Cars for boats

The traffic into Surfer’s Paradise was horrendous this morning. It took us 45 minutes to go on a journey that, normally, takes 15. What made it worse was that the Hassells were in the same traffic jam though, fortunately, a bit further ahead of us.

We were to report to the ticket desk at 11:30 in order to collect our tickets for the boat tour of the canals. The boat was due to leave at 12. Cynthia couldn’t find the place we were looking for. Fortunately Andrew did and collected the tickets.

As we managed to get ourselves more and more lost, there were frantic text messages flying from phone to phone, calls from Oz to the UK and back again, the boat operators ringing Bob and an awful lot of stress. Most of the stress was borne by Mirinda and, apparently, Fiona.

Andrew and the kids seem to have the ability to let Fiona’s stress just flow off them. It’s a bit different in our car. Mirinda’s stress sends me into a spin and I get more and more annoyed. It never lasts that long but it’s awful when it does.

Anyway, we found a carpark (not the one we were supposed to be in) and a very handy car space. We left the car and headed out. Andrew, on the phone, told me to head for the canal. The trouble was, there was no canal, just highway. Mirinda tried using her iPhone.

Suddenly, from across the road came a hooting and a hollering. Andrew and Lauren were jumping up and down, gesturing at us. We headed towards them, cursing and avoiding the mad tourist drivers as we darted across the 30 crowded lanes.

It was then a case of rushing to the boat which was waiting patiently for us. The very nice lady on the dock smiled and assured us there was no need to hurry. There was another late comer behind us. We sighed a sigh of relief as we posed for a photograph we would never see before boarding. I went upstairs with the kids and, eventually, was calm enough to speak to adults again.

The cruise was lovely except for the obscene houses along the canal edges worth ridiculously huge amounts of money and yet with no gardens and little taste. We were told lots of things about people who don’t really matter very much with nothing better to spend their money on than more bathrooms than bedrooms in their houses.

I call this pornographic

What I liked best was feeling the wind in my hair, the sun on my arms and watching the various boats and passengers.

A strange figurehead

And there were an awful lot of boats of many and various sizes. Naturally I liked the bigger ones, seeing as we would want it to take us across the channel to France (Isle of Wight on the weekends) and I really don’t want to try taking a dinghy across the shipping lanes.

I quite fancied this one

Leaving the canals, we then ventured out towards Sea World and the huge, expensive on one side, marina. Nestled in among the boats and restaurants and convenience store for boats, was the tiniest, cutest little chapel. Apparently it floats and is available for all manner of churchy things. And it makes sense. After all, Jesus floated too.

So cute but so crowded in

The tour lasted an hour and a half and was very enjoyable as was the included lunch at the Captain’s Cafe. And the traffic home was much more reasonable.

We had dinner with the Hassells as it was our last night – we’re off to Mullumbimby tomorrow – and had generous amounts of delicious lasagne and Caesar salad before a load of tearful goodbyes. I don’t know about Mirinda but I’m certainly going to miss Lauren and Jason (I’ll need to write about the Immortal Pebble one day).

By the way, Cynthia is Bob’s satnav.

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