March 6, 2017
Today we disembarked the ship for our one week in Australia. First, we needed to be checked out by the Australian immigration authorities – and I do mean checked out. They went through every item in our bags asking questions along the way about the coffee I purchased for Peter, our medications, if we were taking in large amounts of money, etc. Well, we checked out OK and got off the ship. This immigration check happened in the Captain’s conference room near the bridge, so we got to see some of the “inner sanctum”.
We were met by Peter Barr, a friend and ICF colleague and his girlfriend Kate and we began a wonderful day. Here is the view of Brisbane from high up at a lookout – Mt. Cootha.
We traveled to the Margaret Olley gallery where we intended to visit and have lunch in the cafe, but alas, it was closed on Monday and Tuesday. Norm did take the time to interact with yet another sculpture!
We traveled to Tyalgum, a very small town with a very wonderful cafe, Flutterbies, where we had lunch. Norm and Peter both enjoyed a potpie while Kate and I had mushroom (Kate) and avocato(me) toast. Fabulous!
We were loving the scenery and glad we weren’t driving as we made our way toward our hotel for the night in Byron Bay, which Peter says is the most beautiful place around. And we won’t argue with that. Mt. Warning is in the distance and that picture will wait till tomorrow’s post because it was quite hazy.
We checked into out hotel, the Byron Bay Beach hotel, then went for a 6 mile (and 52 flights) walk up to the Cape Byron lighthouse and the most easterly point in Australia. Absolutely spectacular views from every angle and the beach is lined with forests. We walked along the beach then up to the lighthouse.Does Peter think he can fly without the hang glider??
We then came back to the hotel, shared drinks on the balcony overlooking the beach and the pool and had dinner at a nearby pub where they were playing reggae. It is usually much more crowded, but this whole area is full of backpackers, vacationers, cafes, pubs and the most beautiful scenery. Seem to be musicians playing on every corner too.
More adventures await tomorrow. Great day.