Sunday, February 13, 2011

Couchsurfing in Brisbane....

Hello friends,

I was quite worried to come to Brisbane because of the massive flood that swept the city a few weeks ago.
The floods affected about 70 towns and 200,000 people were affected.  It was about 1 billion dollars in damages but will probably cost the Australian economy about 10 billion dollars.  

The Queensland area also got hit with 2 cyclones.  The winds went up to 290 km per hour.  To give you a comparison with how strong these winds were, the hurricane Katrina winds were 350 km per hour.  The first cyclone that hit was a category 2 and by the time the second hit, it was a category 5.  This is the highest and most severe cyclone category you can hit on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

I am currently in Brisbane and my CouchSurfing hosts are Leanne and Panche.  Panche picked me up from the airport and I was so impressed in the first five minutes of meeting him.  He is an archeologist, historian, writer, world traveler and latin dance instructor and speaks 9 languages!!  (and somehow still finds the time to host people)!!  Leanne is an educator, historian and also a writer who has published several books.  On top of their busy lifestyles, they also take care of Leanne's 76 year old father in their home.  They share a beautiful home in a town called Alexandra Hills.  Their town was not effected because they live in a highly elevated area away from the river.

Panche cooked a delicious and healthy meal and prepared mixed vegetables and grilled meats for us.  He also was preparing for his bachata class.  He took me to his class and it was so much fun meeting people and learning new bachata turns.

My hosts Panche and Leanne

Panche and I

Australian spread made of yeast products which is such a food staple here.  Panche prepared it with a warm crepe and white cheese.  It didn't taste bad.  It had a salty, soy sauce sort of flavor.  I was so curious to see what Vegemite was like.  

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