Travel

Home from the holiday

And what a holiday it turned out to be.

Now I need a new plan – where can I go that isn’t going to turn into a natural disaster zone two days after arriving?
Suggestions anyone?

It looks as though we would have perhaps been better off running the potential pitfalls of Frank Bainimarama’s current escapades in Fiji than visiting our next door neighbour over the ditch.

Surfers Paradise turned out to not be quite the paradise we were hoping for.  In fact, it became a natural disaster zone some two days after arriving thanks to a rather nasty low off the south Queensland coast.  A man even lost his life just a kilometre up the road from where we were staying.  Nasty freak accident involving flying debris and smashing windows.

From our 16th floor vantage point, facing away from the sea (thank goodness), we could see all manner of deck furniture whizzing along the footpaths and roads.  No flooding near us, but the beach decided that the footpath might be retaken from man’s interference.

Then one day, having ventured out in the rain to the nearest shopping mall in an attempt to fight off the cabin fever that comes from being stuck in an apartment with an energetic toddler, I discovered that our accommodation was situated on one of the worst wind tunnel corners in the neighbourhood.  This would have been fine, but for the fact that when I got off the bus with the toddler’s push chair something in my brain did not register this potential.  And while crossing the road I found to my horror that it could become something of a windsail if I actually unfolded it.
Mercifully the breeze had dropped to just gale force and the rain was slightly less than horizontal meaning that I made it across the road only slightly worse for wear.   Quickly finding the least damp place I folded said windsail back down and proceeded to attempt “the corner” only to find that the gale force winds had gained a bit of momentum and the rain had resumed horizontal service.  Even folded down the windsail proved to be a problem.  Ducking around a large real estate sign flapping in the breeze I found myself confronted with “the corner” and barely made it across still on my own feet.  I genuinely thought that I was going to do a comic turn for those watching from the safety of their hotels or apartments.  The only unknown factor was: would I look like Mary Poppins or a very bad mime act doing the old “bear walking against wind” chestnut.
All members of the Oh Waily household made it safely to their digs, wet and windswept, but grateful to be indoors again.

And there really isn’t much more to say about the holiday – wet, windy, expensive (talk about fleece the tourists) – and it is the first time in my memory that I actually looked forward to coming home much more than staying where we were.

***

Just a note on Q1.
We booked through a third party, so the following comments may not apply to the Q1 managed apartments.

1. Definitely not luxury apartments.
In fact we decided, based on the real estate information in their own retail area, we were staying in a 1 bedroom plus study not the “2 bedroom compact” described.
2. Nothing to do indoors, so when bad weather hits it’s your room or the lobby for undercover entertainment. Or a fairly long dash across the open pool areas to the games room (arcade games of all descriptions) and the indoor gym.

I have stayed in much nicer hotel and resort accommodation.  It was tidy and had we spent lots of time outside at the pool, would probably have seemed a lot better than it actually is.  However, the apartment amenities were just in fair condition and certainly don’t deserve to be raved about.  (Nasty weather aside.)
It was the worst place I have ever slept.  Frosted glass doors meant light leakage from everywhere to the extent that I could have almost read in bed without a single light turned on.  No lock on the bathroom door – makes for interesting possibilities should you be sharing the accommodation as we were. The second bedroom sounded like an aircraft hanger when the air-conditioning was turned on and there was an unexplained background droning noise that we couldn’t discover the source of too.

So, if tempted to stay here – don’t be.  The marketing pictures are beautiful, but the stated costs per night do NOT warrant the quality of facilities provided.  Go to the Sheraton or the Westin in Fiji – they’ve both been done up in the last few years (one is more modern in style than the other), and on the whole provide a much better quality of experience.  At least they don’t promise more than they provide.

Right, that’s negative reviewer mode off.  Hope you were all well while we were away.

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2 thoughts on “Home from the holiday”

  1. I actually looked forward to coming home much more than staying where we were.

    Immediate reaction: 😦

    Delayed reaction: This is the most important thing to take away from the holiday. Sometimes we all need reminding how lucky we are to live where we live, to have what trimmings we have, or to appreciate the people around us. The real Paradise is not as we imagine it to be, nor in an ‘exotic’ location—but the places, things and people that are familiar and part of the ordinary landscape of our lives.

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  2. Hey Bruce,
    Yes, it was a definite 😦
    Still, as you say, home is something to be grateful for.
    Sometimes we just hope to gain something positive from “getting away” from the routine and exotic destinations provide that promise. Some deliver, some don’t. This was just a reminder that the don’ts exist.
    Fiji next year I think. 😉

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