"The name is Dave, Dangerous Dave, an' there i'nt a horse or a woman I couldn't ride." ~ Introduction from Dangerous Dave of Australia
We have spent the first two weeks largely catching up with old friends whom I have been promising to visit for the past several decades.
View from the top of Mount Coolum
In Brisbane we ate Cairns crocodile, Tasmanian possum, seared kangaroo, and Marburg emu. Further north we headed into the forest west of the Sunshine Coast and amidst the spectacular rain forest scenery and bounding wallabies we also discovered a ground-dwelling leech that lies in wait to spring upon your leg and the slightest provocation. E and I spent a good deal of our trek that day inspecting our shoes in paranoid fashion and trying to flick them off before that were able to propel themselves up onto tender flesh. The hardier of our walking party weren't bothered in the least. Later, I tried to make conversation while fixated on a blob of partially coagulated blood, rife with hirudin, swinging precipitously from one of their toes, and I questioned for the first time whether I had what it takes to live through this country.
We also encountered the surprisingly more amiable strangler fig, which wraps itself around a living tree, eventually killing it and allowing its trunk to rot away leaving only a cylindrical web of tangled vines.
The Strangler's Cairn will eventually be overtaken by the vine planted atop
The rains came down in a torrent and flooded the fords that we had to cross to progress on our quest. For some this was just an opportunity for extra excitement in a bit of canoe paddling!
Massive flooding just adds a bit of excitement to the trip
Without further ado, here are the three things of which I have taken note in Australia in order that you, our dear reader, may have your mind sufficiently blown:
This cliff-side sign at Noosa National Park is advocating for personal responsibility
2. Public BBQs - In many of the scenic places we visited the local councils were good enough to provide barbecuing areas for public use. I'm not talking about some lowly charcoal pit in the dank corner of a park. These are shining, stainless-steel alters to the glory of grilled meat with free, push-button electric heating and integrated grease traps! Thanks to these I've been able to successfully eat kangaroo (the land-lobster) on the majority of our days in Australia so far.
Elizabeth at a public BBQ in Brisbane
South Bank Lagoon in Brisbane (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Now we continue our journey driving down the east coast of the island-continent of Australia.
Dawn at Kingscliff Beach sees this fisherman reeling in a catch from where the Coral and Tasman seas meet