After Brisbane I made the two hour trip up to Noosa. From here I had booked a three day and three night bush camp. The bush camp was based in the heart of the forest along side the Noosa river and the trip involved cannoning with your group up this river every day. I had booked this trip as it sounded so different, and outside of my comfort zone. But after booking it many people who I bumped into said how horrible it was, telling me how the nights were cold, the cannoning was hard and the conditions were disgusting. One guy told me that at the start of this trip he had eighteen in his group and by the final day only five remained as the others had all dropped out early.
I nearly decided against the trip altogether, but decided to give it my best shot and drop out if necessary. The guy who picked our group up from the bus stop warned us that the camp was "back to basics" and that "townie type girls would not last". All I kept thinking was that I was the archetypal townie girl and so perhaps this comment was directed at me.
But as we arrived at the camp I soon realised that this was not nearly as back to basics as our bus driver had made out. The camp site had a pretty well equipped kitchen, army style dorm rooms with bunk beds for our first night, hot showers, a pool table, a table tennis table and a TV room fully loaded with hundreds of movie. Not to mention a "long drop toilet" which was luxury in comparison to some I have used at Reading Festival. This was the most luxurious camp site I had ever stayed in.
The first night was spent making friends and chilling by the camp fire. Then the real work started. This trip was a cannoning trip. Each day we woke up early to start the canoe up the river at 6am. The first day was the longest trip canoeing a total of 20K throughout the day. I was lucky to be in a three person canoe with two boys which made the work slightly easier. At 10AM we reached our destination for the day. An island off the river with a picnic table a a king swing that threw you off into the river. It wasn't much, but we had canoed a long time to get there and so were grateful for the break we got there. We all ate our lunch, played on the swing and relaxed there for a few hours before heading back to the bush camp.
We got back at 4pm, giving us plenty of time to relax for the evening. I don't thing I have every eaten so much in my life as I did on this trip. We were all eating about 5 meals a day and still I wasn't feeling full. That night we watched movies and relaxed around the camp fire. The dorm accommodation was a treat for us on our first night and for the rest of the trip we were in two man tents. It wasn't nearly as cold or uncomfortable as some people I had met prior to the trip made out. But perhaps I was lucky as we had nice weather for the duration of the trip.
The next day we did a total of 12K of canioing and a two hour hike through the woods. All the girls dropped out apart from me and my American friend. My arms hurt from the day before but I was fortunate to have a fantastic group who kept our spirits high. Once we arrived at a secluded area of sand that we were instructed to take the boats into, we had to hike to the beach. I was told that on the hike you would see wild Kangaroos, and that you can go up to them and take pictures with them. I didn't see a single kangaroo!
The hike was absolutely worth it. We found ourselves at one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to, and we were the only ones there. The weather was beautiful and so we set down our towels and sunbathed for a few hours. Firstly to relax, but secondly to attempt to get rid of the horrific tan lines that we had all developed from our Buoyancy Aids that we had to wear whilst canoeing. I fell asleep on the beach and woke up with one side of my face more tanned then the other. This was the hottest day since I had been in Australia.
Then we hiked and canoed back. It was harder on the way back as we were all exhausted and the tide was against us. But I was determined not to be a stereotypical whining girl who let the boys do all the work. I kept going until the end (although we did have to take a few breaks on the way back). Then a the end we all had a massive group hug to celebrate the fact we had made it. I was so glad I hadn't dropped out! You then get your third night to camp safe in the knowledge that you can truly relax with no more canoeing to do the next day.
The next day everything hurt, and I felt like my arms had grown overnight! I have uploaded pictures from the trip but they don't do it any justice. You couldn't take anything on the boats that weren't waterproof and so the camera didn't come out with me. However some of my friends had waterproof cameras and so they have some awesome action shots of the group. Those of you who have Facebook - keep an eye out as they should be getting uploaded onto there soon. My favorite thing about camping is that amazing moment when you get back and have a hot shower and put on clean clothes again. Absolute bliss.