Man, it's hard to find good food in Surfers. After wandering around for an hour, we gave up and had a buffet at the Marriott Courtyard. Yup, we were desperate. All you could drink low end Lindemans wines, plus an alleged seafood bar. Now, there's a real problem with seafood buffets in general in Australia. Thing is, in order to slow you down, they don't clean the shrimp, and they invariably have tiny horrible crabs that take ages to pick apart. It's maddening, especially so because there was heaps of E-Z-Eating pasta available. I toughed it out with the crab until I sliced open my left thumb on an obstinate shell, at which point I threw in the towel, started drinking all the sparkling wine I could throw back, and finished off the meal with a bizarre little Devils Tower of chocolate that turned out to be rice pudding in disguise. The bastards!
On the way home we stopped in at a really sad looking Asian dessert place that specialized in bubble tea. The owner was manning (er, womaning) the counter, and she was confounded by our decidedly Western presence in her little shop; I don't think she'd served a European in weeks, judging by her delight in getting whitey to buy some bubble tea. Woohoo! But then of course we announced ourselves to be Californian, and then she sighed, well, I guess you probably get bubble tea all over the place then. Still, she was charming, the bubble tea was okay but nothing spectacular, she made a buck or two, and we headed home with a little extra sugar to celebrate our grand night out on the town.
However, I just had to stop in at the Vintage Cellars downstairs on the way home tonight. We're staying at the ANA Grand, which is run by All Nippon Airways (ANA). All the signs are in Japanese, there are few bwanas here, etc., and there's a huge branch of Vintage Cellars on the ground floor. They had such titbits as six-packs of Grange on offer (a snip at $1780) and verticals of various famous Aussie reds (um... Meschach I think it was, for example), along with boxes to have it shipped back to Japan (signs in Japanese only!). What with AOL stock still in the stinky toilet of about $18 a share, I settled for a $12 bottle of sleazoid sparkling shiraz, and now we're back up on the 20th floor, having our bubbly and watching the waves crash on the beach far, far below us. Tell you what, though, I'm shutting the balcony door before I start drinking too much more. It's scary from up here.
Tomorrow: random tourist activities in Surfers.
Sunday: back to Brisbane via the botanical gardens.
Monday: put the car in at Opposite Lock for the 100K km service.
Tuesday: wait for the car to have new shocks springs roof rack tyres etc fitted.
Wednesday: off to Bunya, Carnarvon Gorge, Airlie Beach...
Next month: up Cape York. Yar!