there, though David did get a little bit of an ear bashing as we missed the shops by about 5 minutes to buy our Lotto and I have set numbers so if I had seen the results I’d have had a fair idea on what we’d missed out on – maybe 😉 We’d had all week to buy it instead of leaving it until the last minute, and in this case beyond. Oh well, I managed not to see the results anywhere.

After a lovely little visit with Swami we headed back to the hotel and then wandered up and down Marine Parade trying to decide what we fancied for dinner. In the end we settled on a restaurant named Z’toon (don’t ask me!). It was Greek inspired anyway and we shared some Turkish bread (I know, that’s not Greek!) and dips for entrée. The service was very slow but the food was very nice, as were the waitresses, and we were not in a rush. For main course I had fish and chips with salad and David had a steak which he said was very nice – he rarely eats red meat any more but fancied it for a change. Holidays are for being different aren’t they?

After that we got back to our room at the hotel again and found that the maids had not collected the rubbish from the room opposite and there were now 2 bags thrown on top of one another by the side of the door. ‘Fair enough’ we thought as, surely, emptying the rubbish should be done by house-keeping even if nothing else? What if you were staying 2 weeks or more? That always gets me – they give you a few coffee sachets but don’t renew them and yet you pay the same for your 2nd, 3rd etc nights so why don’t you deserve coffee, shampoo, soap and so on?  They’re not even having to change the sheets and use all that man power so what would a few sachets of coffee cost them?

To finish our evening David watched TV and I read for a while.

Sun 10th Feb
Today we had planned to go to Burleigh Heads Markets but as David went out on to the balcony and looked towards the ocean, guess what he saw? A market of our own!!! So we had a hasty breakfast and walked through the pool area, out the back gate and off to explore.

I should say that as we opened our room door the rubbish from outside the room opposite was gone, yaayyy!!!! We laughed some more about that, it was like an ongoing saga.

I think I should show you a picture of the beach at this point anyway. I should have done so before now, when I was telling you how broad and flat the beach is. Quite something isn’t it?

Coolangatta Beach

Coolangatta Beach

And this was not low tide. In fact there didn’t appear to be any visible difference in the tides. Also the people were walking knee-deep in the ocean for a long way so I guess the sand remained flat for a long way out.

Anyway, back to the market, which was on the grassed foreshore between the road and the beach itself… The market was pretty big and spread out nicely so as not to cause congestion. It had everything you could think of and then some. We had reached the point where I’d accepted that we would not be taking gifts back for anyone as we just hadn’t seen anything, but here was something for all. It then became a case of narrowing down the exact ‘what’ for each. I won’t dwell on the stalls in general, I’m trying to be more brief than I have been, but there was one I will talk about as it was such fun. My Uncle David would have spent a very happy time on this one, though he’d have solved them all in minutes I have no doubt – puzzles of all kinds, and samples to try. We stood there for ages, messing, and watching the store owner tease us by doing some of them so easily. There was another young couple there playing too – the guy seemed to have a bit of a gift but the girl was struggling. These were the wooden block puzzles, the shaped bits of stainless steel that intertwine and seem impossible to separate and who knows what else. All great fun. We bought one each for Nat and Dan and then dragged ourselves away to see the rest. It was a happy and peaceful time, ambling along in the warm sun and seeing the sights.

On the way back up the row of stalls again we found the young couple still at the puzzle stall. They really were hooked! Towards the end we stopped at one of the two stalls which sold fruit and bought some mangoes and apples for our lunch and went back to our hotel room and sat out on the balcony to eat them. And then I had a sleep. Maybe it was the 7am yesterday that had done me in, but who needs an excuse for a siesta on holiday anyway?

After this we decided to take a nice walk. Our friend who lives nearby had drawn us a lovely walking route map so we headed off to do this. We had a really pleasant time. I suppose it might have been about 3 kms in all and included a few steep hills and stair climbs, but we began by looking over the beaches and then eventually to a boat harbour, and beyond this we could see the RSL club that Bill had marked as being very nice. The sun was starting to get low in the sky and we thought that we would go and look around the RSL. Bill had told us that we only had to show our driving license to get in, and that was true.

What an amazing place!!! It was 3 floors; a round building, and chokkas full of restaurants, gaming machines, pool tables, piano bar, cafés, rooms with big TVs to watch horse racing etc. We were well impressed and decided to have our meal here too, picking the non self-serve buffet. We both chose grilled fish which was very nice with a heap of veggies, and I had a lemon meringue pie and David a pavlova. We chose a nice table next to the window looking out over the boat harbour which was so nice. These window tables were the most popular so we were lucky to find a free one, and we ate and talked and watched the daylight fade and the lights of the high rises come on. It was very pretty. After David finished eating he went and bought himself a glass of Guinness for a treat and got me some water.

He had actually gone to get himself a coffee so when I saw the alcohol I raised my eyes a little, I’d thought imperceptibly, but no. “Shall I call an ambulance?” he said. “Why?’ says silly me, falling in to his well-set trap, “So they can catch your head when it falls off backwards from rolling your eyes too much and sew it back on for you”. I had to laugh.

After that we just sat for a while, enjoying the atmosphere, before wandering back home by the short route which was only about 200 metres as we’d walked most of a circuit to bring us here. We came to realise that the massive, who-knows-how-many-floors hotel across the road from the RSL was also owned by the RSL club. It was called Twin Towns because the RSL was in NSW but was connected by a foot bridge across the road to the hotel which was in Qld.

We got back to our room to find one bag of rubbish across the hall hehehe.

Mon 11th Feb
Today, DreamWorld. My impossibly naughty friend Lyn and her husband Bill had bought us tickets to go here to make up for the fact that they were away in New Zealand on holidays while we were in their neck of the woods. We allowed time for the workers to have cleared the roads and set off for our new adventure, which we found without difficulty. Even as we were getting close to DreamWorld we could see a huge tower – huge as in tall, not wide.

David parked the car in their absolutely massive (and then some!) car park, with both of us taking particular note of where he’d put it. Nothing like trying to find a white vehicle of which you’re unsure of the number plate – though it was one I recognised when I saw but I couldn’t have told it to you. The paper tag had long since come off the key ring! I just looked it up – 1600 cars and 15 buses fit in the car park, and I’m not sure if that is the whole thing or not as WhiteWater World shared the same one. We walked over to the entrance to find that there were 3 gates. A hugely long queue for those without generous friends, who needed to buy their own tickets, a small queue for those with tickets and a ‘walk on in’ for people from overseas. How racist!!! In fact if I go again I shall get there at opening time and chain this door shut for reasons I will get to.

What do I say about this place? I suppose for us little Perthites it was about as huge as our imagined idea of DisneyWorld. We truly didn’t know which direction to go in first, but somehow or another we ended up at Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster. Now, call me an idiot if you wish, but I expected to get on a bike and be whizzed around a circuit at the speeds Mick would travel at. And smoothly, thank you! As we were about to get on we had to put all our belongings into a cage including my glasses!!!  I said to the lady “But I won’t be able to see!” and she just replied “Trust me, if you don’t take them off they won’t be on your nose at the end of it”. David got over onto the furthest bike and I clambered onto the closest one and couldn’t fathom out how to sit – we had to lean forward and put our feet into some slanted hole thing which was most odd feeling, but it sure held our legs still, and then we had hydraulic bizzos come down on our backs and push us into the fuel tanks! Help! I couldn’t even take a decent breath!

Mick Doohan's Terror Ride at DreamWorld

Mick Doohan's Terror Ride at DreamWorld

And then we were off. Our speed increased very quickly indeed but then we were hurled left and right and up and down. Urgh! I just put my head down on the fuel tank and closed my eyes, praying it was a short ride. It was a horrible feeling, very rough and bone shaking and highly unpleasant for a little old grandma LOL. I was just starting to feel really sick when my empathetic, mind-reading David screamed “We’re nearly at the end!” Oh, thank goodness! I made it, thankfully, and David helped me to find my glasses as soon as possible and get them back on my nose where they belong. Then we gathered our other things and, in my case, staggered away. It took a very long time for my tummy to stop churning.

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