13 February 2011 | Aussie
Sancho: Weather = changable
Everyone deserves a second chance. Even a country. So, we're on the road in Oz. As we're not coming back, we're staggering around with all the crap we're taking home. Yes sir, yes sir. Four bags full. Each.
With cyclone Yasi breathing down our neck and the Burnett River floods fresh in our minds, we hopped the train to Brisbane. The Tilt Train is one of those fancy high speed jobs that hits a hundred in the bush country. Off the main and onto a trunk line plus a short taxi ride found us at the Jucy Campervan Rentals. No Jucy doesn't have an i.
The first thing we notice heading south is: Not all of Australia is flat! Indeed, there are some quite mountainous areas. The beaches south of Brisbane are known as the Gold Coast. Southern California has nothing on them. High rise to high rise. Cheek to cheek, belly to belly. Units galore with ever shrinking strips of beach. Surfer's Paradise might have once been, but it's high rise hell now. I think the surfer's have fled to less hectic places?
Once you turn inland, you're in a different world. Vast tracts of eucalyptus forest, grand mountain views, sub-tropical rain forests and large ranch/farms. Some of the coastal plain is flat like northern Queensland but you don't get claustrophobia from the bush crowding in around you.
Our overnighter inland from Surfer's Paradise and Southport found us in Lamiston Park. Within five minutes of checking in at the lodge (to secure a campsite) we spotted a Koala snoozing in a gum tree. The next cause for excitement was the sighting of a miniature Wallaby, called by the locals, Pademellon. Why I don't know. Cute fella, anyway.
Called the Cat's Paw IV crew, anchored in Broken Bay - just north of Sydney - from the road and spent an enjoyable day jawing at them. Next day drove to Sydney and found a Caravan Park near the airport, on Botany Bay. What a torturous bus ride downtown! Jeez! A/C set so high I guessed they might transport stiffs to the morgue on non-peak hours.
Sydney is a very large city with a surprisingly small waterfront. We visited the Art Gallery showing of the Chinese Terra Cotta Warriors and the Maritime Museum. That's about all the time we had left in Australia. I think you need more time to see the country without all the flooding. Everyone says Melbourne is the place to go. We didn't have time.
Check out the gallery as I get the pictures up.