Playing the Tourists – 1st March 2019

Last night we visited friends Ian and Petrina and their three well grown up lads who we knew from our Muswellbrook days. Ian was in IT at one of the mines where Di worked and he had this aversion towards computers. He felt if you could work it out with pen, paper and a calculator – do so! He was and still is an incredible self taught handyman who helped us in our renovations and liked nothing better to have a challenge of which our old house presented him with quite a few. They named their middle son Frazer, as they thought it was very unique and you usually don’t name a child after someone who you are not fussed on.

Part day off from visiting friends today, so we decided we would ride the Rivercat up and down the Brisbane River, or as Nick likes to call it “The greasy Limpopo”.

This map shows the extent of the river as it flows through the city. As you will note, it is extremely windy which causes your sense of direction to be constantly challenged. You would think with a river course like this there would quite a few road bridges – WRONG – there are seven road bridges and only one tunnel which has just recently come on line.

The cats only hold about 80 passengers but are frequent and goodness can they fly. Shouldn’t have bothered blow drying our hair this morning.

We walked to the ferry stop from our perfectly adequate accomodation and then cruised back past it. Nicks apartment is fifth floor of the building in the middle.

We got on the ferry one stop before the end and our plan was to travel the entire distance. In all, it took us 1 ½ hours to travel one way at the grand total of $3.31. Cheaper than any river cruise, that’s for sure. This picture shows the Kurilpa pedestrian and cycle bridge which is rather unique looking.

Around the corner for a view of part of the city skyline and this area is probably more the business district. The river is very wide and fast flowing plus being tidal. A full moon with the king tide and cyclonic weather and the river let’s a lot of the population relies that building along the river bank was a pretty stupid idea. It is almost impossible to get flood insurance – hmm, wonder why.

The Story Bridge where you can do a bridge climb like in Sydney. It is also one of the main arterial routes for what is a very confusing road system. Like a lot of cities, Brisbane is constricted by its own growth and you seem to get roads on top of roads on top of roads.

We got off at the last stop of Northshore Hamilton and had some lunch and then back onto the cat to make our way home as we had a dinner appointment.

This time we drove over to the northern suburb of Ascot to catch up with an old work colleague from Runge who had visited us many times in the Calgary office. Poor Ben, he always seemed to arrive in Calgary in the worst of the weather and a number of times we had to take him shopping to kit him out in warm clothing. More often than not he had to go way up north into the Arctic to see clients, so he has now ended up with this wardrobe of arctic wear in his Brisbane closet. He also brought Fred along who goes back to our time in Sydney. Fred worked with Fraser in Sydney for a company called Coleman and Associates who, shall we say, were a bit rough around the edges. Fred then moved to Brisbane to work for Runge so he and Fraser have floated in and out of one another’s work life for a number of years.

Talking of cold weather – Calgary has an Extreme Cold Weather Alert out. -31c but feels like -40c. — even by our standards that is more than on the nippy side. About a month back, our house sitters Joannie and Simon were telling us how mild the winter had been of which we said it wouldn’t last. Yeap, it proved us right. They have been in a deep freeze since we spoke to them. Can’t say we are missing it!!

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