After leaving Surfers Paradise, my next stop was Brisbane. Usually only a couple of hours away, it took me twice as long to get there because an early morning accident had shut down the highway. Even though it was midday, the traffic was still backed up for miles.
When I arrived in the city, I checked into X-Base Central (which I do not recommend at all) and headed out with some new friends to explore the city. We were in search of somewhere to eat lunch because we were starving. After wandering aimlessly for a while, we finally found a food court that was open. I had a slice of pizza, bread sticks and a soft drink. The meal wasn’t really tasty, but it was definitely filling. Like everything else in Oz, it was expensive.
After lunch, we headed over to South Parkland, an area that was severely affected by the flooding earlier in the year. After a trek across the city and over a bridge, we got there to find that it was still suffering from the effects of the disaster. There were many areas still under construction, but the pathways were clear. The artificial lagoon was open and many children were enjoying the water despite the nippy temperatures. There was even a street market going on with all kinds of products for sale. After we had our fill, we headed back to our hostel.
For dinner I went to the Down Under Bar and met Louise, who I hadn’t seen since our tour ended in Darwin a couple of weeks ago. It was great to see her again, especially since she’d just gotten back from a date and had so much gossip on which to catch me up. It turns out that her saga was almost a plot right out of a chick lit novel, even the part where she didn’t experience any sparks with this guy. Oh well, at least the ordeal is a good travel story to tell back home.
We stuck around the Down Under Bar and some of Louise’s travelmates joined us, including Claire from Scotland. It was Ladies Night and the bar passed out free champagne so we all indulged in a glass . . . or two. At some point, they ran out of it and started handing out some sickly-sweet green drink. It was awful and tasted a bit like coconut, but it was free. Over the past month, I’ve seriously learned the value of things and never turn away anything that’s free. If I don’t use it (or drink it), there’s always someone who can.
I wanted to leave the bar because I had to catch an early bus in the morning to Toowoomba, but Louise’s beau was arriving and I wanted to meet him. So, I waited around for another hour for this bloke to show up. Meanwhile, the club started in on some games and gave away prizes. In my opinion, the games and the prizes were pretty lame. Twenty bucks cannot compare to entire Whitsunday Island cruises, which I had witnessed being given away at Cheeky Monkeys in Byron Bay.
When Louise’s lad finally turned up, I took one look and began saying my goodbyes for the night. He was definitely not someone to write home about, but he did play Brisbane tour guide for Louise and seemed nice enough. As I was heading for Toowoomba for a couple of days and Louise was making her way north, I wouldn’t see her until I could catch up with her again. Certain that our paths would cross in the future and that I’d get a fresh update on her love life, I left her with her Brisbane boy and gal pals and headed home.
|Slide Album: Brisbane|