As i sat around the table on the hot patio of a holiday cottage surrounded by family and friends, tucking into bbq’d chicken and drinking, it hit me – you couldn’t get any more Australian than this. My first weekend in oz has been perfect. The journey across was arduous, my flight from Inverness to Manchester was delayed by half an hour, which resulted in my luggage not being loaded onto the Abu Dhabi flight in time. It is hard to describe the emotion one feels upon discovering that after 4 flights spanning 3 continents and time zones, your backpack isn’t on the baggage carousel. The worst part was that due to space issues I decided to put Kermit into my main luggage so i was sans frog.
Anyways, fast forward two days of traveling and sleep deprivation to me getting greeted at the airport by Sue(cousin in law) who kindly took me shopping for an outfit before whisking me down to the Gold Coast to meet the rest of the ladies for Caitlin’s hen weekend. Despite only getting 4 hours sleep for the previous two nights I managed to stay awake until 10pm that night, after a day of relaxing on the verandah listening to tunes and catching up with everyone. The following day I was wide awake at 6am and eager to see the town we were staying in, Hastings Point. The novelty of waking up and stepping outside into bright, warm air will never wear off. I spent the morning walking along the beach with my fellow jetlag buddy Aunt Karen who flew across from South Africa.
The beach was littered with these creepy big jellyfish, identical to the ones in Finding Nemo. The sea was beautifully warm, however i was too freaked out by the jellyfish(scardeycat Scot alert) to swim but we did swim in the lagoon later. There was this sweet little cafe called Ripples where Karen and I had Byron Bay coffee and breakfast – while an iguana casually watched over us. There is something so fundamentally good for the soul about dining al fresco, it is a pity it is near impossible to do in the UK – unless you are a fan of hypothermia.
After a day of frolicking by the lagoon Caitlin, Leigh (another bridesmaid), Karen and I headed back to Brisbane and i saw where i would be staying for the next 3 weeks. Caitlin and Clint have a beautiful 3 bedroom bungalow in the suburb of Wishart, with a large garden and veggie patch. My bedroom has been converted by Clints man cave, so it is fun to wake up to car posters in the morning. Sunday night was spent visiting Clint’s parents who live close by and afterwards we got food from a Malaysian restuarant which was divine – best tempura of my life! I managed to fit making a carrot cake with lemon cream cheese icing into the afternoon too, its interesting after a few days my hands itch to bake. Clint’s friend makes his own vodka and sambucca which we have been tucking into over the weekend, plus i got some cheap Smirnoff at Singapore duty free (£8 for 1litre!!!) so we are having lots of party times ja.
So far my first impressions of Australia are positive, it reminds me of the best parts of South Africa mixed with friendly, easy going locals. Caitlin and I have a “Meanwhile, in Australia” running joke, so i will endeavour to find the most Aussie pic. This week is filled with lots of wedding planning, so until next time my friends! xo