Friday, December 01, 2006

22nd - 27th November (From Nimbin to Brisbane)

To see all my oz photos click on the flickr icon on the right, click on 'oz - set', then probably best to 'view slideshow'. You can speed up the slideshow using the sliding bar.

The three of us plus a couple of American stone heads hired a Yaris for the day trip to Nimbin; a strange little hippy town not too far from Byron. We took some photos, drank coffee and did our best to support the local economy. Back at the hostel we kicked back, relaxed and drank some beer etc (as seems to be the norm just lately!)

I spent most of the next day lazing around on the ridiculously hot beach and chatting to Rich. Rhys managed to load his rucksack on to his bright red back and hit the road. Rich has been trying to get accomodation in Brisbane but can't because of some little game of cricket. I took a 16.00 greyhound to Coolangatta (just an hour and a half up the road and the clocks go back an hour) after booking a place at the YHA. The first person I saw when i arrived was Rhys which was a nice surprise - we chatted for a while and went for food. In my 8 bed dorm I finished reading 'the family way' by Tony Parsons.

Rhys left early the next morning, I was hoping to get to the nearby national park for a couple of nights but that ended up being a non-runner, next stop is Brisbane but with the cricket fans filling all the hostels I called on Scott Burns (an old Swindon friend) and asked if I could stay at his house. I had intended just to meet up with him for a drink and felt a bit cheeky asking to stay as he and his wife Carla have a five week old daughter called Imogen. I stayed another night at Coolangatta where I had a day of sunbathing and walking around the coast. Bought super noodles and a muffin from the garage for supper, the assistant said "have a good night", I'm not sure if he was joking but there isn't much about noodles and a muffin that suggests I'm going to have a good night! I watched Match Point at the hostel which was completely awful.

Anyway, Scott gave me the thumbs up so the next morning I was on my way to Brisbane. After a coach, metro, bus and a bit of a hike I arrived at 'Vanilla Pod' which is the deli owned by Scott, Carla and Carla's parents. Scott was doing some work there as it was a Saturday, he has an office job in the week. I sat around drinking coffee, meeting Carla's parents and chatting while I waited for them to close for the day then we went to Scott's house; a wooden single storey house on stilts known as a Queenslander in a really nice area - it's full of character and I reckon it would be a great place to live. Later we went to Carla's aunts house for a BBQ, they have a media room with a big screen where all the men watched the Oz v NZ rugby union - good fun as there was a New Zealander in the room.

Whilst in Brisbane I spent a bit of time with Scott and family; they took me to a lovely winery with good views and a jazz band where Scott and I did a bit of wine tasting. Scott and Carla, both being involved in catering are pretty good at knocking up a bit of scran and Scott even looks the part with his french chef moustache (grown for charity raising known as Mo-vember), he does an excellent BBQ. I had a look around the central area and boarded the citycat which is a boat that goes up and down the river. I had a tour of the local parliament offices, the botanic gardens and the highlight, a tour of the XXXX brewery including four half pint tasters which were very nice (I steared clear of the weak stuff) in the company of four aussie guys who were over for the cricket.

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