Friday, November 10, 2017

Wrapping Up My Second Trip Down Under

And in what seemed like the blink of eye, this trip down under is over. Another superb trip!

Unknowingly I booked my return flight on the same day as the Melbourne Cup horse race - which is celebrated on Karragarra Island with a community picnic/fund raiser organized by Gary and Sonia.  So, the day before I departed they were involved in preparing for the event including lots of finger foods.  I followed their suggestion to take the ferry to the mainland and drive about an hour away to the beautiful Tamborine Mountain — home to several National Parks, a Botanical Garden, a Heritage Center (history museum), and hiking destination.  I enjoyed a fun, beautiful day of hiking and enjoying the solitude of the parks and gardens and included a lunch stop at a local brewery.

I returned to the Island in time for yet another delicious dinner with Gary and Sonia — now great friends who I hope to visit again in 2018.  Even as I write this, I am amazed and pleased that Gary encouraged this stop in this beautiful part of Australia.  And, I’m super pleased that I took a chance on assessing his genuineness.  

I booked a motel near the airport for the day before my return flights — so I could get the rental car returned early and have a relaxed departure.  It worked our perfectly. Little did I know when I booked the motel that it would be walking distance from the Brisbane cruise terminal — which now has new meaning knowing Gary/Sonia and their son run the port operations.  

As you might imagine, I’m already watching for cheap fares to return to dive Fiji, to revisit my cousin in Melbourne, to visit friends and do another live-aboard in Cairns and, of course, to return to Gary/Sonia’s island home - perhaps to include Melbourne Cup next year.  Another great trip — wrapped — with more lined up.