8 – Brisbane

On the walk to the station met a girl from Copenhagen. We discussed the merits of said city at some length having just visited there last November. Had commented on how sunburned she was. She said it really hurt. She had laid out in the sun for an hour from 11 – 12…worst times to be in the sun.


Asked if she had put anything on it. She said she had not. We were passing a Coles grocery store. Told her that white vinegar could really help alleviate a sunburn. She was skeptical and passed it by. When we got to the transit terminal she was still in pain. Gave her an aspirin as that can also help. Offered to go to the store for her to try to get something. She agreed to watch the bags. Hit a few store nearby with no luck. Made it to a Chemists (what they call drug stores here). Found some special stuff for $20. No, better to go with what you know. Got a small squeeze bottle of Aloe Vera gel for $4. Returned to the station. She hiked up her dress as she was wearing a bikini under it and slathered her back. Gave the rest to her to go to the rest room and apply to the more sensitive areas. She made sure to reimburse me and offer many thanks. Curious that she didn’t even say goodbye in Brisbane. People do get caught up in the process of reaching a destination. Wonder if the aloe helped.

Darkness had just settled over the city of Brisbane as our driver pulled the bus into a giant parking garage and wound his way up to the third floor. This was the Roma station. The traffic for the last hour or so had been typical of any large city at rush hour. Miserable. Complemented the driver as we exited. He shrugged it off as all in a days work. When he had arrived in Noosa there were some young folks who had know each other from some prior stops. I also said hello to a fellow from the last hostel, but only after the bags were loaded onto the bus. They were seemingly unconcerned about boarding the current bus or putting the packs on as they caught up on what they had been doing. The driver, a fellow quite near retirement age, had waited a minute or so before asking if they were going on his bus. When they said they were he said “Well let’s get a move on then, I haven’t got all day you know” Seemed a little grumpy but he certainly had a point. The people complied. Think it was more a matter of respect for the process than any impatience on the part of the driver. Hopped on and got the front seat. Nice.

When we disembarked he was the picture of patience and very helpful making sure everyone knew where their respective hostels were and the best way to get to them. Really surprised by how attentive he was to everyone, even the people who disrespected him earlier. In general the people in Australia have been very helpful and gone out of their way do so. Usually with good cheer and a positive attitude. Told me not to bother with a bus.

The hostel was located near the Central Station, about a ten minute walk away. Fired up google maps and started the navigation. Nice thing about the Greyhound buses here is that they all have a USB port per seat. Rolling bag worked well on the city streets. Arrived at the hostel, checked in and asked about good things to do. The girl behind the counter recommended the ferry. This had also been recommended by the Greyhound “3 best things to do..” which they attach to each city booking. Grabbed the bag after meeting a group of girls from the Faro Islands, my new room mates.

Faro Island friends

The Faro island group is located about halfway between Iceland and Great Britain. The language they speak is a mixture of Old Norse and Icelandic. Very interesting to listen to. Got the day pack and walked the few blocks to the large river which runs through the downtown. High rise modern skyscrapers were in abundance. Reaching the river one couldn’t help being impressed by the multitude of lights along the river and on the bridge. Sort of like a mini Hong Kong harbor.

At the harbor there were many shops and hotels fronting the river. A walkway ran along the edge. Took a few minutes to find the ferry dock at pier one. Was expecting a large dock. Instead the “Hopper” ferry is a smallish vessel maybe 30 feet in length. The top deck was covered with a roof leaving the sides open of clear viewing. Wooden slat bench seats lined the sides. Not very crowded so got a good seat up top to enjoy the light breeze. Cool enough to zip on the pants from the shorts configuration and put on a light windbreaker. The ride was free. A nice contribution from the city council. Many use these ferry’s to commute.

Need I say it?

One could sense that by the way people lined up as the ferry approached. It is not a large vessel. Sure some of these people have been denied entry when the boat was too full. The cruise lasted about an hour stopping at a few different stops as we zigzagged across the river. Got off and meandered back to the hostel where there was a long line of people waiting to get in to the bar. Decided not to bother and made an early night of it.

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