Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fraser and Dave

First things first - I've not read Harry Potter nor will I for the forseeable future.

I'm now back in Brisbane for my last night in Australia. I'm again in the hostel Bunk at which it seems that Sunday night is the pumping party night, so rather than partying I've decided to plonk myself infront of a computer - I'll go for a beer or two later.

My stay in Bunk earlier in the week was pretty good. I was sharing a room with seven Irish folk who were traveling together. I went with them to a local pub where we indulged in two of my favourite passtimes - drinking and karaoke. We did attempt to go clubbing in town, but encountered a queue that appeared to be glacial in its progress. The next moring, after being incredibly quite so as not to wake my room mates, I left for the bus station to catch the Greyhound to Hervey Bay. I'd heard some bad things about Greyhound coaches and I feared the worsed when I encoutered a crazy person trying to check in for the coach. Luckily he wasn't getting on my coach (in fact I think he'd just randomly wandering in off the street and wasn't after any bus) and when I boarded I was pleasantly surprised - there were only about 10 of us on the coach and there was tonnes of leg room. The coach trip was unevenful and I arrived at Hervey Bay on time.

In Hervey Bay I was staying at the Koala Resort hostel. This seemed nice enough, but the rickety shacks that made it up were later shown to be inadequate insulation for the bloody freezing night that was to come. The problem with Hervey Bay is that it's dull as fuck. It's basically a stop off point for people heading to Fraser Island, but they haven't thought to give it any sort of nightlife. My hostel had a nightclub, but they didn't even bother opening it cos no bugger was around! I was reduced to sitting in the TV room for a while watching a show where the Aussie tennis player Mark Phillipousis had to pick a girl from a variety of desperate women.

After a very unevenful night I headed off to the one and only reason for being in Hervey Bay, Fraser Island. We were met on the Island by our tour guide called Dave. Dave was apparently one of the tour companies most experienced guides, but by all accounts there most mental - he knew his stuff, but liked to talk (mainly using inappropriate comments) and laugh (mainly at his own jokes, or even just at random sentences/words)non-stop. Fraser Island, as I may have said in previous posts, is the largest almost entirely sand island in the world and home to a large amount of dingos. We saw a dingo pretty much straight after we set off in our 4x4 bus. The first day involved part trekking through the forest and part driving places in the bus - Fraser Island's is big although not huge, but when you have to drive everywhere through sand it can still take a while. We visited Basin lake and later in went to the major attraction that is Lake MacKenzie. As there was water there I had to go for a swim, which was pretty nice although I was still the only one in my group who braved the water. At Lake MacKenzie I met back up with some of the guys from my Contiki tour group who were also on the island. That evening we were staying in some lodges on a nice Fraser Island resort called the Kingfisher Resort. These lodges had heating, which was a great advantage over most of the people who visit the island and have to camp. Watching the sunset that evening from the island was really nice. Food on the island was also really good. We finshed off the evening with a large amount of drinks from the resort bar. Maybe I'll recount some of Dave's pearls of wisdom some day.

The next day was an early start (I'd got used to these) and we set off to drive up the beach. The beach drive would have been something I'd have loved to be able to do myself, but it was still fun being driven by someone else. This day was pretty windy which meant that when out of the bus we were generally being sand blasted (you've got to expect that on a sand island) and the sea was pretty choppy. We visited thhe wreck of a ship called the Moheno and then carried on up the island to the Champange pools - these were a couple of rock pools on the beach with the surf breaking into them. As ever I was the only one to go for a swim. We then headed to Indian Head, rocky outcrop which gave great view over the island and sea - there was the possibility to see whales, but as the water was so choppy you wouldn't have been able to make anything out. There were a few more sights seen, but that evening I headed back to Hervey Bay - again it was dull.

Today was back on the Greyhound to Brisbane. During the trip we had a minor breakdown, but it didn't hold us up too much. Now I think I'll go for my last couple of Aussie beers. Next post from back in the UK.