The alarm went off at 0300hrs, which is an absolutely ridiculous time to be woken from your beauty sleep when you need it as much as I do! However it was all for a good cause, sorta! By 0400hrs we were downstairs in the lobby handing our key cards back in and pushing the button on the desk for a taxi, which we were assured would be outside in five minutes. They were right, because less than 5 minutes later a silver service BMWx5 rolled up and we loaded up. The driver was amusing, and very chatty given the ungodly hour. We were at the airport in well under 20 minutes because the roads were so quiet which was seriously good going.
On arrival at the domestic terminal we were taken through straight away, Mildred was deposited in the oversize luggage (sorry old girl) and the Sturdy one made its merry way through the doors of doom ready to be loaded onto the plane. (We hoped) As it was ridiculously early nothing was open in the airport so we couldn't get a brew of any description, which was a shame because my mouth was so dry I had to peel my tongue off the roof of it several times.
Internal flights don't get passport checks, but you still have the rest of the security procedures, which as usual we Sailed through. We were called to board at 0540hrs and got loaded on first which is always a relief to me. Our flight was due to take off at 0605hrs but didn't leave until 0625. The pilot made up some time because we landed bang on time at Gold Coast Airport. Which is weird, we landed the exact time we took off, obviously due to the time difference between Queensland and New South Wales. We were unloaded with two other ladies, both of which were incredibly rude to the crew and the ground staff. There was only two wheelchairs to transport us in, because the one lady hadn't actually booked special assistance. I suspect had she been a little less entitled and a little more pleasant they would have done their best to accommodate her. As it was she was still complaining about it as I was wheeled off. The lovely lady in charge of me made me giggle because I could hear her mumbling under her breath, and whilst I couldn't make out what she was saying, I have no doubts whatsoever it wasn't particularly complimentary. We collected Mildred and decamped from the airport wheeler, made our way outside to tropical sunshine, blue skies and balmy temperatures. Perfect. This is much more like it!! There were a couple of options for transport to the apartment, but we picked the easiest one, taxi.
Our driver was from Scarborough, and had been out in Queensland for 5 years, as his daughter lives in Tasmania. He was a typical chatty cabbie who used to drive cabs in the uk. Several times he took that awful creepy pedophille Jimmy Saville in his cab. He was not a fan of him at all and said that on one occasion he took the creep and a film crew around Scarborough as they were making a documentary on him. He was saying that Saville was very uncomfortable about the whole thing, which I found odd because the vile man hid in plain sight for years, his victims were ignored, and he got away with abusing vulnerable people for far too long. Maybe he was uncomfortable because he wasn't in control of the situation. Who knows, the creep is dead now thank god. Anyway, I digress, apologies!!
We arrived at our apartment block just after 0700, and as we couldn't leave our bags for another hour and half our driver directed us to some eating places around the corner. Despite the early hour, the sun was burning hot and I was glad I'd put sunblock on before leaving this morning. I adore Surfers Paradise, I love the long white beaches, the wild crashing waves, watching the surfers do their thing, and just the whole chilled out vibe of the place. Mainly though it's the beach and the waves. We found a cafe and had a quick bite to eat and sat watching the waves roll in. Perfect way to start the day isn't it? Once we'd finished we went back to the apartment block to leave our bags until we could check in. There was some god news we'd been upgraded and now had a 2 bedroom apartment on the front of the block. This was excellent news Bob and Kev get their own room and their own beds!!
Bags dumped, we crossed the road and rumbled our way down the Esplanade, a perfect calm settled over me, as I inhaled the sea air, watched and listened to the waves and the shouts of delight from the people taking a dip. The walkways are fabulous, miles long, very wide, very flat and easy wheeling. I wanted to take Si to Charlie's, a cafe I used to work in many moons ago, and whilst I knew it was there when I last visited with Morg, I was really sad to find it had shut down. The chess tables that were outside it were gone and the whole mall was unrecognisable to me. So much change, and all ultra modern, the obligatory Starbucks, and Irish Bars now take the space where the iconic Charlies stood from the 1970's. It just seems like such a shame to me, the place was great about hiring backpackers and as long as you worked hard you were rewarded accordingly.
As we looked around, a gentleman in a tiny pink string bikini top and matching bottoms walked past us. The bottoms were a shade too small if I'm honest because you could see his butt crack over the top of them. Thankfully his belly covered what was in the front, well I say thankfully, it wasn't a pretty image either way, but I feel the belly was better than seeing the budgie he'd smuggled into the bikini bottoms. To be fair though, he had an awesome tan.
With the disappointing discovery of Charlie's being gone, and my vision still not quite right after the trauma my eyeballs had had inflicted on them by the bikini clad gentleman, we decided Kitty Flynn Irish bar was a good place to stop and relieve our trauma. It was like being on rugby tour, Guinness and cider at 1000hrs but hey , we're on holidays, so it's allowed. One turned into 4 and then we needed to satisfy the beer munchies, and ordered some stodge to mop up the liquids we'd consumed. It was one of those cases where expectations weren't met. I envisioned crispy battered fish and chunky chips, pretty much like the image on the menu. What arrived was limp soggy batter and skinny chips. Skinny bloody chips I tell you, everyone knows you need chunky chips!!! Obviously we ate them and once the plates were cleared we left, because I'd received a message that our apartment was now ready.
The short walk back was lovely, the sun beating down on us and the calming soothing sound of the ocean just perfection to my eardrums. Our check in was very smooth, and to my delight the apartment looks out over the ocean and you can hear it through the glass. There is a lovely little balcony which I think we'll be having brekkie on, maybe lunch, and quite possibly supper, a fully equipped kitchen, washer tumble dryer, 2 bathrooms and 2 bedrooms. Bob and Kev are tucked up in their own beds and fast asleep. Bob is going to have a 'bath' tomorrow he's bogging!!
The early start caught up with me and it was as much as I could do to keep me eyes open. I have a sneaky suspicion that early daytime drinking may have contributed to the heavy eye syndrome, but either way I was ready for a Power Nap. Said Power Nap lasted until 2200 and I woke to the sounds of the waves. Si was reading in the lounge looking out at the white wave crests on the beach opposite. There is a lot of street lighting, which picks up the white surf. I'm looking forward to watching tomorrows sunrise from the balcony, and although some rain has come in I'm hopeful of a fine day tomorrow. There is just so much to see and do and not a great deal of time to do it all!!
We sat out on the balcony in the dark, watching the world go by, although it was well illuminated, it was still simply perfect. It's weird I love calm sea to get into, but a wild one is my absolute favourite to just sit and watch. However I really don't like boats especially if I can't see land. Go figure! If you can work that out you are a genius. Please also know I feel sorry for you because you are now in my head you poor poor things!!!