On The Long Open Road And A Long Open Beach

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January 17th 2007
Published: January 19th 2007
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Well after all my talk I finally did it, took the plunge and broke away from the group, its just me and my jalopy, Louis, for the next couple of weeks and I'm loving it! Have just arrived in Airlie Beach, about 1,500kms from where I left the others and am all excited about boarding The Clipper to cruise the Whitsundays in the morning.

I'm not long back from a three day tour of the fantastic Fraiser Island, the world's largest sand island....think the desert island out of Lost. I spent three very sunny days there traveling as part of a very multi cultured group of 10...3 South American girls, 1 Brazilian, 3 German guys, a Frenchie and an Isralie (we were a very multicultural group) in a safari style 4x4 up the island taking in some amazing sights along the way. Our first day traveling brought us to Lake Mackenzie this huge fresh water mineral lake that made you're hair like something out of a Sunsilk commerical (the effect didn't last too long unfortunately). That night we set up camp behind the sand dunes and drank under the stars. After waking up early in our roasting hot tent we headed up to Indian Bay (me at the wheel this time....nothing can descirbe the freedom of driving for miles along the sea shore!) and climbed a cliff that looked down over the edge of the island and onto all the reef sharks...amazing sight!! That night a group of Irish travelers pulled up and set up camp beside us and we had a traditional Irish session, with a bit of Spannish music thrown into the mix. Our last day there was probably my favorite, we went for what we thought would be a pleasant stroll and ended up walking through a tropical rainforest and on up to these huge sand dunes. Hot does not describe the heat of the sand and it was so tough walking in the sand, especially up the huge dunes in the heat but it was so worth it when all of a sudden Lake Wabby peeked up from below one of the dunes....fantastic! After running all the way down hill and jumping straight in it started to rain, just a light drizzle but it was just so cool sitting in the lake as all these little droplets of rain fell onto it!

What wasn't so fantastic was living in sand. Doing the dishes (in the sea using sand as washing up liquid), going to the bathroom (in the bush, watching out for dingos), making dinner (over a gas canaster), making a cup of tea (it took 45 mins to boil water) and eating sandwiches took on new meanings! Definitely one of the most memorable experiences on my travels and so much fun!

After I left Rainbow Beach I set off on a 9 hour drive to Rockhampton where I stayed last night. Louis is serving me well although I did have a close call with the petrol gauge...longest 45 mins of my life!!!!! You can literally drive for miles of nothingness! Rockhampton was very different to the kind of places I normally visit because none of the backpacker tours/buses stop there so its traveling community was mainly truckers. It was a really nice place though and I had a great laugh with the locals. Was well on the road by 7.30 this morning and have just arrived in Airlie now. Its absolutely gorgeous here, a really nice little town built on a marina. Nicole Kidman is staying the hotel next to my hostel!!! I'm so looking forward to getting on the boat and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and all the Irish I met on Fraiser are booked on the same boat as me so it should be a real laugh. Its raining here at the moment which is a shame because I've been so lucky with the weather so far but fingers crossed it will be sunny offshore!
Hope you're all keeping well!!


19th January 2007

i hate you
Emer its friday, the end of a long week, ive just aranged to come into the office tomorrow saturday. i hate you and your wonderful trip, stop posting new blogs your teasing me
24th January 2007

Emer, hope you have arrived safely at GBR. and that Louis is not suffering from exhaustion.

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