Sunday, 22 May 2011

Living on island time

Wednesday 18th May

My alarm went off at 5:30am, causing me to stir, look out the window and see that it was still dark outside, and go back to sleep. I finally awoke at 6:30 and, the morning swim comprehensively overlooked, headed over to the food hall for breakfast. "Full" and "English" are two words that can never be combined without success (the exception to this rule is when the words are being mutilated by the BNP, but they're idiots and warrant no further thought) and today was no different. Sausage, bacon, egg and hash browns all made a welcome appearance on my plate this morning, followed closely by a strong black coffee. My morning ritual almost complete, I jumped in the shower and flung some clothes on and emerged from the room ready to rejoin the human race. Instead I settled for rejoining the tour group, and we set off on the next leg of our Fraser Island adventure.
The first stop on todays expedition was (Insert Name Here), a beautiful 2km treck through the island's rainforest. As usual Daniel and I lead from the rear of the group and arrived at the end of the trail about 10 minutes after everyone else, in our defence we were distracted by all the nature all over the place! From the track we walked along a boardwalk through the forest, seeing a few little kookaburras on the way, to our 4 wheel drive and then headed off to our next stop. We arrived at (Insert Name Here) Lake around 10am, after driving on some of the bumpiest track i've ever been on, and filtered out of the 4 wheel drive ready to plunge into the deeps. The water was phenomenally clear and cool, but not cold at all, and the colours were breathtaking; starting with the pure white of the sand and gradually fading into yellow, then green and finally into a dark blue towards the centre of the lake. We all splashed around for a while and messed about with a football, which was very entertaining. The lake was the last stop on the tour, so we headed back to the beach, ACDC blaring out, in the 4 wheel drive. Pretty much all that remained was to have a late lunch and then bid my very fond farewells to all the gang, Daniel especially as this was the end of our 2 and a half week travelling stint, but we have arranged to meet up when i'm in Europe next year and see what's Broing on.
Once everyone had left in the 4 wheel drive, Brisbane bound, I rolled over to the travel agents across the street to book my transport to, and accommodation in, Hervey Bay. All went smoothly until it was time for me to pay; their internet booking was on the fritz so I had to call up the bus company and book that way, which was not a problem. Unfortunately when the operator I was talking to tried to put my card through it just said to contactmy bank - worrying! This went on for another 15 minutes while I tried to figure it out, then I went to the computer and transferred some money between my English accounts so that I could try my other card. This done I called up the bus co. again, only to go through the whole rigmarole again to have my second card behave in exactly the same manner - bank contacting was suggested. In the end on of the guys at the travel agents suggested I try the other agents down the road and see if I could pay cash there. Finally my luck turned, when I arrived at Peterpan Travel they managed to get my ticket all booked up and, completely unprompted, the guy gave me $20 off my ticket price (Karmic balance is restored!).
So I hung around for a while at Rainbow Beach, in the hotel bar, watching Dances With Wolves on my laptop and drinking cappuccino - the ultimate combination, before jumping on my bus to Hervey Bay. I arrived in Hervey Bay at around 9pm and rolled over to my hostel and laid myself to rest nice and early.

Out of the frying pan and into the Fraser

Tuesday 17th May

Last night was hilarious; Daniel and I decided to grab an early one as we had to be up at 6am to catch our ride to Fraser Island, but we managed to convince two of the people in our room to go out and party on our behalf. It took a lot of ingenious peer pressure and speaking too fast for them to understand. When they got back at 3am they decided to wake us up and much laughter ensued, although i'm not sure the rest of the people in the room found it quite as funny - oops! When we woke up at 6 we discovered that, while we were sleeping, the two party-goers had hung our shoes of the walls and tied our towels to our beds. The pranks were well received by us, despite the early rise, and we reacted in kind by hanging their shoes of the lights; our comical way of saying goodbye. We managed to get lost again on our way to the meeting point for our tour, and when we called up the tour guide it was only to discover he was standing on the other side of the road.
We left Brisbane at 7am and made our way north, stopping briefly for lunch and a coffee, and eventually arrived at rainbow bay at around 11am. We had a brief stop to admire the view of the beach and then hopped on a ferry to take us over to the island. The tour started off with some casual belting it down the beach in a 4 wheel drive. Before we even reached the first stop we were lucky enough to see a dingo roaming along the beach (apparently the last two tours the guide had taken out hadn't seen any at all) and several photos were taken. We stopped for lunch by the dripping rocks, where the rocky landmass, dripping with water, met the beach. It was cold subway sandwiches on the menu, and they have never tasted so good! After lunch we journeyed onwards,ever north until we reached Eli Creek, where we were able to walk along a boardwalk, following the water upstream, taking pictures all the while, and then Daniel and I walked back to the beach in the creek itself. The water was incredible; not cold at all and clearer than the stuff you get coming out of your taps. After the creek we headed onwards to Indian Head, so named because when Captain Cook was busy discovering Australia he looked up at the head and, seeing aboriginals standing at the edge, mistook them for Indians and named the head accordingly. There were stunning views along the coastline and the weather was wonderful, allowing for, you guessed it, more fab picture oppourtunities. From the head we followed our tracks back to the shipwreck, the name of which eludes me, which was being towed to Japan to be used for scrap metal when the tow line broke and the ship ended up being beached on the shore of Fraser Island.
From the wreck we headed to Eurong, where we would be staying for the night. The room was lovely and once we had showered, in order toremove some of the sand, and dressed we headed over for dinner. The menu consisted of all you can eat mexican food, which bordered on the sublime, with chocolate cake for dessert. Dinner was followed by a brief spate of "Fuck, Paper, Scissors" with the fellow roommates, before heading over to the beach bar for a few drinks and some extremely vigourous table football. All in all it was a fantastic day on Fraser, and I can't wait for tomorrow, although it will be sad as well as it will be the last day of my travels with Daniel (ma Danish Boi - still not gangster enough to pull that off) as he is heading back down to Brisbane,while I continue my foray north. Anywho I must away to bed as I'm getting up in 5 hours for a swim before breakfast. Nighty night.

What can I say?

Monday 16th May

A fairly straight forward one today; took a couple of pictures around Brisbane, a minor sunbathe occured, and then chicken sandwiches and a slice of travel journal. And that oh best beloveds, brings us up to date.

Bris-bane of my existence

Sunday 15th May

Ben dropped us off at the train station around lunch and we made our way into Brisbane, arriving around 130pm. For some reason, when we arrived, I decided that I would be able to navigate our way to the hostel using only the memory of what i'd seen on google maps and the position of the sun - WRONG! Despite getting thoroughly lost, we had a good laugh as I was given 15 minutes to find the place, so it was a race against the clock; kind of like our very own version of The Amazing Race. Eventually we actually looked at the map and found our way to Woodduck Backpackers. The hostel is nice, if a little simple. Brisbane on the other hand is duller than scuffed dirt; We went into town to meet a guy we had met in the hostel in surfers paradise, and headed to a few bars, all of which were frequented by maybe six people. In light of this we decided to call it a night and arranged to meet a couple of days later as we were all on the same tour to Fraser Island.

Coomera is where it's at-lantic salmon

Friday 13th/14th May

Good old uncle Ben opened up the doors to his abode to Daniel and me for two nights, which was absolutely brill. We slept in real, actual, people beds and ate proper, homemade, people food; Atlantic salmon on the first night and ham and pea soup on the second. We also watched all of the Indiana Jones films (I'm not including the fourth one in this but, come on, who would?) and Ben a I enjoyed a lot of witty back and forth.

A day with the Danish

Thursday 12th May

Today Daniel and I were to be heading down to Coolongatta for the day and night, before heading back up to Coomera for a couple of nights with my Uncle Ben. Unfortunately it turned out we were far to lazy to manage that, and we ended up staying in Surfers' Paradise for another day and went to visit the Currumbin wildlife sanctuary. I think we went to the sanctuary a little bit late as most of the animals seemed to be asleep out of sight, but we did get to feed the kangaroos and wallabees, have a picture with a baby crocodile and watch some aboriginal dancing, so the day was still a success.

Brief but memorable

Wednesday 11th May

Much of the same yet again really, beach action followed by lunch.  In the evening we all decided to repeat what had been a winning formula, and head down to the beach with some goon. There were a few more of us this evening; instead of the 5 we had the previous evening, we were a group of 9, and as such decided to buy 4 boxes of goon (that's around 18 litres of wine). We all played the newly created drinking game; "Fuck, Paper, Scissors." We had a hilarious time on the beach and then headed into town, which was less fun but still a good time was had.