Brissie as it’s referred to here has got to be the exact opposite of Bangkok with super clean wide roads, miles of chrome and glass walkways by the river, lovely restaurants and coffee shops. We booked the Inchcolm Hotel which is virtually in the centre because of it’s position and price. Our room turned out to be a suite with cooking facilities and lounge area. The hotel had just about the best lift you have ever seen, like something out of a 1930’s film with all wood panelling and a metal gate.

The first afternoon we explored the riverside and had an evening meal in a restaurant overlooking the river but the price of $107 (ouch!)for two was a bit much and not what we’ve been used to for the last ten days but the view from our table was fantastic.

The next day we spent sightseeing with a walk through the botanical gardens which was originally set up to feed the first penal colony in 1825. We then crossed the river to the south bank which is full of classy coffee shops and bars. We then picked up the free city hopper ferry and stayed on for the full circuit.

Brisbane must be almost the perfect city and you can see why Brisbanites are in no rush to leave. Semi tropical climate, big but not too big, busy but no too busy, a good mix of colonial and modern high rise, clean, safe organised. Round the city there are electric bike parks where you can take a bike and drop it off at another bike park. They come complete with safety helmet and lock and payment is made at a meter.

It’s a place for young people and there are endless joggers and cyclists along the riverside paths. You can’t help being just a little envious but somehow we can’t stop thinking about Vietnam and Cambodia – Phnom Penh, the temples – we just miss the buzz and the disorganised mess of it all.

Long drive tomorrow. We’ve hired a car and are going to pick Geoffrey up.

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The Campsite

The campsite is based near Beccles in the Waveney Valley in Suffolk.

Dove Cottage,
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