Thursday 29 & Friday 30 March – Not quite in the big smoke

Author: Mrs A

Location: Pullenvale, west of Brisbane, Queensland

We were awoken around 6am on Thursday by a rain shower, which had us leaping out of bed to close the skylights and rescue the washing we had hung out last night. Despite it still being dark, once awake, we couldn’t really go back to sleep, and so set about getting packed up and ready to head off on our way.

We were on the road by shortly after 7am and heading north into Queensland through intermittent heavy rain showers. Other than a brief interlude for fuel as we crossed the border, we didn’t stop until we reached Pullenvale. There is no official camping area here, rather we have been invited by some old friends to camp on their property. We pulled in through their gate and parked up right alongside their swimming pool, with access to power, water and our own bathroom with shower! It could not be more perfect, other than the fact our friends Martina and Karel plus their two sons are away at the moment, so we don’t get to see them.We were settled in by 2pm, then realising that Queensland is an hour behind New South Wales, so had to change our watches to 1pm (it’s ok NSW readers, you need to change your clocks on Sunday – also an hour back!). The afternoon continued to be warm and showery, truly tropical with high humidity. Martina’s mother, Maria, is living at the house, so we caught up with her for a cup of tea and a chat. She has moved here from the Czech Republic, and although her English is not perfect we managed to enjoy a conversation.

Good Friday morning Mr A cooked us all breakfast on the BBQ which we shared with Maria, before we headed out to see a bit of the area. We have both visited Brisbane for work, but had never seen the suburban areas. Pullenvale is about 17km west of the city, and feels very rural. The property on which we are staying is 10,000 square metres, consisting of rolling lawns, a dam, creek, waterfall and several fields. The next door neighbours have horses – it’s all a long way from the Brisbane we have ever seen! We decided to drive out to Mount Coot-Tha, 287 metres above sea level and towering above Brisbane and the coast. It is also home to many bush walks, mountain bike trails and picnic spots. We brought along our hiking shoes hoping the rain would stop and we could do a walk.

Alas the rain was determined to continue, with heavy downpours every 15 minutes or so. We drove though winding streets to reach the lookout, and dodged the rain to catch the view while it was visible.Beaten by the weather, we decided to abandon our walk plans and headed back for a pot of tea and a hot cross bun. It is Good Friday after all!

We had a relaxing afternoon, spent swimming in the pool and reading as the weather brightened up. It’s so nice to have the place pretty much to ourselves, and Tassie is really enjoying having the run of the place.

A lovely relaxing evening was spent with dinner eaten outside by the pool – a Goan Fish Curry which we accompanied with a fine bottle of red and shared with Maria.

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