27 September 2009

Dust Storms, 30km Gold Coast Cycle & Sea World

Dust, dust dust!  Everywhere.  Red dust blown in from the Red Centre of Australia creating a dust storm which had Sydney wondering if they'd woken up on Mars.  It blew into Brisbane just in time for lunch.  I, like so many other people, had left all my windows open so EVERYTHING was covered in dust by the time I got home.  And the dry westerly wind which brought it in continued for days.  In fact 4 days later, it brought in another dust storm for Saturday night.  Scratchy eyes, dry scratchy throat, dry bleeding noses, blocked up sinuses.....  I thought I'd never be able to smell and taste anything other than dust again!  LOL!

The city before the dust storm....

During the storm.

Driving home along Moggill Road on Wednesday

The sun through the dust

 Coming down the hill into Kenmore - visibility up to around 1km.  During the worst of the storm (while I was in the office), it had been down to just a couple hundred metres.

 Heading down into Bellbowrie - the hill barely visible in the distance is where Moggill can usually be seen...

And the dust's back on Saturday night!

Looking across the road from our front door *cough*splutter*

Using the flash you can see the dust particles highlighted

So hoping that the wind had blown the majority of the dust away from the Gold Coast, we were up before the sparrow had open it's eyes - let alone farted!  :-)  The sun rose on our way down to The Spit which was the start point for another 30-odd km cycle.

 The sun about to rise over the Logan motorway

 And the sun rises at 5.42am...

102km from home to the parking lot at the end of The Spit just past Sea World

 Scott heading down Main Beach Parade

Heading down towards Surfers Paradise.  

 All the barriers and seating stands are being erected for the Super GP coming up towards the end of October.  

Water refill!

Beautiful beaches already filling up with surfers at 7.20am

 At the halfway point at Miami Beach (7.40am)

 Coffee time!


 Clearly a favourite coffee spot for the cyclists

Click on this shot for a larger view

And Scott gets hold of the camera!

 Still getting the hang of reaching for my water bottle while I'm riding.  I've only dropped it once so far!  LOL!  

 Heading back towards Surfers Paradise (8.35am)

 The sails on the left are part of this really larny shopping mall, Marina Mirage next to the Palazzo Versace Hotel.

Almost at the finish line!

Made it!  32km by 9am

We took all our beach gear with us but by the time we finished our cycle, the wind had picked up again.  So, seeing as we were just a few minutes from Sea World, we decided to go and run around there for the day.

Scott getting ready for some fun in the sun!

The is called Pirate Lagoon or something similar

Waiting for the monorail to get an overview of the park before deciding on a plan of action!

Scott looking very cool with his new Shark Bay cap!

Turns out that this monorail is the first one built in Australia - way back in 1986

Here it comes!

Some topiary outside the function centre.  Ever since reading Stephen King's The Shining, the idea of topiary has always freaked me out.....

Take me to the fun!

Us - we managed to find a Japanese tourist who understood enough sign language to take this snap

People line up for hours and pay a small fortune to spend some time in the water with the dolphins.  There are about 4 or 5 different pools where they have these sessions going continuously from 10am until closing at around 6pm.  $225 per person over and above the $69.95 park entry fee - bloody hell!!!  Just to compare - we paid $70 each for a 3,5 hour cruise where we swam with hundreds of wild dolphins in their natural habitat..... 

With a FREE photo thrown into the deal!  LOL!

But they really are stunning creatures!

Then it was time to hit the queues for some adrenaline pumping action!  Sorry I don't have a pic of the Corkscrew.....  It was over in seconds but was a BRILLIANT roller coaster ride!  Check out the website for a look.

Then it was time for the Bermuda Triangle.... 

This was just the end of the ride.  The rest of the ride took place within a huge volcano - brilliantly done with an alien or two, floods, earth tremors and more!

And then there was the beautiful Imagine dolphin show at 2.30pm!

It was a lovely show - far too short though!  :-)

Shark Bay

Pretty fishies, sharks and rays

Me with the fishies

Scott with the fishies

Some more pretty fishies, rays and sharks

Then off to the ray petting pool

I thought they'd feel smooth and quite firm but they didn't.  They were more like jelly.

Scott wearing his Shark Bay cap at Shark Bay!

Damn!  Lost grip of the camera again!

Unfortunately these weren't the most animated polar bears.....  we must've caught them having their afternoon nanna nap.

Grrrrrrrr!  Scott being a far more impressive polar bear!

Gosh it was a long, exciting day!  We'd been up since 4.30am, driven 100km, cycled 30km and run around a theme park for hours.  Phew!  And then still another 100km drive home.  Needless to say we fell into bed exhausted after another great adventure.  ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.............