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The latest update as of June 5, 2012

Downunder Again - in time for the Winternationals

Time for yet another roadtrip, but this time with most of our travelling time in the air instead of on the pavement. A quick 45-minute jaunt to the Vancouver airport, three hours on the plane to Los Angeles, then nearly 15 hours to Brisbane. All tolled: almost 24 hours from home to Brisbane, then another three hours to clear customs, buy a mobile phome, pick up a rental car, and finally, drive the 60 kms south to my accomodation at good friend Mike Hyde's home in Parkwood on the Gold Coast.

Even though I missed the first major race of the season at Mission Raceway two weeks ago due to work issues, everything lined up just right and allowed me to make the very last minute decision on Thursday evening to take this trip. I was able to accompany my very close friend Gail all the way to Australia, then saw her off on the shuttle bus to the domestic terminal in Brisbane to catch her flight to Cairns yesterday morning.

She'll be up there for three weeks, catching up with a daughter that lives there and visiting with her other daughter who's flying in from Indonesia to spend some time with them. After the Winternationals I'll be flying up to join them for a week in the even warmer climes of North Queensland before heading home to what will hopefully be summer in Vancouver. It's going to be a whirlwind time down here with a full schedule every day and not much time to just laze around and enjoy the sun and scenery.

Accenting that point is the fact that even though I'm sitting on the couch in Mike's lounge room, sipping on a cold XXXX Gold beer, I'm still hard at work on this report. And I'm even going through today's "snapped from the car" travel fotos. No time to stop and admire the views as we're really working to deadlines, having to provide SpeedZone Magazine with as many reports and photos as we can for and from the Winternationals.

Here's the first installment of travel pics from this latest adventure. We've added links to the thumbnails so you can click on them to see the full-size version. Remember to check out all the race-related stuff at SpeedZone Magazine. As soon as it's posted, that is.

Travelling Companion - Gail Travelling Companion - Gail

Travelling Companion - Gail SpeedZone staff car - Toyota Yaris

Here's my travel companion from Vancouver to Brisbane (the ever-lovely Gail) and the refrigerator white Toyota Yaris

Gateway Bridge - Road Signs Gateway Bridge - Speed Signs

Two views of the Gateway Bridge which helps bypass the traffic around Brisbane and get me south to the Gold Coast quickly

Parkwood street Gold Coast mosque

It's Tuesday now and time for a cruise down to Surfer's Paradise for lunch and some sightseeing

Surfer's Paradise scenery Surfer's Paradise scenery

Surfer's Paradise scenery Surfer's Paradise scenery

Surfer's Paradise scenery Southport Life Saving Club

A series of shots from the Marine Parade in Surfer's which happens to be part of the former IndyCar road course

Surfer's Paradise high-rises Surfer's Paradise high-rises Surfer's Paradise high-rises

A few shots of the Surfer's high-rises

Back in Parkwood Mike Hyde and J-D

Then it's back to suburbia in Parkwood and Mike (my gracious host) wrestling for the black ball with J-D (the Belgian Shepherd)