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Published: February 14th 2008
February 7th Thursday.
Today we had to be up and packed in time for 7am which was a bit of a struggle, but we had free pancakes as an incentive for breakfast, Pancakes go especially well with peanut butter believe it or not...
Between 7:30 and 9:30 nothing of any consequence happened really, we had a few more talks on road (sand) safety and various dingo warnings etc. We were given our food and camping stuff and packed it onto the roof of our 4x4. 'We' being the 5 groups of 11 people in each.
In our group are Me, Sarah, Rob, the eldest at about 26, he was a manager at Shell before leaving to travel, Then there was Laura, a quite loud but friendly Irish girl who likes beer, she's about 23, Abi was 21 and has just finished a sociology degree in Exeter Uni, she met Laura a few days earlier so those 3 were sitting in the front driving and navigating for the first day. In the back with us were a nice couple from the Netherlands, Mark and Inge who were about 22 and doing some sort of degree in English studies and spoke very good engligh, an Irishman called Paddy who was about 23 and had left the army after 3 years and he had a nice tattoo. He looked incredibly like Zane Lowe, then there was his sort of cousin Ashley who was tall. He was friendly too and took nice photos. He's a chef which was handy for us. Then there were the 2 from Yorkshire, Johnny and Mikey who were both 19 and had just finished A-levels i think. Johnny looked just like Matt Damon and Mikey looked like Bradley from Eastenders.
So anyway, we (Team C) finally set off in our 4x4 to the ferry which couldnt leave till nearly midday because of the tide. We got to Fraser Island after seeing some dolphins on the way across which was nice, especially to see them in the wild. We drove and walked a bit to the most amazing lake ever called Lake Makenzie where the water was perfectly blue. We did lots of swimming and then went to see a shipwreck just before sunset as this was apparently the best time to see it lightingwise. We found a camping ground on the beach near the wreck and put up our tents for the night, the boys were good with helping out and cooking and anything remotely manual which was rather nice. It got dark about 7pm and we all had a lovely time on the beach and joined up with another group who were camped very near us and we mucked about a bit and watched some crazy dancing in the headlights of the 4x4 to the music from various i-pods in the speakers. We met 2 men from Tazmania also who just appeared randomly but were nice enough.
We woke very early the next morning due to it getting light at about 5am and then the sun making the tent an intolerably boiling temperature. I forgot to mention about the only annoying thing on the whole island which is HORSE-FLIES ughh they are soo annoying and big and slow and they bite and it itches so much and they are generally silly. Anyway, I might get Sarah to write a bit now...
No I want to go to sleep. Ummm well it was nice there, lots of sunshine and nice to be able to go where we wanted, we saw lots of big dinosaurs (lizards) and a duck in the lake. When I'm old my job will be something that uses the skill of matching people to a famous person that they look like, because I can do it really well. Rosie couldn't remember what Matt Damon looked like and noone else believed me but I will make a picture maybe if I can be bothered one day. Sorry I am really tired, this is not going to make any sense.
Our food supply consisted of 6 billion loaves of bread, and I also had a special veggie burger, which seemed to intrigue everyone a lot. We got introduced to 'goon' which was basically cheap horrible wine in an astronaut bag, and had beach partiess. The sun rise was very nice to watch, and so was the sun set, and the sun just generally. We weren't allowed to swim in the sea because it was too rough and there were sharks but we paddled a bit and lost loads of cutlery in the sea (later had to pay a big fine). I drove a 4x4 which was stupid, but an achievement considering I can't drive and it was rather late..
This is a highly edited version of Fraser Island.
God I hate horse flies, and I also disliked the sand after the 3rd day, which went everywhere into places that I didn't know were there. When we got back to the hostel after refuelling and unpacking the 4x4 and cleaning everything at some warehouse place we were all dying for showers, because we were covered in 3 days worth of sand and sea-salt, and there was a mild film of grime on everything. GRIME. I like that word.
We went to bed quite early that night at the hostel and then had to get up early for a bus back to Brisbane, which was about 5 hours... I'm going to make Rosie do the rest.
Right ok well Sunday the 10th was bsaically our travelling day from Rainbow beach to Brisbane and we had some Milo! (Australian hot chocolate which we apparnently have in England too) We had a dinner of pea soup with Jen, Evie, Phil and Pete and Chris and then went to bed.
On Monday we went to Byron Bay via the 2 hour express bus from Brisbane, We made our lunch before we left at MYO (that sandwich place we fell in love with earlier on). Byron is full of lovely hippie shops and not many people, it wasnt really peak season so they were all having sales but as they were so expensive in the first place we didnt buy much. We wandered about looking for a hostel and came across a motel which was over $100 each per night so we moved on and eventually found a place called Aquarius which was a backpackers hostel and about $32 each (15pounds ish). In the evening we went for a 'kebab' which was blatently a wrap but it was very nice anyway. We joined up with 4 girls from our dorm and a boy who were out celebreating one of their birthdays (she was 20) and the introduced us to Byron's nightlife which included a very sleazy, overpriced table dancing club. We left there early and went back to the hostel in the rain getting a little lost on the way.
The next morning we went to the sea with Dave and Chris (also in our dorm) and Chris has his surfboard and Dave said he'd teach us "body surfing" which is basically mucking about in the sea, anyway it was quite fun and there were hardly any people in the sea, thich might have been partly due to the almost constant rain and very strong current. We had a nice shower back at the hostel and played cards with the others.
Sarah had a craving for Haloumi and so we and Dave went out for lunch and the had the 'squeaky cheese' and then we wandered round Byron a little more before getting the bus back to Brisbane. Byron Bay is in New South Wales and Queensland doesn't use Daylight Savings Time but NSW does so we went back and hour when we crossed the border to Brisbane even though the are pretty much the same longitude. Blah anyway this is getting long.
Today we went to a place called Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and we got to hold koalas! and feed kangaroos...
which was very fun indeed. We also saw quite a few scary reptiles and emus and cassowarys and lots of birds of prey and the made them fly around our heads so close that their wings brushed my hair.
This is our last Blog entry from Australia, tomorrow we fly to San Francisco and officially we get there before we left due to crossing the international date line, this will be fun for our body clocks.
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