Picture this - sun, sand, a beautifully calm yet fine wave producing blue ocean, and a gentle breeze cooling you off as agile surfers walk by with their boards. Sounds nice, sounds perfect, sounds...maybe like paradise? Well if that's all that Surfers Paradise on Queensland's famed "Gold Coast" had, it would be paradise.
Surfers Paradise is a charmless strip of skyscrapers, cheap shops and cheap entertainment. The moment I drove into town I felt a strong desire to make a U-turn. The place seemed overrun with rich bleach blond people who looked at me with apparent disgust. I found this ungrounded because I had in fact showered that morning.
I felt so superficially below these people that I wouldn't have been surprised if one overly wealthy blond toothpick of a woman said, "You there, peasant! Come hither and bear me round in my sedan chair so I may searcheth for my beefy pool boy."
So, to be frank, I wasn't a fan of the place. In search of something positive in town I stopped at a visitors' centre and asked the info lady,
"So . . .what should I do in Surfers Paradise?"
And the info lady replied "Surfers Paradise? Well...it used to be lovely. Now a days it's ... well ..." She hunched over the desk, looked both ways, and whispered "It's ticky tacky."
So there you have it. Now where can I make a U-turn?