Lots of photos this week.
Monday 18th July
It was funny weather today. Mostly overcast with snatches of sunlight and occasional big black clouds with sudden downpours. It was just the sort of weather for my adventure today. Within minutes of walking to the bus stop, the first downpour occurred. Today the plan was to take a bus to Helensvale Train station then train to Southbank and explore or at least re-visit a place I have been to many times. The train journey – express – took about an hour. Although the track roughly follows the Motorway it passes through what seems to be mostly rural and or bushland and quite a few swamps with spindly struggling saplings. Suddenly the train passes through a cutting and then it is suburbia.
Southbank was established for Expo 88 and has been built on, extended, enlarged and re-vamped since. This area is a community hub with parklands, gardens, swimming pools, playgrounds,
picnic facilities and stunning views of Brisbane River and the city beyond. Southbank is also a foodies heaven and a cultural wonderland.
Some of the mostly free sights and places to visit are QPAC – Queensland Performing Arts Centre-, Cultural Centre, Griffith University Lecture Hall, State Library,
Museum, Art Gallery
and so much more to see and do than I had time for today. River transport departs and arrives about every 15 minutes for trips up and down the river. A cruise taking a good few hours for a total round trip costs only a few dollars.
Again I did not have time for that today. If all the above is not enough, a quick walk over the Brisbane River
via the Victoria Bridge or the Goodwill Bridge will take you into the city itself.
Including lunch and train fares the day cost me $20. If I had taken the car, underground parking at Southbank is $16 per day. Either way a good reasonably priced day out.
Pokemon Go is all the rage with children, teenagers, young adults and middle aged parents. It seems Southbank has lots of little Pokies waiting to be found. I saw huge numbers of people who all seemed to be following their mobile phone through the paths and gardens. I was amazed to see a high school excursion at the Art Gallery with most students following a glowing screen through the exhibits. The art on the walls was basically ignored in favour of a childish animated image on a mobile phone screen.
Wednesday 20th July
Happy Happy Birthday to my daughter Shelley also my son in law Paul.
I went to line dancing this morning. I enjoy the exercise more than the Tai Chi that Donnis and I went to for some months – before she went to Canada. I am sure I have rhythm and beat somewhere in my body but it must have been packed away. Trying to follow either the instructor or watching other people and trying to copy their actions leaves me grossly out of step. Hmmm! One step forward tap the heels twice one step back tap the heels twice then one step forward then one backward then suddenly it is three steps to the left followed by three to the right and I am still tapping my heels!!! Somewhere in all of this there is a wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. I must enjoy that as I wiggle six times and make everybody laugh. Next time we get to the wiggle bit I wiggle even more and the laughter is accompanied by comments, “No Frank you just wiggle 3 times”. It is all in good fun and I am sure I will master this one day. Uh Oh. Now they tell me that was just one dance routine. There are another two to learn today. We have to learn another next week.
I packed a sardine sandwich and some cheese and fruit and head off to the beach. Hmmm! Southport parking is full. Instead I drive further down the coast to Palm Beach and Tallebudgera Creek.
This is a lovely family friendly spot and I was able to get parking.
The sun is shining, it is 26° but in the shade with a chill wind blowing in off the sea it feels like 16°.
Out of the breeze and in the full sun it is just like summer.
We are in the middle of winter.
There were no Pokemon Go hunters to be seen anywhere.
Friday 22nd July
Good friends Tony and dawn arrived this evening just in time for a wonderful Beef in Red Wine casserole which I have had slow cooking all day.
Sunday 24th July.
We have wanted to go to a high hill on the coast to see whales on their annual migration to the north. I remember going to Fingal Head last week and thought it would be ideal for whale watching.
A good idea shared by many other people. The carpark and surrounding streets were packed with cars. A good strong swell was running and boardriders were out enjoying the surf.
After a wait in the brilliant sunshine a Humpback Whale came into the bay between us and Cook Island.
It cruised north to the end of the island then turned around and cruised south. What ? Was that a second blow beside the big whale? Yes, it was! A calf!
Perhaps this big whale is the same one which gave birth at Port Macquarie further south along the coast a few days ago. What an exciting twenty minutes to watch the whales so close to our vantage point. Some people we spoke with on arriving had said they saw whales earlier via their binoculars but the whales were way out beyond the island. After a while those people packed and left. They missed the whale close encounter enjoyed by hundreds lined along the cliffs. I am sure the boardriders got a bit of a surprise when the whales surfaced about 100 metres from the surf. We are sure there were at least 2 adult and one calf as the dorsal fin on the adults was different. One appeared to have an injury.