Greenspace is important here in the Gold Coast, and if I remember correctly, all over Australia. The other place I remember very clearly is Brisbane and it also has a lot of parks. In the Gold Coast you can’t drive for 5 minutes without going past another park or beach or sports field. They all seem to be busy, not just on weekends but all week and a good part of the day. Today we were at the beach near the aquatic center where there is a big kids playground/park and it is packed. We get in the water to swim laps and there were a 1/2 dozen other folks in the water swimming or wading as well. This is on a Friday morning.
Yesterday I entered a place I previously had not even considered going into before – a vegan restaurant. M & D make the choice of establishments we are going to frequent for lunch and upon arrival the waitress says ‘everything on the menu is vegan’. There are a couple of things that look edible so I order gnocchi with some sort of fake cheese sauce. Except for the pansies, yes flowers, it tastes quite good. What I don’t get is why they call it cheese sauce when it is not cheese. The folks that eat no animal products are inventive enough to make something that resembles cheese, why not be inventive and name it something else rather than the non vegan food it simulates? Are they just unable to let go of human’s past indiscretions?
Fashion here is quite odd. Middle of the week on a busy shopping street at mid day you can observe an older man in the grubbiest casual wear, a young women in a long flowing black shear evening dress and spiked heals, an older lady with stick legs in a skirt so short I could tell she at least wore underwear, a guy with only a pair of swim shorts, no shirt, and bare feet, people dressed for business, both formal and casual and just about anything you can imagine. I usually don’t give two hoots about what people wear but I find the diversity here does capture my attention.
The tourist destination of the Gold Coast does not recycle very well, and it could just be Australia in general, don’t know for sure but here the recycle system is limited and very few residents seem to participate. They have however instituted a campaign to limit the purchase of bottled water, thereby minimizing the number of plastic bottles entering the post use universe. They have water fountains everywhere and the fountains all have a tap water to refill reusable bottles. The posters on the fountains and elsewhere state “Be Smart, Choose Tap”. I guess Pepsi and Coke don’t have enough pull or money to persuade the politicians here to get rid of that particular saying.
For a small place, the traffic here is quite congested. I think it is because the city is only a few kilometers wide and stretches along the shoreline for a much greater distance. That means all of the cars ply the same few roads that parallel the beach and only branch off east or west when they are near their destination.
Today is our last swim for a while. Yesterday, we did 10 laps of the roped off swimming area and guessed it was more than 2000M. We have a good guess that we are headed to the hinterland today, which means a long hike so we cut our distance to about 1200M. Then an hour or so in the car to Tamborine NP. The hike is quite serene not many people, quiet, and dark. Our goal is a waterfall partway around a loop trail. Really the waterfall is quite unspectacular, the water levels are low in the fall but the walk is great. The high canopy lets in streams of sunlight accenting the fauna that comprises the lower canopy. Quite a stunning effect.
This part of Australia would be easy to live in. The city is not too big, weather is nice and the ocean is out the front door. There is little differentiation between seasons. Which is a bit of a bother but the only real draw back as I see it is it does not snow.
Zoom, next stop the Solomon Islands.