Our plans for today had only been made the night before really and that was due to our own negligence. Initially, we had planned to go to Mount Tamborine and spend the day there walking the trails, popping into a winery or two and mooching along the 70 shops along the main street. But it was an hours drive away and whilst for the last few days time and again we said “Oh, must not forget to book the rental car for Friday.” we somehow never did until Thursday afternoon on the way back home. By then it was too late and there was not a single rental car left that was either costing us below $160 or or available in the city centre. Boo.
So what to do? Well, I grudgingly researched a hiking location available via public transport from Brisbane and found Mount Coot tha. Didn’t sound as awesome as Tamborine, but nice enough to do and get that bloody day of hiking on Friday, haha.
So off to the gym we went for a short session of high intensity training at 8:45am. I really really tried not to break Rich letting him scale the workout etc, but I still almost succeeded. He hated it a bit whilst doing it, but afterwards admitted that 1) he hung in there longer than he’d thought, because I had been there and encouraged and pushed him and 2) it was actually a nice buzz afterwards.
Shower back at the apartment and then caught the 10:30 bus to Mount Coot tha which only took about 30 minutes to the “Lookout”. At 287m it’s not a high mountain by any means, but the view from the top is certainly a big one! All of Brisbane was spread out in front of us, we could even make out the sea and a number of other mountains in the distance. It was hazy alright, but still a stunning vista.
Coffee and cake was had before we headed off onto our bush walk. Right at the start a bloke just left the trail and handed us his maps of the mountain trails and also the Botanical Gardens at the foot of it. Wow, so nice!
He turned out to be the only person we actually met in the two hours or we that we walked. Walked a wide clockwise semi circle around the mountain through absolutely bone dry forestry. It was quite obvious to us how easily a fire could be started here. Even through simple negligence… which we should find later even.
Despite the shade the trees gave us, we had a good sweat going as there was no wind at all. Still enjoyed the easy path and tried desperately to spot a koala, but were in the end unsuccessful. We saw some butterflies, a lizard as big as my arm on a tree, a funky moth all black and white and a grey bird roughly looking like a kingfisher, but bigger. Couldn’t figure out what it was.
Just before we arrived at another car park, Rich found a pair of children’s glassed perched at eye level on a tree. Someone must have found them and put them their so the owner would see them when looking for them. Good idea and I have seen it many times, but glasses in a bone dry forest??? On a tree??? Glasses??? Did that person never try to set their shoe on fire as a kid? Like using your glasses and the rays of the sun to do so?
I took them off immediately, all it would have taken was just a bit of sunshine on them and Brisbane would’ve had a nice blazing bush fire on their doorstep. Maybe. Maybe not. But why take the chance? So we took the glasses to the car park and placed them on a concrete step. All we could do really.
On we walked past a few remnants of a gold mine from the early 19 hundreds. We felt sorry for the people working here. Can you imagine doing such hard work in the boiling heat of Australian summer? Even now in late Spring it was 30C. And all that for a tiny little bit of gold, as it happened the ore quality was low and they soon figured it was really not worth the effort.
Eventually, we passed Simpson Falls, which was really only Simpson, but no Falls at all. We actually passed by, seeing a sign later on pointing in the direction we had just come from. There’d been a tiny little puddle where there should’ve been a big pond and the water coming down was really just a bit of wetness, nothing more.
Arrived down at the road and decided to give Slaughter Falls a miss, instead we walked to the Botanical Gardens, a much bigger and proper version of the ones in the CBD. 52 hectares big to be precise. Had a cold drink and lovely salads at the cafe there and as it was already 14:30 and we decided to rather the the bus back into town at 15:30. Rich was all “sunned out” and the gardens closed at 4pm anyway so it wasn’t worth it.
Back at the apartment we had a shower and a chill and actually a snooze as well, before heading out to meet more of Rich’s friends’ friends. Headed again into Fortitude Valley and as we walked through the CBD to get there we already saw loads of party folk streaming into the bars and restaurants.
Had a great night out moving around the cool bars in the area. The CrowBar had a Korn tribute band going and looked like our kind of venue, but instead we headed into The Greaser, which had a pretty damn good band playing something in the ballpark of desert/swamp rock/grunge. Had some decent burgers there before heading over to The Elephant Hotel which also had a band going in the half covered back garden. We really liked the way many places here were built, with a bit of inside area and a bit of outside area, but some of it covered. So you’re like inside but with an open roof. It was just a really nice atmosphere.
Last stop was The Wickham, same layout, but music was sh…. so we only had one drink and then said our goodbyes to those lovely people after a great night out with them. The walk back was everything you would expect in a city centre at half past mid night after a Friday night of booze. There was the drag queen with a Mexican hat and a small amp singing stuff, the guy in an alien costume doing back flips for a tip, the guy so drunken, he could barely walk, the guys doing a race on those e-scooters which are dotted around the city…
We just wanted to get home and go to bed though. Great end to a great day, which turned out to be much better than we had thought after having to change our plans on such short notice.