Our time in Brisbane has been very different in comparison to our time spent in Sydney. Because Dan and I are working ridiculous hours (in excess of 40 per week), it is making excursions (i.e. Blog-worthy material) hard to come by!! Having said that, because I get weekends off, we have been able to plan some day trips.
A few weeks ago Dan managed to get a Sunday off work, so we decided to head up the coast to the Glasshouse Mountains National Park. As there is a train station (and a 'town') called Glasshouse, it seemed only natural to get off the train at that stop. This turned out to be a bad choice. As we stepped off the train I could have sworn I saw a tumbleweed roll past, that's how deserted the place was! However, we weren't too worried, as we were surrounded by mountains, so thought it couldn't be far to the tourist information/courtesy bus/life of some sort.
Anyway, just as we were thinking about turning round and heading back towards the train station, we saw a lady with two dogs on what appeared to be a driveway to a house. Concerned, she asked us if we were lost. We explained our situation and, after consulting with her husband, she kindly offered to run us to the park's lookout. At this point I'd like to point out that we are not the sort of people to get into a car with a complete stranger under normal circumstances. But these were not normal circumstances - we were hot, thirsty, hungry and pretty desperate to get off the ridiculously long road we had been trudging along for what seemed like forever. And besides, the couple seemed so friendly and genuine that, on this occasion, I was willing to bend the rules. Our gamble paid off.
Jannean, as we were to discover, loves travellers. She often helps out backpackers who get lost in the park and has even, on occasions, let them stay in her house. She wanted to know all about Devon and what we were up to in Australia, and talked about the travelling she had done in the past.
After our drinks, we assumed Jannean would drive us back to the station, as we'd already taken up a fair bit of her Sunday afternoon. However, she insisted on driving us all round the park, stopping at various vantage points to tell us old folk tales, or to get a good picture. It was like having our own personal tour guide and photographer, all rolled into one.
Four hours later (!) we parted company, after thanking her about a million times for rescuing us and spending so much time showing us around. If it hadn't have been for her our day out would have been very dull indeed, as we would have had to view the mountains from the side of a dusty road. For anyone planning on visiting the mountains I would say 'do it' because they are beautiful, but definitely hire a car (or a Jannean!) to do the leg work for you!
It was so weird to see the famous X Factor stage, and the four empty chairs for the judges. Except over here they were to be filled by Ronan Keating, Natalie Imbruglia, Guy Sebastian (winner of Australian Idol) and the controversial radio DJ Kyle Sandilands rather than Simon Cowell et al.