Ryan Lowe – Rylowe – Australia 10

Whuddup yo. So, I’m finally getting into the Michael Crichton book, Travels (thanks to Derek & Christine), and I think its inspiring me more to write about my own travels. So forget this pointform crap, if you’re reading this, I’m forcing you to read through all the bullshit. Reading is good, who knew??

From Noosa, I headed to the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island, sands for an amazing 1630 kms.image15.jpg fictions.co.uk

Our morning began bright and early at 6am, where we had the briefing of what we were getting ourselves into. None of us really knew. We were split into groups of 8, mine being in group C. Now C’s in high school were never a good thing, and happened all too often. At first, it looked like this grade was for the intelligence of our group too.

We then had a list of alcohol we had to order, and then pool our money together. It took us freakin 20 minutes to figure out what we all wanted and count the money 30 times. We were all retards, especially at 6 in the morning, and it didn’t help that some of my group were being kind of difficult. No one really wanted any responsibity, wanting to volunteer for anything, such as credit card deposit or driving the truck. Being the mature idiot that I am, I volunteered for both.

Basically, we had almost 30 peeps in our entire crew, each split into 3 trucks. After going through numerous briefings on what to do and not do on the island such as: how to drive on the beach, when the tides were low enough, not to lose our camping items (being charged things like $2 per cutlery missing, $5 per cup, $30 for flashlights…..etc.), and how to be dingo aware. They told us we had to leave our tents partially open during the day, so that when the dingos wander through our camp, they don’t bite a hole in our tent (which would, of course, cost another charge) and instead, are free to dig through our stuff as they wish. At this point, Group C was wondering why we all paid 200 bucks each to do this.

Hesitantly, we made our way to the ferry, and across to Fraser.

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Luckily, I didn’t have to drive the truck first. There were 3 guys who volunteered, me being one of them.

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I should be the freakin posterboy for the truck company with that cheesy shit. I wouldn’t get my crack for a couple days, which was a good thing. Out of the 8 of us, 3 were from Canada, 3 German, 1 Netherlands, and 1 Holland. None of us drive on the right side of the car….

After an adventurous drive through a rainforest, we came to the beautiful, endless beach. My first pic of the island.

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Group C

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After 5pm, you can’t drive on the beach because the tide is up. So there was nothing left to do but make dinner, then get shittered. Sounds like a plan….

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Partway through the festivities, I realized it was Halloween. So we got a little festiv, using the burnt bases of our cooking pots.

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The drinking games got ugly, and some of us had trouble walking back to base camp, up the hill from the beach. Unfortunately, falling into and passing out in the bush is kinda dangerous in Oz, with all those nasty snakes and bugs everywhere.

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But everyone made it back safe, many just a little worse for wear the next morning. Our suggested itinerary said an early wake up at 6am to go to Indian Heads to see the dolphins early at sunrise. Sounded nice, but so did sleeping in. We chose option B.

The view from Indian Heads, at the northern most point of Fraser.

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We saw all sorts of crazy shit a top there. They say you can’t swim in the ocean on Fraser, because of nasty stingers, manta-rays and sharks. Its no bullshit. We saw all sorts of sharks and rays swimming right under the cliffs. We’ll follow that advice. Up next, heading over to beautiful Champagne Pools, where the ocean water was safe to swim in, guarded by some rock cliffs. The waves crashed over them, making the water bubbly like nice cheap Babyduck.

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Lots of lounging in the sun takes its toll. We were a little sunstroked and lazy, so after making dinner, had a couple drinks and had a much earlier night. Its funny, because the base camp always has new groups coming in, as everyone stays for 3 days, 2 nights. The newbies were just as loud and obnoxious as we were the night prior. Poor chumps will learn their lesson in the morning.

The 3rd day brought a couple more things to check out. And my day to drive. Shit. Both Jo and Wes had done good jobs (apart from Wes accidently going on the wrong side of the path and barely scraping by another truck) I was up to driving on the beach, with the low tide, you could cruise about 70 or 80 km, and just slow down for the washouts. No problemo. Shifting geals with the left hand, it’d take some getting used to. 4-bying over huge sand dunes….. ya. Let’s just say we got stuck everytime I hit some sand deeper than 2 ft. It happened more than once (like quite a bit), and quite often Group C had to walk while someone else drove it past the tough stuff. I hung my head in shame behind them.

Our last day took us to the Mahano Shipwreck. For history buffs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Island#Wreck_of_the_Maheno

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We hit up a couple more lakes, before heading back to the ferry.

Lake Mackenzie

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After all the warnings of losing items, damaging the vehicle, and watching out for dingos, we took the trucks back to the rental place. I had my deposit on the line and I was stressed. We were sure we had lost some cups and at least a couple knives and forks on the debaucherous Halloween night. The clutch had started reaking since after day 1. And disappointingly, no dingos. Not one. We even threw out a shitload of meat that went bad on the last night, and nothing. Maybe we should’ve hung the leftover beef and sausages in the tree.

The dudes told us to unpack everything, and barely looked through it. No counting of cutlery. Nothing. He called out my name, and handed back the credit card slip. We got off.

Fraser was one of the best things I’d done up until now. Group C ended up being the most fun group (probably because of all the retardation) and it was sad to part ways with them.

But I had some fishys to see. And hopefully not die. But I came close….(oooo, love the flare for dramatics)

One Love,

Rylowe

Posted from Australia:

posted Friday November 2007

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