Gold Coast Sunday

Our first day on the Gold Coast and we woke up to very hot sun! Treated ourselves to a late morning sleep in before we met our friends Jane and Lee at 11am. We met Jane and Lee in Goa last winter when they came out for our friend, Eddie’s birthday. Pamela and Eddie are friends from Cyprus (are you following this complicated friendship network LOL???) and they were in Patnem with their friends, who also became our friends, Deborah and David. Jane is Deborah’s sister and Lee is Eddie’s brother!!!! Anyway, we really got on, and there was no way we could be on the Gold Coast and not meet up.
They came and picked us up at 11am and took us to Burleigh Heads to the beach. It was so lovely to see them again. Being a Sunday, the beach was quite busy and it looked great, although the fierce sun reinforced our need to buy some sunshade before we venture out and about in the next few days. We had a walk across the back of the beach and then went for lunch at the Burleigh Surf Lifesaving Club. This is a popular concept here. The Surf Lifesaving Clubs have absolute prime positions on the beach, whereas few if any other restaurants do, and they have capitalised on their position as a means of raising money. So, the restaurants are fabulous. This one was really nice, two storey with indoor and outdoor dining and a fabulous view over the beach. Prices were good and Jane and Lee recommended eating at other similar places along the coast.
Bob had barramundi with chips and salad. He said it was excellent. I had a Caesar salad with calamari rings on top. The calamari rings were enormous and really tender. Delicious. Quite the best I’ve had in ages. It was about £14. Had two glasses of wine – a nice chardonnay – to wash it down!
After lunch and much chatting and catching up – they’re great company – we strolled through the beachhead market. Another popular Queensland thing. They were just packing up unfortunately, but there were lots of stalls selling stylish summer clothing, handicrafts, arts, food etc. There’s one next Sunday in Broadbeach itself so we will have to visit that.
Jane and Lee then took us to Dan Murphy’s an Australian institution: a massive liquor store! Supermarkets here do not sell alcohol, you have to go to a separate store. Anyway, Dan Murphy’s had a massive selection of wines, beers and spirits. Lots of Australian product of course but also wines from many other countries. And the prices were good. Prices here are not as cheap as in South Africa, but a bottle of wine that would be £8 or £10 in the UK is about £4 here. We bought a selection of wine to last us over the next couple of weeks and some beers.
A lovely lunch and introduction to the area with Jane and Lee and we’ll see them again in a few days.
Came back to our apartment, put the wine away and then Bob and I headed out to Coles supermarket. The choice around here is Coles, Woolworths or Aldi. In many ways, we were tempted to go to Aldi because it would have been the cheapest. But, we see Coles on My Kitchen Rules all the time and it always looks good, so we decided to give it a go. There was a Coles supers,tore about 3km away.
We are going to mainly self cater here in Broadbeach because it is a good opportunity while we have a full kitchen, to save some money. Later in our trip we will be staying in hotels and b&bs and will have to eat out every night, so this is a good chance. Australia is not cheap. There is a very good standard of living here. Nice houses, nice cars, good shopping, good food and a leisure lifestyle to enjoy all those things. People earn the requisite salaries to enjoy these things. But for visitors, prices look quite high. So, we will eat out a few nights, but largely we will have dinner in.
So, we needed to buy about 9 dinners, some breakfast stuff, some cleaning supplies, soft drinks, coffee and tea. We had a good haul. Meat is not cheap here, more expensive than the UK. Actually, I think everything was. It wasn’t too bad, but definitely more expensive.
The storm clouds were starting to gather as we set off from Coles. It really reminds us of Florida here, even the weather pattern seems similar. A lovely sunset over the mountains behind us tonight. Very pleasant to sit on our dining terrace and watch it go down.
We have to make some plans as to what we will do over the next couple of weeks. There is a lot of choice, lots to do both at the coast and inland.