For a final treat after the 2011 Tearle Meet in Brisbane, Ray and Denice took Elaine and I on a whistle-stop tour of the Gold Coast. It was breathtaking. We loved every mile. Here are some pictures of that memorable journey.
The end of our trip along the Gold Coast was the Queensland-NSW border. At this point, there is a lighthouse containing a brass strip which marks the border exactly, and a memorial walk. Along the guardrail that overlooks a precipitous drop to the sea are small plaques, one for each of the ships that have been unfortunate enough to founder along the Queensland coast. We looked for the ship which had brought Elizabeth Cooper Cooper and her new son, Egerton, to Australia, the Scottish Prince, but we could see no sign of her. She is nowadays a dive wreck in Moreton Bay, not too far from Brisbane itself. I wonder if Elizabeth called her son Egerton Burleigh, after this place? Because this is Burleigh Heads.
The last memory of our day belongs to a fabulous creature: about a mile out to sea, a pod of whales threw huge plumes of spray into the air and lunged and porpoised in the waves. On a warm evening in Australia, walking and talking with our family and friends, life could get no better.
Thank you Ray and Denice for the invitation, for your time and your generosity, and thank you Deborah and Doug for your very kind hospitality. We wish all our Australian cousins the very best that life can give them, and we look forward to meeting any of you here in England.