on the up and up…

My Wednesday started off with Weet-bix. Yes, we were out of all other cereals, and since I didn’t want toast, I had to give in and try Weet-bix. I don’t know what exactly to tell you. It wasn’t bad. I put honey on two of the “bars”, and then poured milk over it. You wait until it’s soggy enough to eat… unless you like it crunchy, I suppose. But if you left it crunchy, it really looked like you’d be trying to chew a small stack of hay. Shades of Mini-Wheats rose before my eyes. I didn’t love it or hate it. It was filling. But what fun is cereal like that, especially if you have to add sugar or honey, in order to eat it? I don’t know. I’ll eat it when I need to, I guess, and stick with enjoying Vegemite and CheesyBite. If I can enjoy those, not having been raised on them, like my Aussie friends, surely no one can diss me for finding Weet-bix uninteresting. Ok, they CAN, but they shouldn’t.   : P

After much discussion, we opted to go to Lamington National Park, instead of Mt. Tamborine, though the intention (originally) was to do both. I had heard of a tree top walk at O’Reilly’s Plateau, a part of Lamington, and it was free. There’s a tree top walk at Mt. Tamborine, but it costs about $20 per person. So, that was one incentive to go there. But since we had googled them both, the idea was that they were closer to each other, and we could go to O’Reilly’s and then drive to Mt. Tamborine. Or so we thought.

Our drive took us further into the Gold Coast Hinterland than we had intended (or that Google had informed us of), and then we arrived in Canungra, where we stopped to have some delicious meat pies. I also had a sausage roll, which was completely delicious, but had no kind of sausage in it that I’ve ever seen. If there’s one thing I’m going to miss when I leave Australia, it’s going to be the meat pies and sausage rolls.

From Canungra, we proceeded through some seriously rolling hills, and then further and further up we went. My mom would have been carsick before we even reached the little road leading up to the plateau. The road began to switchback, steeper and steeper, with the most amazing views, but I was glad I wasn’t driving. I probably could’ve handled it in the U.S., but I wouldn’t want to risk those roads on the “wrong” side of the car. Especially as we got further up, because that was a LONG drive up, and you still had cars coming from the opposite direction, occasionally.

We arrived at O’Reilly’s, after driving through the Green Mountain section of Lamington National Park, which is a sub-tropical rainforest. I’d never thought about there being rainforest in the mountains before. You can call me stupid, if you want, but rainforests bring to mind the ones in the Amazon River Basin… you know, “basin” doesn’t imply mountains? Anyway, forgive me while I get edumacated.   : )

Our first destination, on the plateau, was the tree top walk. The walkway itself wasn’t as long as I’d expected, or as interesting, but when I read about it online, I hadn’t paid any attention to the details about the viewing platforms. These, it turned out, were reached from two ladders, reaching up two levels into a very big tree. The ladder was surrounding by a “fence”, so you didn’t have to worry about falling, if you lost your grip. But the fun of climbing those ladders… several of us turned into little kids, in the process, laughing and chuckling, the whole way up, with the fun of it. And then you’d get to the next ladder and feel like jumping up and down with excitement, from being so high up. And then you’d go up the next ladder, which was even steeper.

All but one of our group went up to the top, and that includes the four year old. She was so excited to do it, and kept her dad busy, trying to keep up with her. The walkway area was pretty tame, after going up the tree. You couldn’t actually see too wide of a view, because the large branches and leaves blocked some of it, but we didn’t mind.

[above] The view going up the first ladder

[below] The view from the first platform

[below] The view going up the second ladder, to the second platform

[below] The view from the second (top) platform.

From there, we headed back towards the gift shop and cafe (where several types of birds hope to get leftovers from meals), though I was sidetracked, trying to find a good view to take pictures of, but trees and buildings were blocking it. In the process, I found the statue commemorating how O’Reilly’s Plateau was named. In 1937, here was a small plane crash in that area, and Bernard O’Reilly used his knowledge of bush craft to search steadily for the plane, and eventually found it, with two survivors.

We drove down the road a little ways, and stopped to go bushwalking on a trail to Python Rock. I saw many trees that are definitely related to Ents, along that walk. And, of course, a great view from the end of the trail.

After this walk, we had to get down from the mountains, in order to get to someone’s house in time for tea (dinner). We passed a sign for a lookout point, and went to see what was there. We found a pavilion set up with a marvelous view in all directions. What a place to have a picnic!

Now, I don’t ever get “carsick”, but the twisty road and the smell of brakes were seriously testing my stomach (translation: driving won’t make me BE sick, but the smell of exhaust or smoke, in addition to the twisty roads, can make me feel really unwell). And then Sophie threw up, and made things lively for the rest of the ride, especially for Amelia, who was sitting next to her. Thankfully, we reached Canungra, and climbed out to soak in the fresh air and clean up the mess in the car.

Then, off to their family’s house in the Gold Coast, where they grilled dinner on the barbie, and some of us had a pretty fun and interesting conversation, afterwards. But more on that later.

2 thoughts on “on the up and up…

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