So we arrived in Brisbane at about lunchtime on the Friday, and dumped our bags in some day lockers to wait for Woody. I received a text from Woody saying he was stuck in a lift and didnt know how long he'd be (I was having a mare about my phone because it wont let me text). Eventually, Woody escaped, and found us, and showed us around the city during his lunchbreak Later that evening, after wandering around Brisbane for the day, we met up with Woody at his office and went back to his place, which is in the suburbs of Brisbane, about the same distance from Stevenage to London. Its so nice of them to put us up for a while. It was great to catch up with them both, and so nice to have a hot bath rather than a cold shower for a change!! Tanya is a really good cook too. In the day, we took a wander to the local 'Hyperdome' which has a mall and cinema, and went to see Transformers 2. Its about a 40 minute walk to the Hyperdome, but thats nothing compared to the walking we've been doing!!! There's a film rental place that has '1 dollar rentals' on a tuesday too. In the day we have a lazy one, or wander to the shops, or we can catch the bus into central Brisbane to see the sights for $5 and in the evenings, we stay in and watch a film or 2. Its not been quite as flamboyant as the experiences we've had so far, but its a great way of saving money!!
The following weekend, Woody and Tanya took us to Girraween camping for the weekend, which was an amazing experience. Girraween national park is about a 3 hour drive away from Brisbane, further inland, and a lot colder than Brisbane. We climbed a few small mountains, Castle Rock, The Pyramid, Mt Norman and Bald Rock (the 2nd biggest monolith in the southern hemisphere or something!) and they were very very steep granite, so it was quite a challenge, not for the faint hearted. But it was amazing when we got to the very top, the views were stunning. On the first day we did the pyramid, which was about 5k, and the 2nd day we did Castle Rock, Mt Norman, and a couple of other walks, which were more challanging as you had a lot of rock climbing to do. We walked about 15k on that day. It was exhausting, but so great when you got to the top, as all the mountains were in a circle, so you could see each mountain you had climbed from the top of another. We wandered to this natural creek called the junction at the end of our 15k walk, and had a paddle in the water, which was freezing but nice after all that walking! Back at camp, when the sun went down, and you turned off all the lights and laid down, you could see so many stars, even the milky way and shooting stars as well. And if you really concentrated, you could sometimes pick out a man made satelite moving in the stars (or ufo, who knows!!) It was stunning, really! Back at camp when we were cooking, sometimes you'd hear something run past your campsite, or you'd see a flash of grey go up a tree, or a weird chattering noise in the dark (like something from a horror film, eerie!) They were possums, really tame, because they are so used to being fed by campers. They were really quite sweet, one of them broke into our rubbish bin and started eating some left over cooked spaghetti. It was fun telling jokes over the campfire and roasting marshmallows (i've never done that before). Tanya and Woody had all the camping equipment as well, which was really cool. At night you'd here all sorts of growling and grunting sounds next to your tent. It was spooky, but funny. And at dawn, you'd hear so many wild and exotic birds waking up (some of them sound more like monkeys or car alarms than birds) One morning i even heard a few loud gunshots, and it wasnt until we went to a notice board area later that day, that we realised there are Lyrebirds in the forest as well (the rare birds on David Attenborough that can mimic 100's of different sounds in the forest). Unfortunately we didnt get to see any though. On our last day, Tanya was cooking up some bacon for us, and about 5 kookaburra's flew in and perched on the nearby trees. We knew what they were up to, as days earlier one had swooped down and nearly stole Woody's sausage (no joke). So we kept a watchful eye on them, covered the bacon up and everything, so they wouldnt make a move. It wasnt until after we were eating and chatting, when we got a little complacent thinking they wouldnt have the courage to swoop in when we were in a group, that one hovered straight down onto the table at its leisure and grabbed a massive bit of bacon, all 4 of us screaming like girls as this massive bird hovered over us choosing its bit of bacon lol. They are so intelligent, they know to wait until we forget about them before they strike! So remember to watch out for kookaburras if your camping in the bush. On the last day before we left, we climbed up Bald Rock (as you do) before heading home to Brisbane. It was a brilliant weekend!!