Note to self: Ethiopia airlines socks are shit.

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
Byron Bay – Bangalow Rest Area – On a layby of a dual carriageway

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, September 19, 2010

We had woken up freezing again, needing the loo and there was serious talk of sleeping bags being top of the list on our next trip to Big W. I think we have managed to stop at almost every Big W on the East coast of Australia so far, I so mourned the loss of it in the UK that I am now getting my long overdue fix of it here in Oz.  Bring me Primark and Argos and I may not need to come home again, ever.  Anyway I digress, we decided to hit the road despite it being 5.50am and head down to the Glass House Mountains, a group of 16 volcanic crags reaching 500m that the Aborigines believed to be a family of mountain spirits.  As they came in to view travelling along 'Steve Irwin Way' we were awestruck by how unearthly they looked.  We stopped off at Australia Zoo en route to the mountains to pay our respects to the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin a guy who we both have the utmost respect for as a guy with such passion and energy.  Of course it wasn’t open as we were far too early but we had a drive around the car park and also the staff car park and Andrew asked if I could "see anything" meaning we could get some photos of the animals for free – thank god I couldn’t not much integrity there. We found the viewing point for the Glass House Mountains and found that we were the only ones there, surprising that at 7am.  The views of the whole range were breathtaking as the crags stood majestically before us.  It was the first time since China and our very damp trip to the Hangzhou Mountains that we had to don our waterproof coats but this time thankfully we didn’t need the plastic bag suits.

Leaving the mountains behind we then headed further down the coast to the third largest city in Australia:  Brisbane. We weren’t quite sure what to expect from Brisbane to be honest but we were pleasantly surprised.  Firstly it was a Sunday so a lot of the tourist sights were closed nonetheless we decided to take the Lonely Planet walking tour of the city to try to see the most important places instead of aimlessly wandering around without a clue what we were looking at.  Starting off at the Botanic Gardens where we spotted Ibises nesting amongst the beautiful lakes and flora, we then took in amongst others the Brisbane City Hall, the exquisite sandstone Parliament House, Old Government House, St Stephens Cathedral and Post Office Square.  It made for a lovely whistle stop tour of the city and it was only marred slightly by a very rude ferryman who asked us where we were going when the ferry pulled in and when we said pier 3 he quickly fastened the gate back up informing us that ‘the book’ seeing the Lonely Planet clutched in our mitts was wrong and that we could only go to pier 1 or 2 but he didn’t even give us the chance to reply he was off yelling commands at the driver.

Time was passing us by and without a free campsite within a 50km radius we made our way 25km out of the city to the Daisy Hill Koala Centre.  Here Koalas live in their natural habitat and the centre is firmly focused on the conservation of these beautiful creatures and it was incredible to be able to see them here, plus the fact that it was a free POI was good enough for us.  We spent a while in the grounds then got back on the road in the direction of Surfers Paradise, the famous Gold Coast holiday destination.  We knew that we had arrived by the amount of high rise buildings there were, the skyline was pretty unique from what we had seen from the rest of low rise Australia.  To be honest we weren’t that impressed it was a bit of a concrete jungle, but hey we only drove through on a dull day so maybe we have given it a bad press – who knows we didn’t stick around to find out.

We crossed the border in to New South Wales at Coolangatta, at last our second state in Australia.  We found our free camp for the night which was a little disappointing to say the least, it was basically a lay by with a hedge to shield it from the main highway.  Still Andrew cooked his speciality Sausage and bean casserole, basically sausage, a tin of beans and an onion, on the side of the highway with lorries speeding past us and we were all alone.  Andrew horrifyingly thought there was a bit of the Peter Falkonio about the place but he didn’t tell me until the morning after, thank god.  We went to bed wearing more clothes and forced ourselves to think that nothing could ever be as bitterly cold as Mongolia – we were in Australia for god sakes: must get to Big W tomorrow.
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Comments

An Ethiopian on

And this story has any connection with Ethiopian Airlines socks...HOW???

Harvey on

I think the clue was at the bottom of yesterdays post, pinning all hopes of a warm night on the socks.

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