I just love that title!
I have a wide reaching smile at the mere mention of it.
You see part of me wondered if I would even get here and the other part of me hoped that I wouldn’t be too old to enjoy it if I did. And he knew that, read me like a book and did this most wonderful thing, for me!
So here I am writing this a week after my arrival on the Sunshine Coast and posting it a little later since I have been exploring with my friends.
No pressure has been put in me this week whatsoever. My hosts have been amazing. There for me on every level trying to find things that didn’t wipe me out completely since the jet lag and a travellers cold kicked in. I missed a couple of days wiped out by sleep and total lack of energy.
I thought that by travelling in March I would arrive before the rainy season, but we had only two days of sun before five days of rain. So much rain it’s like a monsoon. Then if it breaks there is beauty and butterflies and all the birds come out and celebrate and us along with them.
Every morning, my friend feeds the birds on her porch. They all come to visit and she has names for the regulars whom they recognise. They eat a lot of cheese! There is a lovely sweet butcher bird called Frank who will take cheese from your hand if you offer it to him. He will also hop around on the verandah to get your attention. He has a son who is more timid, whom they have named Ricky and when they sing, it brings the whole garden alive.
There are Mr & Mrs Blue. Mr also loves cheese but you have to put it down for him. Mrs loves cake so clearly has a sweet tooth.
A family of Cookaburra also come to visit every day. But Frank came and sat nicely with me whilst I was writing yesterday, just came up and sat on the table next to me whilst I was there for about five minutes then flew away.
I slept really well on the first night, for 14 hours in fact and awoke to be met by a small puppy who was visiting overnight, lots of puppy play when you are away from home and missing your hound is a good thing, this little one was a darling. I was comforted by the sound of trains passing by at the bottom of the garden and all the wonderful birds. On the first day, a steam train passed the end of the garden on a special 125th Anniversary celebration. As it stopped in the station, we all raced outside for a look and for me to take photographs.
When it was sunny, the second day we went out to Coloundra. We met up with her Mum and Stepdad it has been several years and felt as though no time had passed at all. We went through the market, found interesting food, in my case falafels and salad in a wrap followed by coconut ice cream.
There is a beautiful beach there. I was met by white sand and blue sea, I don’t think that I have ever been on a beach that blue. It was stunning. My friend showed me the pier where he used to fish in the mornings, when he first arrived in Australia. There were lots of tiny fishes underneath just peeking out and avoiding capture. The anglers said they hadn’t caught much, just a few sea bream. As we walked on the sand the heat hit me squarely between the eyes and thankfully my friend was watching over me. She soaked my shirt in water and I wore that with a hat and my factor 50 sunscreen. Apprehensive since I did not know how my skin would react to the sun after last summer and the rash I had for months. I was relieved to note no ill effects of wandering around for a couple of hours just a bit of a headache which an early night sorted out.
I was so tired. This is the longest time I have travelled so had no idea how it would wipe me out, I just knew that it would. I’ve walked around in a daze fighting for breath for most of the week, wheezing as I tried to get used to the changes in atmosphere. Then my cold hit. But we won’t dwell on that as I’ve turned the corner now.
On Monday my friends father arrived from Thailand to visit for a week. I haven’t seen him since I was fifteen and my friend hasn’t seen him for a few years, they had a lot of catching up to do. It was the day when I felt really rough and had taken myself off to bed after we picked the boys up from school. They all went out for dinner later that night, I couldn’t join them so just went to sleep until the morning.
On Tuesday, where he was staying in Mooloolaba there is a lovely marina which we went to explore. We all met up for a fabulous Sushi lunch there. It was spot on and her Dad bought us swordfish steaks for dinner that night from the fish market. The grey of the day made the beach look a little less inviting so we stuck to a quick browse in the galleries we passed on the way to the sushi restaurant.
Wednesday because of the rain, my friend couldn’t work. He works outside which meant that he was able to take us out to places instead. We went out to meet up with her father and see a lovely place called Montville. Apparently the views from up there are absolutely wonderful. But we couldn’t see them as it was raining so hard and cloud drifted past us as we had cake and coffee together. It is a tourist spot, but a lot of Art Nouveau design features so of course I fell in love with the place and its quirky buildings.
It was a visit for exclamations of “You don’t see that every day do you?” As I wandered around bring a tourist and photographing things that caught my eye, Beautiful glimpses of sky through trees. Curious buildings and a delightful lily pond with multi coloured lilies and a bridge where you reach a clock shop.
I walked into the shop and was met with a wall of cuckoo clocks, which took me back to my childhood since my grandparents had one. I took a snapshot and sent it to my aunt, so she could share in the memory. I was mesmerised by the beautiful and intricate engraving on the pendulums hanging in the grandfather clocks. They were serious collectors pieces and you would need a second mortgage for most of them.
Art abounds on Montville, almost every shop appears to have something artsy. There are lots of inset paving depicting local wild animals, history of the area, the local school. Sections with tiles, brasses, pottery all number of things. As we walked back up the hill, I saw a lovely chapel. A nouveau styled building with curves called Poets Cafe and made a mental note that should we venture back there in the sunshine, that would definitely require further investigation.
There is something that I can not explain. But it is reassuring when you walk into an unexpected place and see a curled up dog especially a Husky or Malamute having a sleep. It makes me think, this is a nice place.
That evening we’d been invited to a party, yes even me. We all headed out to the restaurant. Normally I struggle with nights out in general, tending to overthink the whole process and make mistakes in my attire which worry me coming over all indecisive and getting in a flap. But once we all got there I met a lovely family and the lady who owned the little dog who came to stay at the weekend. She also has horses and other animals. But she is the mother of two lovely friendly and polite children and also has a crazy best friend from school, (just like my ones)
We talked and laughed so much throughout the night, that I woke up hoarse but had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Thursday we are taking it easy kicking back and relaxing after the kids have all gone to school, trying to get the washing dry. It is so humid between rain showers and torrents that everything feels damp. I resorted to boots and socks as I couldn’t get warm then realised it was 22C so I must have adjusted to it here to a degree.
We met the boys from school and came up the hill to see the longest freight train I have ever seen we couldn’t see the end of it and waited and waited for about 5 minutes. There must have been close to a hundred containers on it and I was amazed that the one diesel loco could actually pull it all. The wonders of engineering…
We all went out again last night, Ricks Cafe is a wonderful place nearby in Palmwoods. It is a working garage and the restaurant at the front has so much to take in, so much character vintage pieces and artefacts, artwork all presented in a great package.
They also do great food and since it was Thursday it was Open Mic night with live local musicians. They also serve my friends favourite alcoholic ginger beer on tap there and one taste and that was my drink of choice for the evening.
Another great night and a slightly mad moment where we investigated a curious tree on the corner of a road on the way home where there are chickens and geese living wild in the park. It must have looked rather odd to passers by with me and the three kiddies jumping up and down trying to reach the seed pods which hung down from this tree in the dark and the rain running back to the car laughing with our stash of Sausage tree pods.
So Today as I write this, I’ve now been here for a week already. Although I am missing my Bears like mad I am having fun with my friends. As of yesterday my sense of fun has crept out from where it was hiding or so long. I wonder if my friend knows what to expect when his Mrs and I get together. Full on nonsense, let the games begin.
For more in depth reviews of some of the places we have visited, why not take a look under “IndiaBlue-Writer” on TripAdvisor.com