so after all we skipped surfers paradise and went strait to Brisbane, due to some surf board shopping obstacles (as in “you won’t find that in Byron Bay”) and a u-turn on the highway to go back to purchase a new board. yay for a new board! but anyhow…
got to Brisbane, got to our hostel and (wait for it…) took a shower!!! yes, that’s right! the joy of staying in a van on the cheap means staying in rest stops along side the highway without shower facilities… so this was a good shower indeed. we then got ready and headed to garuva hidden tranquility restaurant and bar, a spot recommended by the bible (lonely planet) and it sounded so good that i decided to take David there for his birthday. the place, although it sounds very new age (granola, comme on dit en bon québecois), was probably one of the coolest places we’d ever been. through a jungle and Indian wooden doors we were taken to a dark warehouse-like space that had been converted into labyrinth of sit-on-the-floor spaces surrounded by white flowing fabric. basically it was like a Japanese restaurant gone Arabian, very sexy and comfortable, and very private. we started with drinks at the bar (again, where you sit on the floor) and the place was so dark it all became obvious why the waiter had asked for your mobile number in case we left something behind. then we went to our own white space for some food: Chinese roast beef and some prawn-pumpkin-beansprout fritters. the food looked better than it tasted, and the fritters were about the size of a fist (i.e., not easy to eat) but it was still quite a good time. afterward we headed back to our hostel’s sexy bar (read: seats are actual beds) for some more drinks and a pathetic game of pool (wet table and small balls don’t help). then we retired to our freezing cold room for some much needed refrigeration (apparently).
the next day we headed for our wicked van check (see previous post) and afterward the mechanic was nice enough to give us a bottle of sparkling Australian wine… which turned out to be goun (how the hell do you spell that?) in the end. i had told myself that i would never drink that but only checked the bottle after the first sip – and then it was too late. for those who might now know, goun is wine made with egg and milk products… a scary idea really!
regardless, after Brisbane we headed to Noosa Head for some surfing. David caught a few waves and i watched some kids do some wicked tricks and the likes. then we went swimming where Noosa river meets the ocean, and that was heeps of fun. the current is very strong so you can let yourself flow into nearly the ocean, get up, walk back and do it all over again. the water was warm and we had a good laugh, as well as way too much sand in our baiting suits. that night we slept at a rest stop in the back of a store, which came with the added bonus of small barking dogs.
this morning we headed to rainbow beach to try to catch a tour into Frazer island, the world’s biggest sand island. unfortunately we arrived after the tour’s departures but we managed to book ourselves in for tomorrow, leaving from Hervey bay instead ~ where we now are. the bad thing though is that we’re under a serious rain cloud and have been hammered all day by heavy rains and it might be the case for tomorrow as well… hopefully it won’t make seeing Frazer disappointing. though today we didn’t really let it stand in our way, as we made our way to a giant sand dune and got sand blasted heavily (and drenched) while taking in the sights.
tonight we are staying in a camper site, where everyone owns a camper van or something fancier. kinda like a cult, a little scary… some couple is even traveling with their plants. it’s a good spot though, right off the beach and under the paths of the flying fox (giant bats) in their evening outing. David estimated that we might have seen a million of them tonight, and somehow, that can’t be far from the truth.
tomorrow, more sand!