As the Summer holidays are drawing to a close, Mum and I decided to squeeze in a last minute holiday. We are lucky enough to have family living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, so by heading up there we killed two birds with one stone: visiting relatives and spending time in a beautiful place. I had just started my new job so was a little short on time to book flights. Mum got on Webjet and found some Tiger flights to Brisbane for just $55. Now I have flown Tiger before, and they were fine, but Mum was a little anxious. On Tuesday we drove to the airport and left our car at Mascot Airport Valet Parking. We have never used these guys before, but damn they were good. We parked our car, someone saw us straight away and then drove us directly to the airport! It’s upsetting that when something goes off without problems I am impressed, but the reality is that problem-free service at the airport is a rarity, so I would like to recommend the company because they actually did a very good job. Anyway, we got dropped off at the terminal and what little faith Mum had in Tiger disappeared quickly. First of all, our plane wasn’t listed at the gate it was supposed to be and only when we inquired were we told it was late. The plane finally arrived about 40 minutes later and we were able to board. We sat on the plane (it was not a full flight) for about an hour before any sort of announcement was made. People were starting to get angry when finally the pilot’s voice came over the loudspeakers. She said that the airport had the lines marked wrong so she couldn’t line up for refuelling properly. She then blamed the airport again saying they hadn’t given her clearance to take off and said it was “just one of those days.” Now I don’t know about you, but when I am on a plane I don’t want the pilot to be having a bad day. I also don’t feel comfortable when they shift blame to the airport, I mean those lines are always there – it is unlikely they are wrong this one time. Anyway, a woman near us stood up and started yelling, saying she’d had enough and wanted to get off the plane. Then, a rather unprofessional flight attendant came over and told the woman she would make them later if she didn’t sit down and went to get the captain. Now here’s where it gets distressing: the captain, a woman in her 40s-50s, marches out a says to the irate woman “I need to know you will be calm or I can’t fly the plane and you will have to get off and make us all later.” The angry woman then started yelling and telling the pilot she should pay her wages because she’s missing work. The pilot said “Yeah? I’m pissed off too! Tell me you will calm down so I can go fly the plane.” The woman sat down muttering and the pilot stormed off to the cockpit. So… I wasn’t feeling very confident. I think that could have been dealt with so much better. If we had been given info as it came everyone would have been much calmer, but sitting for 2 hours with no explanation is not really OK. Then the way the crew on the plane dealt with the passenger was awful… and the pilot, well… I am a bit of a feminist and love to see woman in roles that have previously been dominated by men, but this female-pilot disappointed me. Instead of remaining in a position of authority she came down to the irate passengers level, she felt the need to justify herself and lost her power. I hate when women play out negative stereotypes. Anyway, the rest of the flight was not great, but with the amount of things going wrong I was just glad we landed. Any flight that doesn’t crash is good in my books.
So enough rambling about bad flights… we arrived in lovely Queensland and still had to battle traffic from Brisbane to Moolooaba. Once there though we met up with my Aunty, Uncle and cousins and ate some delicious Thai overlooking the beach.
My Aunty and Uncle are very active people and so we asked them where we might find a nice bushwalk through the beach for the next day. They recommended a place called Alexandria Bay up near Noosa, they said it is very beautiful and warned us that it was at a nude beach. We were feeling pretty adventurous so locked in our plans for the next day. We drove up to Noosa and parked near some rather impressive grass.
After walking in the heat up to the beginning of the bushwalk we were ready for a swim already. The sand track was beautiful with banksia trees giving us shade.
After a fairly short walk we arrived at the beautiful Alexandria Bay. The sky was blue, the sand white, the water shimmering… and the people nude. Nudists are an interesting and friendly bunch. Mum and I were quite happy keeping to ourselves but everyone wanted to have a conversation. It was quite an eye-opening experience. We continued our walk along the coastal track taking in the beautiful scenery before finally walking back to our car and heading to Noosa. At Noosa we enjoyed a swim and a place we were much more comfortable at: a clothed beach. We then spent some time browsing around the lovely shops at Hastings Street and eating gelato. It was quite a day.