|Distance: 28.6km||Total Distance: 2287.7km|
Note that this map is not the exact route as we got lost a few times.
Today we cycled from Coolangatta along the Gold Coast to the tourist hotspot of Surfers Paradise. We started cycling earlier than normal as we wanted to avoid as much of the crowd as possible. Even at 8:30am on a Sunday morning, the promenade was busy with fitness walkers, runners and the odd cyclist. After working our way through the people around Coolangatta the pedestrian traffic thinned out and the cycling was easier though still slow as there is always someone or something to avoid on the promenade. We stopped and chatted to a friendly cycle tourist on a recumbent trike. He lives in the area and uses his bike to commute and do groceries. It was nice chatting about our trip and trips he has done.
Not long after that the promenade stopped and walkers could continue along the sandy beach. On bikes we had to bike on the road following a very loose cycle trail with scant signage. We got lost a few times and had to stop often to check Google Maps on Will’s phone. In the end we found it easiest to follow other weekend warrior cyclists as they all seemed to know where they were going. We cycled through the laidback and nice suburb of Burleigh Heads and then as we approached Surfers Paradise the buildings got taller and taller.
Surfers is chaos as they are digging up the main street and installing light rail tram tracks which means all traffic is diverted onto smaller roads. In the end we gave up cycling and resorted to walking the last few km to our hotel in downtown Surfers. We checked in and got great service from the concierge at the Outrigger Hotel, who helped us store the bikes, get all our panniers to the room and then booked us on a tour. We showered, had a quick curry for lunch then went on a boat trip around the canals and waterways looking at the multimillion dollar mansions.
Let’s face it, Surfers Paradise is not really our cup of tea. Think Benidorm without the Spanish influence. Meter maids in bikinis, Elvis impersonators, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, fake Irish bars, flashy excess and skyscrapers. That said, we did have a nice meal at an Italian restaurant and we also enjoyed the view from our 19th floor hotel room.
Highlight of today: Chatting to the other cyclist.