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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Do Take Away My Aligator Pie!

Will That Be a Tall Black or a Short White?
Sept 11: Woolgoolga, NSW
We both had a bit of a sore throat and a cough, the last few days. So it was nice to have “a day off” today. We keep looking at each other and grinning. Less than a week go we faced mountains of laundry, guests for breakfast and the last minute rush of things. Now we have... nothing to do. It’s an amazing change.
After breakfast we strolled into the small, cute town to have coffee. Making your own meals in a camper is a good way to keep the cost of things down. Eating out seems to be very expensive in Australia.
In the afternoon Kees took a long walk on the beach while I swam and played in the strong surf. Now we’re bbqing smokies while the birds are chattering away.

What I Learned Today: is how to order coffee in Australia. A ‘short black’ is a very strong espresso. A ‘tall black’ is regular black coffee, but not necessarily a large size. A tall black can come in a cup or in a mug.
A ‘short white’ is steamed milk with espresso....

Sept 12: Woolgoolga to Surfers Paradise.
Left fairly early today to drive north. First it was flat, lots of green farm fields with cows and a wide river. Had coffee on the river at a little pie shop. Then the landscape changed to much more hilly, but still very green. We had planned to drive north past Brisbane but, on the map, we noticed a smaller road closer to the coast with villages called Miami  and Surfers Paradise. So we decided to swing that way in hopes of finding a nice little laid-back campground on the beach. Imagine our utter amazement when the area turned out to have nothing but highrises, casinos and amusement parks. It’s called The Gold Coast and does seem like a gold mine for the operators. No hope of a little campground. Although we did find a nice site, almost on the water, and with a pool just before heading back to the main highway. But the area south of Brisbane is very touristy and crowded, even in this shoulder season.
I love Aussies. If I had to find one word to describe them, it would be ‘jovial’. They are always laid-back and friendly. Today I asked a man if I could safely swim at the beach in the campground, since no one else was swimming. He said “Oh yeah, sure, no worries. My kids swims here all the time. The bull sharks usually stay where it’s deeper. You’ll probaby be just fine.”
And he wasn’t kidding. FYI I swam.
We were feeling adventurous and courageous today. The little pie shop I mentioned earlier did not have the familiar apple or chocolate pies... We bought a... drum roll please... kangaroo and a crocodile pie! Just had it for dinner. The roo pie wasn’t bad, just like beef pie. But neither one of us liked the croc. Tasted like salt water chicken. But now we know. And I have the urge to email Dennis Lee about his aligator pie poem!
Just when I thought the day was over, I heard terrific screeching in a tree. Huge fruit bats landed in the branches to hang upside down and munsch on fruit. I managed to get some photos of them. They look like flying monkeys.

What I learned Today: that the spiky fields we saw all day are fields of sugar cane. And that sugar cane fields are burned so that all snakes, rats, and leaves burn and they can simply pick up the left over canes, which are hauled off to the many sugar refineries we saw today.

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