Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Brisbane

So my entire travels plans have gone into complete melt down and I have now ended up in Brisbane, possibly missing out Sydney err ohh!

To cut a long story short I may be coming home early as a work opportunity may have come up which I may take if the position becomes available. Therefore I have to try make the most of my time here and flying up to Brisbane to see 2 of Tommy's friends seemed like a good idea and give me some time to think about what I am to do. It also meant that I got out of a very cold Melbourne and into Brisbane which seems to experience British summer time weather during its winter, its lovely. I am not sure whether coming up here at this point of the trip was a good idea or not as it is now going to be a mission getting back down to Sydney but I have definitely liked what I have seen in Brisbane so far and for the first time in ages feel like I am travelling again.

I arrived in Brisbane at around 10pm after a 2 hour flight from Melbourne. My original plan was to get the train to south bank station and meet Tamara who I have known since high school and is currently out here working. But for some reason the trains from the airport stop at 8pm (wtf!) so had to get a bus which went all round the house, literally, instead. I had not seen Tamara properly for a good few years what with being away at Uni and things so it was weird to meet up with her in Brisbane all these 1000's of miles away from home. She offered me her sofa to sleep on for the night which was quality as accommodation out here is so expensive so a free night was an opportunity not to be missed. Unfortunately Tamara had to up real early to go to work in the morning so I didn't see her again in the morning but it was real nice to catch up with her and see what she had been up to whilst out here. The plan is at some point to have a night out with her and her house mates while I am here but as my plans are now all over the place and I am heading even further up north in a few hours I am not really sure if this will be possible which will be a real shame. Either way it was great to catch up with her again and I just hope I can make it back to Brisbane for a properly night out maybe on the way down to Sydney.

As well as me being able to meet up with Tamara I also got to see Wilson! If you read my Osaka and Nara post from back in February you may remember Wilson as Tommy and I spent a few days with him travelling around Japan. Wilson was one of the first people we really got to know properly on our travelers and he always said if we ever came to Brisbane that we should definitely all meet up again, so that's what we did. We met up for some food a Singaporean restaurant and had some noodles. The place was full of Asians a tell tale sign that the food would be good and it was. We had a good catch up and discussed our times in Japan as well as what we had all been up to since then, was real nice seeing him again. After the meal Wilson took us on a tour of the city taking up to his usual haunts as well as a few other places just to give us a taster of what life in Brisbane was like. The night finished off in a Drum & Bass club in the main clubbing district of Brisbane.

Not only did we meet up with Tamara and Wilson in Brisbane we also met up with Tommy's friends Laura and Paul! I knew Paul from YSJ but had never met Laura before. They were travelling Oz for exactly a month so thought it would be nice to catch up with them while we were out here. It ended up that we would spend the next 2 weeks with them doing Brisbane, Frasier Island and the Whitsunday with them.

It was a strange time in Brisbane really as we had never planned to go there this early on in the trip, therefore when I got there I did not really have any idea what was to do or what was to see here. So it really just ended up us following Laura and Paul while we where there. Unfortunately this did mean that we completely wasted a full day and a lot of money with a poorly thought out trip to Moreton bay Island.

We didn't leave for Moreton bay till about midday and had i know it was going to take about 3 hours to get there I definitely would not have bothered going. As by the time we eventually set foot on the island it was 3pm and the midday sun was long gone and it was starting to cool down. Even then we were not where we wanted to be as we then had to get a bus from dock to Cylinder Beach another 30 minutes away. So by the time we did eventually set foot a beach we only had about an hours sun left before it started to set! Absolute waste of time. However we did get to watch quite a nice little sunset before we had to make the long and at this point very cold journey home. One of the reason I also pretty annoyed at this little day trip was partly due to myself forgetting a jumper. I guess it was because I was expecting a good day on the beach and not a 3 hours hike to a rather cold beach. As I way of getting out of the cold on the way back I ended up in an Australians working men club and ended up having to by a roast dinner. This was great as I hadn't had a roast for months but at the same time I felt I was not really welcome there as a "Pommy". They had a pub quiz while I was there and at one point the MC came up to us and asked us where we were all from, I wish I had said Albert Square but just ended up saying Norwich. We had to exit the place early though to grab our boat and when we left the MC said goodbye to us all, to which there was a slight groan from some of the other people there. It made me laugh as I really did not feel welcome there at all, so was pretty pleased to get out of there!

The next day they had planned to leave Brisbane and head up to Frasier Island, so that's what we planned to do as well. We went to a travel agents and ended up spending nearly 3 hours booking and organising the next 9 days of our travels with the booking agent. I realised why they were willing to spend so much time with us all as it ended up that we had to pay $800 each for the next 9 days of activities, which obviously meant the girl serving us did very well with her commission that day! The trip was going to be pretty epic - 1 night at rainbow beach, then a 2 night 3 day 4wd self drive around Frasier Island. Then 2 nights at Agnes Waters, followed by one at Airlie Beach. This would then let us get on our boat the next day for 2 nights and 3 days sailing around the Whitsunday's and then another night in Airlie beach when we get back to recover. I couldn't wait to do these, several months earlier than planned but it meant we would be heading pretty far up north where the weather was definitely going to be baking! I couldn't wait!

The rest of the time in Brisbane just involved walking around the place seeing the sights and finding nice places to eat. I stayed in a different place every night here so Tamara's on the first night, then 3 other hostels as we moved around the city looking for good quality accommodation. I liked Brizzy a lot, was a nice modern and clean city and at times reminded me of Osaka in Japan, Wilson a resident of Brisbane and who I had met in Osaka agreed with me, therefore proving I am always right!

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