First, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are regions, not cities. And you’re welcome for saving you the embarrassment of saying you are going to the Gold coast after you go to Surfers…(surfers is in the Gold Coast). I am sitting in a café/bar/bistro/casino/bottles shop across from the airport because I missed my first bus so I now have 4 hours to kill. Additionally I’m icing my slowly un-numbing new stitches on my left knee…Good life choices this week. Also, I wrote as I travelled, sorry about the mix of tenses…just imagine I’m German, there you have the FULL Aussie experience.
Brisbane: Great city. Gorgeous. It’s unreal how much artwork you can have when you don’t have to worry about how it will survive in -30 and 3 feet of snow. There were sculptures everywhere and everything painted. It was super clean and had tons of bike paths AND rent-a-bikes like in Europe! The bus driver went on about how it had very little population and clean water, but after being there I believe whatever miniscule number he was rambling about. Headed out to some live music in the valley, watched Breaking Dawn pt 2 for SIX FIFTY in the south bank, ran over story bridge to Kangaroo point, ate lunch in the Botanical Gardens…in two days. It was gorgeous and I’d love to live there with a career…but as a tourist the sites are minimal. Oh, they also had PRIME outdoor shopping and I resisted…only to come go nuts in Surfers. Also they call it Bris-vegas…I don’t know why…Surfers should be the Aussie [Jersey] Shore, though.
Surfers: Schoooooooolies. If this is ‘not that many left’ I don’t even want to fathom what it was like a week ago. The good news, I am past the point of attempting to impress 17 year old boys with BMIs that match their age. The bad news, my ‘schoolie free’ hostel….isn’t. However, Surfers is great fun. Has an UNREAL esplanade. Everything is within 2 blocks of the ocean. There was a storm when I got here which yielded some sick waves which meant I got to watch a sweet bunch of surfers actually in ‘paradise’ as I walked through the night markets (Wed and Fri night on the esplanade). I also had some double dipped dark chocolate cherry bar…yes, it was as amazing as it sounds. I figured it would motivate me to run 12 km of seawall tomorrow =) (done! Sore as hell, but done!). As for tonight, it is ‘the big backpackers night out’ which is a pub crawl for 30 bucks including drinks and yadda yadda…I have a ticket…it is 8pm…I’m fairly positive I’m an average of 5 years older than the group going…I am hoping the hostel sells out so I can scalp it (ended up going and losing half of my second toe to the worlds sharpest stiletto). Good news, finally a hostel with open use of kitchen things and the prepubescent schoolies don’t cook, so tons of fridge and cooking space for me (there’s also an oven!! Hostels never have ovens…frozen pizzas are 3 for 10 at coles…guess what’s for dinna). Tomorrow I’m running, then shopping, getting a 30 cent cone and watching the miles of beach….because I can.
Coolangatta: unfortunately I’m hitting up Coolangatta because my travel agent made surfers sound terrible even though it seems amazing…at least I will see more of the coast I suppose. It’s supposed to be more relaxed than surfers, so at least it should be schoolie free. There aren’t many backpackers that hit it up so I’m afraid I’ll probably be wifi free until Byron (travel agencies are where cheap internet is to be found. I might lie to everyone and say its beyond amazing so they feel like they missed out…but I predict that my camera will be full of photos and that my runners will have another 20 some odd kilometers on them. [Now for the post Coolie Post] It actually IS amazing! Such a hidden gem on the coast!! The only tough part is that it legitimately becomes NSW at the end of the street which is a new time zone…not good when you’re trying to find a surgery. Surgeries are what they call medicenters…rewind. Friday night, I arrived to what is probably the best hostel I’ve been in to find awesome people in my room and happy hour. I made girlfriends! (Mom, you should be pleased).
We first messed up the time difference so waited outside the bar for 30 mins for happy hour to start, then drank cider and vodka like water for the next 2 hours (til 7:30). My new friend Rachel had just arrived in Australia so we decided we had to get goon! [Side story: my German friend Yvonne shared that the reason its called goon is because it means pillow in the aboriginal language…and after you drink the bag/box of wine you can blow it up into a pillow] We then went to 7-11 where we were provoked to steal 4 slurpee cups as the guy wanted to charge us 2.50 per cup! Headed to the beach…what happens there –for the most part-stays there. We saw guys on the rocks and decided to go join them. I IDd one of them, born in ’92…’so much older than a schoolie’ he said…I tried to run away from the group I was disinterested in and fell (didn’t really notice at the time). Walked another 2 minutes and realized my legs were covered in blood from the knees down. Then I proceeded to tell a bouncer about young children “ruining my life” before heading up to the handicapped bathroom to clean up my wound. My 3 new friends sprayed out the sand/rubbish and covered me in antiseptic and bandaids (the doc was impressed the next day). We got yelled at for being too loud because I was screaming hysterically…not because it hurt but because I knew it should…The next morning I was at the beach when lifeguards told me to go to the doc, who then was shocked at my nonchalance as he popped 4 stitches into my gaping wound that was probably from an oyster shell. I’ve only become upset about it today as I realized I might not be able to do surf camp if it gets infected, I have to buy bandages, I can’t work out, be near water or sand, and probably shouldn’t drink while in arguably the best city on the coast. Also, my shin is still numb…I’m hoping its left over local anesthetic, because paralysis is not cool, man. Oooh, my glass half full: It’s a super cheap travel tattoo…right? On that note I bought a book called ‘what are you optimistic about’ which is a compilation of passages from academically/politically important people on why they believe it’s ‘all going to be alright’. So far it’s unreal, even for a realist…borderline pessimist.