Mr Gumby's day out

Trip Start Dec 22, 2011
Trip End Apr 18, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, March 19, 2012

Oh good. Another day of promised wet.
Would we take an umbrella with us on our travels?
Of course not!
After all, we are used to getting wet in the car and are jolly good at it.

So it was off to Apollo road to catch the City Cat Ferry.
These are wonderful. They are so frequent that they almost queue up to collect you, are fast, comfortable and with a "go" card, are not too expensive and go from Apollo road at one end to Queensland University at the other.
Heavens, I sound like an advert for TransLink Brisbane!
But it is a great service.
There are also 'cross the river ferries' which do just that, which is also a non stop service.

Apollo road is a short walk, past the general stores which proudly offers 'real bean' coffee, [which begs the question what they make the other stuff from] and the barracks where all the trucks covered in camouflage are neatly lined up.
[Yes, despite the camo, we could still see them. Should we tell them it isn't working?]
The houses here are mostly older, Queensland ones, with one or two more modern ones inbetween. There was the most magnificent passionflower growing through the fence of one house, which as we examined it further was groaning with so much fruit! And it was large fruit, too. 

It must have been all of two minutes before a ferry arrived, and all of two minutes later that the promised rain started, hiding the far bank in a cloud of wetness. It is extraordinary how fast the weather changes and literally clouds the views of the city. Now you see it, now you don't.
We had heard all about the wonderful "go" card, but Mr Ticket on the ferry had run out of them, so he said we could ride for free, get off at Riverside and buy one there, and then get back on.
Ripper plan, Bruce.

Riverside is the main ferry terminal for the CBD, (central business district) so the smart end of Brisbane. We got off the ferry and headed for the ticket office to buy our "go"cards.
"You know how these work?" the girl behind the glass window asked.
"Like an Oyster Card?" we suggested.
"Yeah, only nothing like as good...  but don't say I said so" she replied.

Armed with our "go" cards we decided that a coffee in the swank coffee shop would be a good plan. It was...  and we even managed to avoid the amazing looking cakes on display.

Back on the ferry, duly tagged on, it was still raining, so we thought we would take the ferry right to the end of the line, Queensland University. Maybe by then it would have stopped?
Or then again, maybe not.
A large group of young Chinese got on.
As always they have a lot to say, in high pitched excited tones, and it is not long before the cameras come out and they all take turns in taking photos from odd angles of each other.
Do they notice the surroundings?
Tourism a la Yashica.

The rain had not stopped by the time we got to the end of the line.
Tourism a la Yashica had given up on trying to sit outside and long since dived into the cabin and were now playing assorted computer games on their ipads or phones. They were also sitting tight and not getting off here.
Back we went to the South Bank, which is the cultural centre of Brisbane.

There was some sort of EXPO back in 1988, and the remains of this can still be seen in the form of a tropical walkway, a Nepalese Peace pagoda and the Brisbane eye. A performing arts centre, museum, several art galleries and performing spaces, the Brisbane River Stage and the Suncorp Piazza are all here. 
There are colourful mosaics set into the riverside walk and water features which attract wildlife like coots and large lizards, as well as the many birds, specifically the bold ibis who frequent the cafes around the piazza and are a total nuisance.

There are some of the infamous city bikes here, as there are in so many places in the city, but here also is a "community bike repair station". A terrific idea and perfect if your bike breaks down just there. Not sure how old this is, but the array of tools looked unused.

Brisbane's modern art gallery is called GOMA. Gallery of modern art. It has an exhibition on of indigenous art of the last five years, which sounded interesting. I really like Abo art and we have seen quite a bit on this trip, both modern and older. GOMA was not that straightforward to find. we went up and down stairs, and eventually walked through the state library to the other side where it is. A large, airy building with incredibly high ceilings, GOMA is a wonderful space, with not a huge amount on display within it.

The indigenous exhibition contained artworks, pottery, 3D pieces, sculpture, weaving, dreaming poles and car bonnets. Much of it had the essence of the ancient art techniques, the weaving taking the old skills and using new materials... eg making baskets out of old chicken wire, or corrugated iron; weaving baskets in the old way but with more colours, or on a much larger scale. The first room had a display of carved animals, which were engaging and full of life. Bared teeth seemed to be the order of the day here.
Although it sounds weird, there was a collection of old car bonnets, all dented and some with slashes or even what looked like bullet holes in which were painted. I thought they were great and if I had a large house would consider ripping the bonnet off a car and having a go at painting it myself. The Jag would be a far more interesting shape to work with than the Nissans we saw here, too....

There were of course a lot of "DON'TS" at the entrance of GOMA. I was taking a picture of some rather interesting carved poles, when the flash went off.  Mrs GOMA sidled up to me.
"I think I saw a flash from your camera, Madam which is not allowed. Could you turn it off so the exhibits are not damaged..."
She did see a flash. As I had the camera set to AUTO, I had no control over this. 
How could a flash harm some modern wooden poles?

Other exhibits I enjoyed were the two stuffed deer plastered with lights and baubles...  and our Tracey's neon contribution. All good stuff.
Some of the most pleasing sights in the gallery though, were to me, the views of the knitting bridge, which looks fantastic.

Dinner was going to be down to us which was going to be a challenge, as we didn't get home until fairly late, having stopped off on our walk back down Oxford street for a bevy. 
But the team went into full speed ahead mode and lamb chops with distressed rosemary potatoes, roasted veg and green beans were on the table shortly afterwards.
Mr Gumby might have a silly hat, but he cooks a fine chop.


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Bibbi on

I have finally got over my empathy regarding your flashing in GOMA. I realize you have more than a streak of defiance (motorway?) about you....
Just want to say how marvellous your blog chapters are, and how perfect the photos. I really, really want to go to Brisbane!! And I forgot to congratulate N on his excellent new hat on my last visit to this particular episode of your travels, let me do so now. Nice titfer, worn with insouciance. xxxx

Ricardo on

Well, maybe we should run Aus part two from Sydney to Darwin via Brisbane, the nixons, the gold coast, cairns etc in 2014 .?.?

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