Monday 6th July
So this morning I left brissie, and I was not sad to see it go (although I was sad to have to get up at 5.30am after an interrupted night without a wink of sleep, goddammn, drunken noisy roommates).. I liked brisbane just fine, but I wasn't particularly enthralled by it. It's a nice chilled out laid back city, but not a very interesting one.
I took a nice trip on Friday up to The Mt-Coot-Tha national park and lookout, from where you can see the whole of brisbane and surrounding, a great view, and did a nice couple hours walking round tracks and along an 'aboriginal art trail' where I saw stencils on rocks and carvings in tree trunks and other such fun stuff.
On the bus to noosa, we passed the glass house mountains, which are awesome big rocky hummocks caused by lava errupting hundreds of years ago, really cool to see, then through Mooloolaba and finally to Noosa. It reminds me of Byron Bay, but a bit more touristy, nice beach and lots of nice little shops and stuff, nice to be back by the coast after a couple weeks in the urban sprawl.
Just got back from the canoe safari in the Noosa Everglades, and it was great fun! We were a group of ten, was supposed to be thirteen but three dropped out at the last minute, put off no doubt by the torrential rain the night before and leaden skies the morning we were to set off. Have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive at the weather forecast, after three lovely days before, and storms predicted. But it was all good! We got bussed to pick up te camping stuff then loaded up the boat and were ferried accross alake to the start point, at the Upper Noosa River. All our stuff was put into big watertight barrels incase of capsizing(!). After a briefing, we set off, two per 3-man canoe, with a load of camping gear on the middle seat and a paddle each. We paddled on opposite sides, switching every now and again to prevent lopsided muscle wearing-out. It was great for the first few minutes, then ACHE set in! Insted of going straight to the camp, we paddled for an hour up Kin Kin Creek, in search of a bridge that we never found, then back. Landed for lunch on a little bank and had the hilarious spectacle of the two irish guys nearly capsizing their boat on the way out and back into the water by trying to launch it with one of them already IN IT. So funny!!
Then proceded to the campsite at Harry's Hut (after taking a few wrong turns!) and set up camp without mishap. The campsite was lovely and tranquil, no running water, and toilets that were those scary ones over a long drop into a big tank below (always make me a bit scared about dropping stuff down there, falling down there, or something from down there coming up and biting me on the ass... quickst pees ever!!). After cooking pot noodles and baked beans over the camp stoves, a fun evening drinking goon and playing cards by the light of a lantern. In the night- a rat in the porch of my tent... aggghhh! Could hear it scatchng around but luckily my inner bit was secure so it didn't come in.. the boys were not so lucky the next night when they awoke to a rat running ACCROSS their bodies, that had got in through a hole in the tent!
Wednesday dawned clear, and we canoed upriver for an hour and a half to the start ofa trail to Cooloola Sand Patch, a massive sand dune on top of a mountain, another hour and a half hike up a trail. It was nice to exercise the legs, though, after such an intense arm workout rowing for the last couple of days. Spectacular views from the top. Back at the river, we lunched before setting off back... and about ten minutes after starting padding, it started absolutely chucking it down!! We were in a canoe exposed in the middle of a massive river with no shelter and we were drenched! I had a raincoat on but it was so raining that it went right through it. It was windy so the rain was driving and it pooled in the seats so we were sitting in puddles and all this only ten minutes into the trip when we knew we still had at least another hour to paddle before we got back to camp! But we had no option but to keep going.. it was pretty horrendous!
The eve was rainy, but we found shelter.. most people were down to their last few dry clothes so we went to bed at 8pm, the lure of a warm and dry sleeping bag being too great to resist. Mmm! This morning was luckily dry so a nice end to the trip and a pleasant canoe back to the start point, although high wind made the bit accross the open water of a lake pretty hairy! Back in noosa shortly after midday and I checked into the YHA Halse Lodge, which is a lovely old converted house with wooden floorboards throughout, verandas and balconies and a great atmosphere. I willSO MUCH appreciate my warm bed tonight :)