…Recently back from a flying visit to Australia to help long time friend and emigré to celebrate a big (let’s face it it was an epic) birthday.
Had a fabulous time and it was great catching up with friends old and new, from this side of the pond and the other.
Started of with a night in Brisbane, followed by a morning of retail outlet shopping near the airport. Then caught up with my luggage which hadn’t arrived off our flight, (apparently the reasonably large consignment of speciality toothpaste I was bringing over for friends meant my bag was held up at security in Hong Kong).
A couple of nights near Nimbin… then onto a bit of a nomadic time starting with a short stay in lovely Lismore (aka Lovemore, Lesmore)… where we narrowly avoided getting kicked out of the motel coz no one wants to have fun any more … (OK we may have been a little on the boisterous side…).
Off to Byron Bay after that for a bit of sun, sea, n sand, great coffee, good food, reminiscing, TimTam shopping (for the folks back home), splendid sunset views from the lighthouse… (for those of us that could be arsed to walk up there).
Byron ticked off, we proceeded to the pièce de résistance of the birthday celebrations… All aboard the Tweed Princess for a 3 nights houseboat extravaganza on the River Tweed.
A quick but thorough lesson covering the basics house boating, a check to see that our nominated captain was up to the job and we were off… Awesome! Oh what fun we had…
…Peace, tranquility, stunning views of the Border Ranges, more great food, fabulous company, wildlife (and I don’t just mean the birds and other animals – a pretty wild time was had by all on board), fishing for some, an unintended evening dip in the river, and a brief spell grounded on a sandbank to name but a few of our adventures. After dropping anchor on day 2, the more compos mentis in our number rowed ashore for more suppliers – mainly alcohol but also cake (-the latter, from the only bakery in town frankly not recommended – well not the egg-free variety anyway)
Definitely in my top three houseboat experiences was being led back to the marina by a dolphin. Clearly after the sandbank incident, said dolphin realised none of us really had a clue how to steer a boat, or navigate a river, so decided to help out.
Got to give a big shout out to Boyd’s Bay Houseboats. Spacious, well equipped, and bloody good fun. Thanks to Pete for getting us the sandbank and being lovely about it. A lovely cruisey guy.
Also to my fellow adventurers – you’re all awesome – missing you already.
But it wasn’t over yet… Back to Nimbin for another night of fun, frolics, and barbies before we all headed off our separate ways. Fortunately en route home to Old Blighty a couple of us had a few days in Hong Kong to buffer the return to the reality of work…