David has loaned me his K75 BMW motorcycle and he has been showing me around the back roads near Brisbane.
We had to dodge a lot or rain and that is why Dave looks wet.
I have been exploring the area while waiting for daughter Jessica to get back from her diving trip up in the Great Barrier Reef. I have gone into Brisbane just about every day. It is an absolutely gorgeous city.
They have a lot of free walking tours in Brisbane. My favorite was the tours of the parks. I do love wildlife and plants.
I was surprised to find Ibis birds all through the city. I first saw these blokes in Central America, and I thought they mostly stayed around salt water. Here, the trees are full of them.
Not many cities would spend the money to develop parks and public services the way Brisbane has. Do you know this plant? It is a tree fern. It's ancestors were some of the first plants on earth. A lot of our coal comes from their dead trunks and stems.
These water lizards are all through the Brisbane parks. I had fun getting them to nod at me. That is their way of saying "Back off bloke"".
Not all of Australia's reptiles are cute and cuddly (just kidding) like the water lizard. Australia has many, many poisonous snakes. You know for a fact that you had better keep your eyes open for them when you see a sign like this one in the subway station.
A rain forest like this one looks like just the place to live if you are a fun loving snake.
There are all sorts of exotic plants in the Brisbane parks. My wife has one of these trumpet flowers, but hers is a little scrawny thing with just a few flowers. My job is to move it to the basement when the Illinois winters start to get too cold.
I liked these next plants. Can you see why they are called "Elephant Foot Trees"?
Brisbane runs a free ferry service that takes passengers back and forth across the Brisbane River, and a long way down the river as well. It is called the City Hopper. It is fun to ride, and it gives a tourist like me a unique view of the city.
I'm just kidding. None of those guys were real. I bet you couldn't tell though, could you. Be honest now.
Here is a real kangaroo. They are actually quite common. They are also really stupid or really curious because they will sit and watch you with great patience which gives plenty of picture taking time.
When Jessica got back to Brisbane from her Great Barrier Reef diving trip, Lucy and Bruce, two Kiwis from New Zealand who are now living in Brisbane, and whom I met them just a few months ago in Heidelberg, Germany, took us for a ride. Jessica is sure a good rider back behind me on the motorcycle.
Lucy and Bruce took us up and over Tambourine Mountain. It was a fun ride on narrow roads that were chock full of Saturday morning motorcycle riders. We we got way up high, we stopped to watch the hang gliders. I think they were having a lot of fun.
It was really relaxing watching those men and women go soaring off into the sky. They would catch updrafts that took them high up over our heads.
Thanks for the ride Lucy and Bruce. Jessica and I will see you again in a couple of weeks when we get back from our trip down to Sydney. Plan a fun ride for us, okay?