Sunday 11th December, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
After a long, hot day trying to push Maria into the crocodile ponds
, we wheeled our little rental car
towards nearby Nambour, and into the hills of the Sunshine Coast hinterland. In a little cabin on a sloping block of tall trees live my friends Jodie and Dave, and their recent addition... little Ella. Ella had been warned about her Uncle Sav, but when she saw I came bearing gifts, she had big smiles.
If you've been paying attention
... and I mean really
paying attention, you'll remember that Jodie is one of my friends from Banana Bungalow, Hollywood in 1992. If you don't know the story of Banana Bungalow, you really ought to buy my first book, "Everywhere but Missouri, Mate!"
to read about all of my adventures around North America. If you're too mean to buy a book, you can read a bit about Banana Bungalow here
and see a few more photos here
. But if you're Hollywood bound, be warned... what was
Banana Bungalow is now named Hollywood Bungalows, and has changed dramatically, as you will read in my more recent trip journal
. Ah, wouldn't it just be easier to buy my book? And you even get a discount if you order it at the same time as my second book, "Of Walls And Men"
Well Jodie's sister Sally
(who was also in Banana Bungalow when I was there!) had just returned from Europe two days ago, so the little cabin was, how did Jodie describe it?... busy but cheerful. They had prepared a feast of Mexican food, and Jodie whipped up some delicious margaritas.
Maria and I woke to the sound of native Australian birds
and the smell of eucalyptus leaves and widlflowers. Ah, how I had missed such a wake up call. Because we have so many rednecks in Queensland, we haven't managed to implement daylight saving like the rest of Australia and the modern world. This mean that the sun wakes you at 5:00 am, and then you run out of light an hour too early at the other end of the day. But Queenslanders are too afraid that the extra hour of daylight is a plot from the southern states that will fade their curtains, make them age prematurely, or cause some cataclysmic series of events.
When everyone was washed and breakfasted,
we trooped off to the beach at Kawana, just south of Mooloolaba on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. This was alwasy one of my favourite beaches when I was living in Brisbane, and you could find me pegged out on the sand a couple of times a week during the wrmer months.
What a beautiful place to live, where Jodie and Dave do. Oops! and little Ella now. I'm sure after seeing a couple of more kids like her, and his newphews and nieces, of course, Steve won't be so reluctant.
Anyway, I'm finding it fascinating meeting so many great people all around Queensland. I hope all of them can pay us a visit back in Madrid some day (or wherever we may be, who knows).
And what can I say about the beach we went to? If we had been in Spain on a Sunday and the school holidays had just started we could hardly find a spot to put our towels. And here we were, a whole beach nearly to ourselves. I think I like Australia.