Wednesday 22nd November 2017
Sun setting behind the tower blocks
It is especially nice when you go somewhere and it spectacularly exceeds your expectations.
Sunday morning our friends on Moonshadow sailed into the marina and to catch up we decided to go for dinner at an Italian restaurant that had been recommended to us. In the shadow of the brightly lit Sundale bridge and dwarfed by a forest of high rise towers it nestled by the river. We had been told that the owner of the De Vito Waterfront Restaurant is an ex opera singer and occasionally sings to the diners. As it turns out he and his wife are also the chefs and in their cooking gear both came out to entertain us. Their voices were amazing and they sang on and off throughout the evening as the customers orders allowed. The atmosphere inside the room was relaxed and happy, enhanced by a wedding party celebrating in the corner, everyone enjoying the impromptu show, certainly an evening to remember.
Unfortunately for our waistlines we have done rather a lot of overeating this week, it’s difficult to resist the culinary delights on offer. About a ten minute walk from De Vitos is Tedder Ave, a road lined with restaurants and upmarket shops. Friday was my birthday and we wandered over for breakfast. As with everywhere around here the streets, houses and gardens we’re all impeccably manicured, not a leaf dared fall or a chip of paint appear.
Manicured Streets behind Mainbeach
The ladies selling the $300 t-shirts in the posh boutiques had hair coifed to within an inch of its life and wore more make up than I actually own, Ferraris and Bentleys cruised importantly by, while the mostly septuagenarian residents promenaded slowly past. The food lived up to its surroundings – breakfast was rather bigger than expected, plates full of delicious poached eggs, bacon, roast pumpkin, feta cheese, spinach……….
My birthday lunch, put off a day, was just as tasty if rather more casual, Rick cooked me one of my favourites, local prawns fried in garlic, chilli and ginger.
Saturday morning we were kindly taken out to see the sights a bit further afield, Phil our friend, last seen in Bahrain 26 years ago, now lives on the Gold Coast and he gave us a bit of a road tour. The rain couldn’t take away from the display of more opulence, on show this time on Sovereign Island. Huge multimillion pound houses sit cheek by jowl on the river frontage. We gawped in amazement at what people will spend their money on. Some were definitely in better taste than others, the six foot high gold lions guarding one gated entrance were probably a step to far.
A few miles further on we visited the impressive marine services at Coomera, including the large expanse of covered and uncovered hard standing at Boat Works. Surrounded by work shops, large chandlers and engineering companies, it is a tempting place to bring Raya for a week or two, if it wasn’t for the equally large daily rates.
Threading through these places and spread from Coolangatta in the south to Brisbane in the north, the finishing touches to the venues for next years Commonwealth Games are being put in place. The bright multicoloured competitors village is almost complete, the impressive aquatic complex just needs more seating erected and the route of the marathon that will run down the coast past Surfers Paradise is being prepared.
View towards Surfers Paradise
Tomorrow we say goodbye to the Gold Coast and start making our way towards Sydney. After two weeks of glitz and glamour we will be in search of a quieter spot for a few days.