I have never been so fr**ging hot. It was over 41 degrees in Brisbane today, and I don’t have airconditioning. I do however have about 6 fans and they were all strategically placed at me. When it is 32 degrees at 8.00am you know it’s going to be a stinker.

Pauline and I thought Saturday was going to be bad, so after my horticulture class finished at 1.00pm we immediately got in the car and left. All I could think about the Roy Orbison lyrics to “I drove all night” that go:

“I had to escape, the city was sticky and cruel”

We headed for the Gold Coast Hinterland in search of temperature below 38. Instead we found the Hinze Dam. Getting out of the car the rubber soles of my shoes left footprints as I walked along the spillway. I took some pictures of the near empty lake before rushing back to the car, hoping not to die from breathing in the hot air. 🙂

Still seeking the relief from the heat, we headed further in to the hinterland, past Page’s Pinnacle and through Numinbah. A few kms past the Springbrook turnoff was the oasis we desired. Natural Arch National Park had a plethura of cars in the carpark – enough for us to know we were on to a good thing. Luckily most of the pedestrian traffic appeared to be leaving, so after a quick stop at the composting toilets that you don’t flush, we took a deep breath of human waste and headed down the track.

The walk meanders down the hillside in a roundabout fashion, pretty much all downhill, teasing you constantly with the sound of gushing water. All of a sudden you emerge from the forest into an oasis of river rocks, minor waterfalls and fat white annoying people. Following the path beside the stream, it finally orgasms in the large chasm of the natural arch with a large waterfall. Glow worms habitat the arch and share the space with teenagers who duck in and out under the waterfall.

We sat in the cool refreshing water for about 45 minutes, Pauline sitting on a rock while an eel watched from below. Our serenity was interrupted by some guy who thought it would be fun to throw all the rocks over a small waterfall cause he liked the way it sounded and then when he had run out of rocks he started throwing a tennis ball all around. Time to go, Pauline and Amy.

Backtracked the way we came and then took the Springbrook turnoff. There was an excellent looking cafe near the something lookout, but as we had just eaten we weren’t inclined to stop. But stop we did at Purlingbrook Falls. The 300 metre walk showed off brilliant views, but it was just a taster for the walk that takes about 2 hours. From where we were we could see that you can actually walk under the waterfall. Since it was 5.30pm by then we didn’t want to risk it but we have marked it in the book for another day. There is a camping ground at the top too, so you could do the walk and then come back and get drunk. 🙂

After Purlingbrook Falls we headed to what was supposedly the “Best of All” lookout. Walking through the rainforest was definately cooling, and we saw many wallabies on the 6km drive there from Purlingbrook. We saw some Antarctic trees that were knobbly and joined together and then emerged to a view that overlooked the NSW and Queensland border. The pink and blues of dusk were posing for a picture.

By now we were hungry, so we headed to Cooloongatta for some food. Not seeing anything we liked we ended up back at Mudgereeba at the Wallaby Hotel or something. As soon as we walked in my ears started to hurt and I was ready to take a pill. Then I realised it was their lounge singer. The lady who seated us started taking us towards him and I was screaming in my head “no closer, no closer”. Luckily we sat around the corner and didn’t have to look at him. So while we waited for our meals we had to listen to him wreck songs like Unchained Melody and Baker St. I swear, this man probably owned the place could no-one would hire a singer who was that bad.

I ordered a warm beef salad with sundried tomatoes and Pauline ordered a Nolan Steak. Their menu was written beautifully – if only their food lived up to it. My salad didn’t have the sundried tomatoes advertised, and was the kind of salad you put as a side dish (i.e. iceburg lettuce) not the kind you have in a warm beef salad. Pauline’s Nolan Steak “imported from the Nolan family in Gympie” was a tough peice of leather. I guess we are just city slickers and expected a bit more for our $38.

But I did like the air conditioning and the bright red alcoholic ice drink I ordered – called “Sex on the Beach” (you try asking for it). I wasn’t fond of their fake wood panelling though.

Then it was back home to the Brisbane heat once again, were the “cooler” nighttime temperature was 30 degrees. Pauline ended up sleeping on the beanbag on the verandah. My “sex on the beach” was enough to knock me out for the night, so I didn’t feel the heat until the next morning.



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