Thursday, 10 February 2011

Mount Coot-tha

Sunday – our last full day in OZ! As much as I love my family and friends, this was the final day; I really had to old back a genuine sadness. Still wanting to make the most of it here, we caught a bus up Mount Coot-tha, a mountain second as a district of Brisbane about 287 metres above sea level.

Although there isn’t a huge amount to do at the top of the mountain the views were stunning, looking back at the city that we had only left 25 minutes earlier only compounded how massive and diverse the terrain in Australia is!
View from Mount Coot-tha!
There are two eateries on Mount Coot-tha a small family cafe and a rather posh restaurant aptly called the Summit. We had a drink at the former before heading back down the mountain to the Botanical Gardens and Planetarium. Today seemed like the hottest day since we had arrived and even I was slightly stifled by the humidity, but the clouds threatened a welcome storm that we hoped would cool everything down.

And so it did! Whilst we were wandering amongst Bonsai tree’s and 6 foot Cacti the heavens opened We were drenched; drowned rats were an understatement! Again still not wanting the waste the day we carried on, me with a puddle forming in my wheelchair seat, Mike with shoes and socks off wandering through the gardens paths - which now resembled mini rivers.

Within two hours everything (apart from my chair seat and butt!) had dried, in fact we had started to burn again! Poor old Mike was a brave man taking me around those gardens, on a mountain, in that heat. I swear he must have lost half a stone!

The planetarium was closed so we headed home; back down straight to the pool to cool off and timed just right we watched the sun go down – perfect.

In the apartment we made up any leftovers so as not to waste and throw it all away the next morning. We had just contemplated the task of packing when the phone rang. It was Jenna and Brian asking if we wanted to go up Mount Coot-tha, although having just returned from there 3 hours previous we still said yes, delaying packing and squeezing one last exclusion out of the trip.

Mount Coot-tha was just as stunning at night, there was a clear sky and the stars bid us farewell as did Jen and Brian who are due to move into their lovely new home in a weeks’ time – Good Luck guys and thanks!

Monday Morning we were up at 6am to pack and clean the apartment, both done whilst dragging my feet, the only consolation was that it was raining, “ha!” I thought “I had all the good weather now I’m off!” – Bitter much!

We spent most of the day in Mike’s office, our haven since we had to check out by 10am. We had lunch with Mike’s boss (pizza place that only makes square – and very delicious pizzas) we were in the airport by 6 and had 5hrs to kill until our flight, I have the most annoying habit of saying things like “this is the last meal in OZ, this is the last time I need the loo in Oz” – much to Mike’s annoyance!

Our flights home were without any trouble or incident until London, when we had a minor glitch, and our 6 hours in Singapore were mainly used up sleeping and seeing the butterflies again.

We landed in Heathrow at 7pm and that was the slap back to reality when the airport couldn’t find my wheelchair! Turns out it had been wandered round on the upper deck for half an hour – doh!

L x

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