Monday, August 26

Up early. The sunrise was lovely this morning. My window faces away from city center, and I can see some of the older Brisbane, which is comforting. Below me are corrugated iron roofs and quiet streets lined with palm trees. There are also a lot of tall, new buildings, but they are more in the distance.

I packed what I needed for a couple of days in my daypack, left my larger bag in the luggage room at the hotel, shouldered daypack and camera equipment, and headed out the door. I must say that, in the morning light, and with more people out and about, Brisbane is quite lovely. However, it’s a city, and I didn’t really come back to Australia to see cities. Which was why my destination was the Brisbane Transit Terminal on Roma Street, and not downtown. My walk was fairly short but pleasant, through gardens and parkland adjacent to the Transit Terminal, and past the old, 1876 Roma Street Train Station. Reassuring to see that history and nature are part of the plan, as the city continues to modernize.

The Transit Terminal is a fairly large complex and is the hub of city transport–all buses (tour, long distance, and local), taxis, and trains. There is also a hotel and a number of shops useful to travelers: chemist (pharmacy), newsagent, and food, including meat pies–which I no longer need, as I had breakfast, but I was pleased to know they were still available. Funny how, even though I don’t really expect everything to be the same as it was on my first trip (including me–I’ve changed, too), I still hope for some things to be untouched and familiar.

I’m now sitting on the little Mountain Coach Co. coach, ready to head up to Binna Burra. I’m in immensely good spirits and sorry only that I don’t have six months this time (or at least a few more weeks). Just as I was on my first time in Brisbane, so too now, I am vividly aware of how unlikely it is that I’ll ever get to see everything here. Oh, well–“not enough time” is pretty much how I feel anywhere I travel.

As we climb into the mountains, I noted that the phone wires are strung from tree to tree, and utility poles are only used where there are gaps. That’s one definite advantage to having lots of tall, straight trees.

Morning break at Canungra. We stopped in the center of town this time. It’s still a very small town, but it is built up just enough that it was not really recognizable. That said, my main memory from my previous very short stop here was of the dark wood of the tearoom and a very large staghorn fern growing there.

Then it was off for a long, steady climb into the mountains, to Binna Burra.

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