[NB: I'm now in Saigon and getting ready to leave it, but I wrote this on the flight here and forgot to post.]
My calves are killing me. I decided to spend Friday exploring, starting with Mt. Coot-tha, a bush reserved 8 km from Brisbane city center. On the way, I stopped at Brisbane's real botanical gardens, at the base of the mountain.
As opposed to the gardens in the city center, these actually have a range of plants. Quite a range, in fact: plants from arid, temperate, and tropical of Africa, the Americas, and, of course, Australia. Only about a third of plants seemed to be Australian, but those were the ones the signs gushed over. Excerpts from travel diaries, aboriginal uses, Australian history, kids games. And there were bush turkeys everywhere, including one that seemed to have been working for hours on moving all of the dirt on the side of one of the paths to cover one of the paths.
I begged my way on to the bus that went the rest of the way to the top, where trails started, not realizing that it was the last bus of the day. So, after looking out over the city and walking halfway down the mountain and back on trails, I realized my predicament. I asked a store-keep how to get down now that the buses had stopped. "Waulke", she said, looking very apologetic.
So I walked. I only had to go about 4 km before coming to a train station to take me the rest of the way in, but after traipsing around the gardens and walking trails all day, it was 4 km too much. I got a grocery store salad on the way home, did my laundry, and went to bed.