Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Surfers Paradise aka known as Surfers

This is the view to the North - towards Brisbane

The view to the South East where one can see Coolangatta in the far end

The view to North West where one can see the Broadwater

Surfer Paradise is the very heart of the Gold Coast. I also gathered when someone spoke of the Gold Coast they actually meant Surfers… The Gold Coast is huge…. it’s situated just below (Brissie) Brisbane on the map. (Gold Coast’s beautiful coastline is 40km!) This is what I call home. It has so much to offer and if you are a keen explorer, this is the place to start! The Hinterland is has a beauty of its own. We have all the fun attractions here as well, naming Sea World, Movie World, Wet ‘n Wild, Dream World and more! What I’m saying is that this is the place for old and young. This is tourist world! Lol! On our honeymoon in 2005 the famous Q1 building was still being built. Tourists were allowed to view the display apartments which were on the 40th floor. We were at the right time at the right place so we took the opportunity.

Jetstar Photography Competition - Boogie Time!

Jetstar Photography Competition - Boogie Time!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

My first favourite moment in Oz!

I dedicate this post to a dear friend… Hmm she knows who she is. LOL! The particular photo (of me) were taken at Billabong Sanctuary in Townsville – and you guessed it: it was a dream come true! They are so soft and cuddly – the closest I could describe it was to a sheep’s skin. Hubby took this photo while we were on honeymoon. Much to his relief because all I could talk about was holding a koala! I would never forget this day, or the feeling of a living toy in my arms! Just look at the close up of the little one's face - a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!

These were taken at David Fleay Park on the Gold Coast. It was hard leaving him behind...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kangaroos or Roo's as they are called here

I wanted to do and informative post about them but decided not to. The reasons simply because one could easily Google it and find all you want to know, in detail. I’ll just share the experience I have had of them. Apart from finding them in your back yard a good idea is to visit your local Sanctuary. Why? Because they are extremely laid back there. I am talking about our famous Currumbin Sanctuary. There’s a vending machine where tourists can buy a bag of mixed seed/pellets and hand feed them. Some Roo’s hang around the machine, not because they don’t have small change but because they know too well what it’s all about! LOL!

When you handfeed them they don’t even open their eyes. They just munch on everything in slow mode. So funny! Then when there’s a Joey in the pouch they even look more hilarious! I could not imagine myself being curled up like that and have my legs dangling halfway outside. Flexible is not the word. But they can be dangerous too. Not under normal circumstances. Only if they are wounded or cornered, as most animals can be. When they fight, they do so by grabbing each other with their front paws and kicking with their back legs.

These photo’s are living proof just how laid back they can be. Marlize puts her hands under his body, then slowly lifts him up and then, even higher. He is not even bothered! Doesn’t he know we could have easily have kidnapped him that day? I mean seriously, they are cool dudes. Cute and cuddly too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Holding a Wombat

The common wombat is the largest burrowing herbivorous mammal. The closest relative of the wombat is, in fact, the koala. Who would have guessed? With its short tail and legs, characteristic waddle and 'cuddly' appearance, the wombat is one of the most endearing of Australia's native animals, and of course almost the cutest! This one I am holding weighed a whopping 20 kgs! If you think he is adorable you should see their young! This was photo was taken in Northern Qld, Townsville’s Billabong Sanctuary.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A little bit of Sydney

I was about to post this last night when my pc just shut down. It has a mind of its own LOL – so here goes: We had another blissful day out there in the sun. We went to Burleigh Heads again to see if we could get a glimpse of the whales…. No luck! However we finished the full circle of the walk we have done last time. It was awesome. I wish I could post all the photos. Once I have my new computer/laptop, I’ll do that!

So where were we? I guess I have to post some pics of JJ and me in Sydney. Please bear in mind it was taken in 2005. Sydney is a great place for a week end getaway or if you love the night life. I wouldn’t want to live there because I recon it is too busy.

You know I am so glad to be here in Australia. I couldn’t help myself for feeling so grateful for the life we have here. I have already taken so many things for granted (unknowingly!) and today I pondered upon the reasons why we migrated here. Maybe it was because our friends whom had only being here 7 months, wanted to go back to the RSA. I gave them a list of the things I reasoned for them to reconsider moving back. Well, or at least give it another thought. A serious thought. Migration isn’t for sissies. I certainly wouldn’t want them to regret going back. Anyway, people live up to their own decisions – meantime I’ll stay focused on my journey and enjoy the ride.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More views (and a story) on the Gold Coast, Qld

Just to satisfy your curiosity I thought I should add these two photos as well. In my previous post I had a photo where Queensland and New South Wales met and just to get your direction right, the airplane was turning towards the sea, in other words facing East where it was going to turn in a Northern direction, then left again, which is West. (Confused? Don’t worry!) In other words the aircraft almost made a full circle. So in the one photo you can see Burleigh Heads (remember we went for a morning walk there?) and the other, Tugun closing in on Gold Coast Airport. On that specific day we came all the way from Sydney. My goodness I should tell you how all started! Hmm let me take you on my journey! Buckle up!

I don’t want to bore you with all the details but (for the sake of my million Followers) I shall try to tell all in a nut shell. LOL! When JJ and I got married we both decided that the honeymoon was going to be in Australia. Instead of honeymooning on an Idyllic Island, we wanted to explore Queensland as much as we could in the three weeks we had. Maybe I should have started in Sydney! Hang on I’ll get there! LOL! If you don’t want to hear this, skip to tomorrow’s post! J

We got married on Saturday March 5th and had our flight booked for Monday afternoon. (In those days there were no week end flights available) So on Monday at 6pm on March 7th we boarded flight QF64. The plan was to fly to Sydney and then to Brisbane where one of JJ’s friends will meet us at the airport.

We got two boarding tickets and thought it was a bit odd and then just indulged into the blissful time awaiting us.

Oh and I have to tell you that I had a special journal with me where I wanted to record every thing we experienced – why not? This was our honeymoon and the first ever overseas trip in my life! I was super excited! So we boarded the plane, cuddled up like lovers do and counted the hours to Paradise! I gave my journal to one of the hostesses for the Captain to sign! The whole crew did! Got the journal back with well wishes and a bottle of French Champagne! How sweet was that! (Made me feel like a queen)

Anyway when we landed at Sydney the following day at 16H00 we just took off in a cab and booked in at the cutest Hotel. Dropped our bags and set off to the Opera House. We explored the streets, the beautiful parks and just couldn’t get enough of how romantic all was. Later we sat in the Harbour and watched how people enjoyed supper at candle light and listened to musicians playing beautifully outside. My heart was in heaven! JJ took million of photos – which I will share soon. At around 22H00 we got a bit tired and decided to go back to the hotel. JJ said he will call Daniel tomorrow just to make sure he meets us at the airport. I don’t know why but I suggested he call him right away, since they were an hour behind Sydney. He did and to our surprise Daniel was worried sick about us but glad to hear from us. Why? Well, you guessed it: we missed our connection flight to Brisbane! We totally and honestly forgot that we were actually going to fly into ‘the future’ from South Africa! Yeah, Sydney is 8 hours ahead of Johannesburg! That is why we got 2 boarding tickets! Duh! Anyway we booked another flight and this time to Gold Coast … cost us about ZAR1200 but worth every cent!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Areal view on the very South East Corner of Queensland and New South Wales

I came up with a great idea this morning – I would post one of my favourite photos on my blog everyday. Okay, I’ll try to do it everyday! JJ took this photo from the airplane as were about to land on Gold Coast Airport in Coolangatta. The interesting thing about this photo is that we had no knowledge of this place at all until then. Who would have guessed that we would call this home in future? Me at the least!

Anyway by doing this everyone reading my blog would come to know more about Australia, its people and wild life here. One thing I can say is that the beaches here are just as beautiful as those in South Africa. I would never have imagined that I would become so fond of the beach because way back in South Africa I was a wild life warrior! LOL Yeah mom had a farm bordering on the mighty Olifants River where are animals roamed freely. I remember my first experience hearing a lion roared far away as a little girl vividly. It sent tremors down my spine! Some day I would love to share more about it.

Today was another perfect sunny day. This is paradise! When you hear the parrots, watch them while they enjoy their feed it is hard to believe it’s not! Look out your invitation to watch them at my house soon. J

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The view to Rainbow Beach

When we got up this morning we decided to head down South. After we ran some errands of course. It might be good just to recharge so to speak. Always good for the soul. There was another reason as well: Marlize is seriously considering a career change. (Who can blame her, her mom took that brave step!) It so happens that the Defence Force's recruitment offices are located there. At first I was a little concerned but I have to set my feelings aside and let her make her own choices. She is still young and have the world at her feet. Afterwards we drove to Point Danger to see if we were lucky to see some whales migrating north. Unfortunately not today.

When we got back home I got a text message from an old friend of mine. They also migrated to Australia and lived here since November last year. She said they were on their way back to South Africa. I was totally shocked and thought of it to be a joke. Turns out that she was dead serious. Her husband settled in well in his new job and her son was just as happy as a year 11 student. She couldn't adapt. She said that she missed her country too much and that after trying for months now, she couldn’t get her heart settled here. I couldn’t convince her to give it another go - at least for another couple of months. It is very sad because often families settle in well, all but maybe the wife or the children. Some just can't cope with the 'demands' a migrant has to put up with. Migrating is not for everyone. You give up everything and have to start all over. There is the initial culture shock. Yes, I do admit there are things here that differs like day and night from South Africa. So it should be because this is Australia. There are literally thousands of South African families living in Australia and I thought it might of helped her to get in touch with them. She lives about an hour's drive from us and I so wish I could have made the difference for her.

My fears for them are that they would not settle back into life in South Africa again - after tasting life here. It is so safe here. You don’t have to live behind bars to sleep soundly - you don’t have to have armed response on top of your electric fencing... I could go on and on. Yes I do miss my friends (both black and white) dearly but I also have many new friends here. They might not be as close as the ones I had but Rome wasn’t built in one day either.

I am sad for them. I am grateful for what we have here. This is where we chose to be. This is the future, for us. I am not in her shoes so I can't say she has lost her marbles, although I seriously think they should reconsider.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Our application in process...

I am super excited and I recon I'll be totally stress free in no time! Does this make sense? LOL! Who cares, you know what I mean! We are about to launch our application for Permanent Residence! So this involves a lot! We had most of our documents ready: as a matter of fact being a Virgo, ahem, I always have everything organized! Yep! Right, so the documents have been sent to our Agent and the only things outstanding are our (1) Police Clearance from South Africa (although we have not gone back since we arrived here 3 years ago), (2) Australian Federal Police Clearance and lastly our (3) Medicals.

We saw the Doctors on Monday to get the paperwork ready and had gone for our chest x-rays as well. That is to check if we have Tuberculosis. So on Thursday we had to go back to do a blood test (HIV) and a general check up. So it was with my x-ray the doctor questioned the ‘stuff’ in my neck. LOL! Well I replied that I have declared in my form that I have had a neck operation - although I didn’t have to. (It was done more than 5 years ago and one only needs to declare those done within the last 5 years.) Okay so I had to explain why I said I had two disc prosthesis fitted in my neck. I was the first person who had those plastic 'rings; fitted instead of them using part of my hip bone and fuse everything together. (At that time in 2003) Well I could clearly see the surprising look on his face and he said: If you had that done in South Africa and have been pain free till today, it is clearly a miracle. I immediately knew what he meant between the lines. Well, Dr. What'shisname in South Africa the lions and the buffalo don’t roam in the city streets as so many people think! (If you don’t know much about Africa I don’t blame you!) South Africa has highly respected specialists operating in state of the art hospitals... The only thing I could say was, yeah the operation was a huge success. I told him that they prepared me mentally that it might be necessary to take some bone from my hip. The very first thing I could remember when I came to was wriggling my hand down to my hip only to find NO covered wound!

I was told that was the part of any neck operation that would be the most painful afterwards. I was ecstatic! So my dear Readers this wasn't a ‘normal’ fusion but I have two disc prosthesis in my neck, one between C5&C6 and one between C4&C5. An operation done by both a Neurosurgeon and Orthopedic surgeon. So why am I doing this silly post? Well just to let people know South Africa was once a first world country. One day I would tell little by little about that small place on earth. Oh and also about the Game Farm we had alongside the famous Paul Kruger National Park. Back to our application: I have to go see an Orthopedic/Neurosurgeon to get a report. For interesting sake I post a pic of me in hospital and a scan of the famous plastic in my body!