The Lowes Down Under: David’s story – Ataxia

The Lowes Down Under: David’s story

The Lowes Down Under: David’s story

David Lowe was awarded the Jerry Farr Travel Fellowship that allowed him and his wife, Glenys, to visit Australia in the summer of 2017. Below, David tells us the story of their travels and the experiences he gained by going abroad.

After being awarded the Jerry Farr Travel Fellowship in June 2016, I spent a lot of time in hospital. At my consultation with Professor Hadjivassiliou in September, we decided it was now or never to take up the award. We just managed to scrape through the insurance process for the single trip insurance, an annual was out of the question due to my recent illnesses.

So, October this year my wife Glenys and I went for a four-week holiday in Brisbane, Australia, earlier this year our daughter, husband and three young children emigrated to here, so we had help on hand should we need it.

What we saw

We stayed in the city as a base, and spent the first two weeks exploring Brisbane with our family, Australia Zoo watching the live crocodile feeding and walking among the free roaming kangaroos. The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches were welcoming and the lifeguards rolled out massive plastic sun mats to enable us to get onto the beaches and take part in the children’s fun and games.

Awesome views, like we have never seen before, from the top of Mount Cootha. We were just a short walk away from the Botanical gardens, taking in the lush tropical areas with water dragons basking at our feet, close by is the river and we were there for the Brisbane fire display, amazing fireworks and air shows. We regularly got a free city hopper across the river to the Southbank, man-made beaches water parks and the Brisbane wheel, it’s accessible and you can imagine the views, we would cruise back on the river boat at dusk to see all the brightly lit bridges a towering hotels.  

Every day we would think how lucky we are and how much the Farr family had enabled us to do, creating memories with our family and their ‘new life’ visiting their home and the children’s school, they were so proud to show us their achievements.

As the kids went back to school we spent the last two weeks exploring alone, we were to go to Bali, but the volcano become active and that put a stop to it. Instead, we went to Tangalooma, had a whale watching trip, flowering  ten of them for over an hour, lots of excited tears watching them dance and glide through the waters, it was almost as if they were performing just for us.

In the evening, the dolphins came into the shallow water to be fed, just ten percent of their diet, so they didn’t become dependent. I had the honour of bringing them into shore with the first fish of the night from the pier, Glenys went into the water to  feed them as they brushed up close, more tears of joy.

We packed so much into our four weeks stay, it was so hard too leave for home. It has been a truly memorable trip and we are eternally grateful to the Farr family for giving us and our family the pleasure, you have made us all so very happy x thank you.


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