Sunday, July 03, 2011

On the Gold Coast for a bit of Work and some R&R.

Thursday early AM, I was on a jet to the Gold Coast and Brisbane to see some clients and then back down to the Gold Coast to spend some time with my Daughter Carly and her partner Sharn. They live in Southport which is the first real established village and resort on the Gold Coast in the 1800s. Originally is was a timber town and the forests provided much of the timber for the buildings in Brisbane during that period. It grew to be popular with holiday makers to what it is today.

Southport Beach 1918
Although winter, the sky was clear and children were swimming in a pool nearby. I was in a T-shirt. The sand is a clean slightly off white.
Just behind me from the beach, high rise buildings such as these cast shadows in summer over the beach I'm told. I think I prefer the not so tourist parts of our beautiful northern beaches but thousands of people flock here to enjoy the surf, sun and entertainment that the Gold Coast has to offer.
Further down the coast over a distance of 30 kms is the playground for tourists. Casinos, nightclubs litter the coast and the buildings in this photo accommodate those who like to spend their relaxation this way. It reminds me a little of the Cote d'Azur and the Meditteranian.
While here, the Gold Coast Festival is on. It includes the Gold Coast Marathon with food, wine and music all being a part of the festival. I must say for mid-winter, it certainly has its pluses.

In the afternoon we travelled into the Gold Coast Hinterland to Mount Tamborine. Much higher than the skyscrapers below. This photo shows the other side of the mountain range.
My little point and shoot camera can't do justice to this magnificent view looking down over the valley. Hang Gliders launch themselves from this point to then soar with the thermals.

This little timber church is now someones home. I guess living up on the mountain in an old church give the occupants two chances of being close to God!!
The owners of this house (what house, I can only see the driveway) had something more in mind than an old timber church.....
This my preference of a high rise skyscraper.
Today is Saturday and the Tour de France starts so it looks like a long night here. It won't finish on Australian TV until 2.00 am.
I had an early start to meet a few cycling friends 20 odd kms down the coast for a casual ride into the country and way out of sight of the high rise buildings. We passed by cane fields, waterways and along narrow back roads. Long legged water birds flew before us as we rode beside the wide rivers that run to the coast.
The ride took us to a pub for lunch - Tumblegum it was called and by this time we were looking for a good feed and a couple of reds.

After about 50kms beside the banks of the river, up and down the undulating hills, we swooped back down to the flat-lands along roads with cane fields either side to the Tumblegum Tavern. Lunch was had with a couple of glasses of red before hitting the road for the final 30kms. It was a great ride. 
 We went out to dinner at a local restaurant called De Vito's on Thursday night and the owner Anthony, the Chef was playing some operatic music - I asked who it was and he said it was his brother David and then proceeded to sell me two Cd's by David. It seems he was having a little success on "Australia's got Talent".
Any way the meal was so good, we returned on Saturday night with friends and Anthony and David's Poppa and Momma (Rosa) were having dinner as well. Poppa, an ex-opera singer himself decided to introduce himself and serenade our table. I'm sure a few too many glasses of vino assisted him in his exuberance. It was a night to remember.
Here's a clip from You Tube of his first appearance.

This I think is from the semi-finals and my favorite Elton John song.

On arriving back with my girls to their unit, it was time to watch the first stage of Le Tour and what a great result it was for both Belgium and Australia. Some of you most probably read Ladybirds blog (see in my sidebar) and I'm sure she was pleased with her national champion Philippe Gilbert winning the first stage and now wearing the yellow jersey. For Australia, our Cadel Evans was second, 6 seconds behind. I can feel many a late night in the month of July.
It was a very good day.


  1. Tumblegum Tavern sounds like something right out of Tolkein! I'll have two pints and bowlful of Longbottom Leaf!

    I watched Stage 1 with great delight. But I was more interested in the fantastic aerials than the race. Lots of amazing towns and châteaux to be seen. There did seem to be a lot of tipping over going on for a first stage... Next Friday they peddle by us, so we may go see.

  2. IT sounds like an interesting time on the Gold Coast and the meal (and atmosphere) sound great.
    I've only been to the Gold Coast once and I must admit that I didn't really care for it - too much like Miami and south Florida. But the sunshine coast was another story - I love it!
    I'm watching the TDF too. We were living in Cognac and went to see it in person for the Cognac-Angouleme stage a couple of years ago... great fun.

  3. Sure you enjoyed watching Cadel Evans in such a great finish. They do not pass very close to us this year, so we will be watching on TV as well, but not thank goodness in the middle of the night!! Diane

  4. Walt - Yes I see they peddle thru Montrichard from Le Man on the way to Chateauroux. Like you, I enjoy the sights from the helicopter and sometimes over places we have been.

  5. Craig - we agree on the Gold Coast thing but family and friends make it more welcoming for me.
    Talking of friends, while being shown around a housing complex I was greeted by chance by an old cycling friend that I had not seen in 25 years. Small world, huh?

  6. Diane - Yes in the middle of the night and I'm suffering from sleep depredation on the first night.

  7. The weather looks like the sort of winter weather I would enjoy.

  8. LLM - yes but we are about 2000 kms south of Melbourne here on the Gold Coast so while I'm in T-shirts, the locals are rugged up in jackets and scarves.
    Its easy to see who the southerners are.

  9. If you were that far south of Melbourne, wouldn't you be approaching Antarctica? Just checking...

  10. Walt,
    I just checked and its 1670 kms actually and about 19 hours by car but if you take the wiggly road (all along the coast) its probably 2000 kms.

  11. There's a wiggly road from Melbourne to Antarctica?


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