Sunday, August 8, 2010

Adventures in the land of pineapples - part 2

After making our way to Nambour, the day of E's exam dawned! I wished her luck and off she went - through the rain! - and I packed up our motel room and checked out.

I had a day on my own to try and keep myself occupied. We had no motel room to hang out in so it was on the road! E had kindly done some reading of tourist brochures for me and the Ginger Factory seemed to have enough to keep me occupied for a few hours.

I signed myself up for the ginger tour as well as the bee tour and thought that I might actually learn something from the visit. There was an awesome looking icecream shop there too and I would have been tempted to have a scoop or two if I had felt healthy.

Following this learning experience I headed across the road to Nutworks and learnt all about macadamia nuts! I knew that they were Australian but had never really thought too hard about where they come from. Sad but true. They are a native of south eastern Queensland and the only native Australian plant food that is produced in significant commercial quantities.

My brain was now bursting with newly learnt facts and so I decided to head to the coast and discover Noosa. Wow. Did I mention that there are many roundabouts in Queensland? I was very glad that we had borrowed Dad's GPS technology to help me navigate. I have driven around the UK on my own with a road map as a guide and I know how difficult it can be, so I was happy that "Bruce"** was there to let me know when I had gone the wrong way!

Noosa was very busy. It was quite warm and there were many surfers and beach goers looking for parking at the same time that I was. I perservered and found myself a lovely beach to sit at and enjoy. Bliss!

That was it for me and I was back to Nambour to wait for E to emerge from her exam and then we drove into Brisbane and to our hotel.

Yes, they had giant gingerbread men at the factory. Disappointingly they were not edible.

Great big vats of ginger. The majority of the ginger produced by the factory is used in their confectionery products.

The ginger tour walked us through the cultivation and processing of ginger and ended with a tasting of their products. My favourite was the Ginger Refresher Cordial and I am hoping that I can find it over here in Perth.

They have a couple of hives at the ginger factory and we learnt about bees. It was interesting to see the bees all milling around and learn more about the habits of the hive. We also had a tasting at the end of the tour. As much as I love honey I am pretty sure that we cannot bring it back into Western Australia so I just enjoyed the experience.

Noosa. Beach. Bliss.
I wished that I had dressed more appropriately for it - I was in jeans and sneakers!

** We nicknamed him Bruce. We were driving along the Bruce Highway and E made mention of this. I misunderstood and thought that she was calling the voice on the GPS Bruce... and so he was named. He was an Australian male and the name seemed appropriate.

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