Ok, hey everyone, a lot to fill you in on since we last updated you in Brisbane so here goes....
....It was an early start that last Morning in Brissy (20th November), and we pigged out and treated ourselves to bacon & egg muffins from MacD's as we wouldn't hit our campsite while the afternoon. We had a bit of a jobsworth on the check-in for the Greyhound who insisted we could only stow 20kg on the bus but i somehow managed to get my 27Kg of bag, tent, sleeping bag safely on board. We had a bit of a nightmare when we hit Noosa later that day however, despite our campsite being listed as being on the same 2mile stretch of road we got dropped off on, none of the locals had ever heard of it. After ringing them we soon discovered it was a fair few miles away from where we stood, and a bus ride wouldn't be cheap, so we went for plan B and rung another campsite from the guide book and made the short bus journey to that instead. It turned out to be a better than OK substitute as we managed to get a pitch smack at the edge of the lake, great view, nice breeze, sorted. The cooking facilities were basic ( 1 BBQ hotplate) but we somehow managed to get 3 days worth of food in for $34! We spent a couple of days there chilling by the lake and getting some sun as there wasn't really a great deal else to do! The lake was swimmable although a lot of people were kayaking/ fishing, etc in it as it was an inlet from the sea. At low tide there was an island (we affectionately named birds*** island) which appeared in the middle of the lake and became inhabited by masses of pelicans. We swum out to it and had a walk around it a couple of times, battling against the tide to swim back across to the campsite! On our last night there we sat and watched a storm rage past in the distance, hoping and praying it didn't come our way and soak our tent which, thankfully it didn't!
From Noosa it was on to Rainbow Beach and Frser Island. We arrived to find some fat Geordie bird greet us off the bus and give us a halfhearted tour of the hostel. Bless her she excused lethargy, explaining she'd only just got out of bed (it was 3.30pm). At check in, they explained they'd double booked our Fraser Island booking and that we'd now be going Sun-Tues instead of Sat-Mon and had knocked us $40 off the price for the incovenience. We really didn't mind being $40 better off! We got a deal on a fish & chip supper at a chippy up the road and had a few beers in the bar with the gang of Mexican's who were sharing our room. They were exchange students studying in Aus, and must not have taken kindly to my "why did the Mexican push his wife off the cliff?" or "what does a Mexican put under his carpets?" jokes as they made so much racket at 6.30am the next morning as they got up for their Fraser tour. We finally roused at 9am and headed for the beach renting a couple of bodyboards from the hostel. The beach was pretty cool, pleanty of people para-gliding, biking up and down, surfgng etc, so we had a good old sunbathe and a laugh on the body boards. We wandered back to the hostel to make lunch (pasta for a change) after swallowing a lung full of sea water each! We spent that night in the bar after watching the compulsory safety briefing video for our Fraser trip, getting to know our group for the trip. We joined iun some of the party games in the ar and even won a jug of beer playing 'Cheesy Puff Head'. A Welsh guy we met (yes they're everywhere it seems) got his head covered in clingfilm and then shaving foam whilst we all threw cheesy puffs at the foam mountain and managed to get more than any other group to stick so won the booze! Then some pissed Aussies bought a $500 round of alcopops and handed them round the bar. We duly obliged and knocked back even more free booze before heading to bed at a resonable 11pm. The next morning we were up at 6.45am to head for Fraser. After packing our gear we got in the car and i was the only 1 brave (or stupid) enough to take 1st drive and drove us out the the ferry. A quick hop over the water and we were on Fraser Island. The place was unbelieveably gorgeous, the only place on earth apparantly where rainforest grows on sand. We drove the 4x4s round to Lake Mackenzie and spent the afternoon chilling there and playing about with a rugby ball in the lake. From there we drove to our Aboriginal campsite (the only one on Fraser the tour group have yet to be banned from) and set about making dinner. We made a massive Asian chicken stirfry and got on the Goon. We sat about playing drinking games until the small hours (we think). One guy in our group, Faris, got pretty drunk so me and another guy put him to bed, only to realise later we'd put him down in the wrong tent so had to back and put him down for a second time! We were up at 7.10am the next morning to eat brekkie and make lunch for the day ahead, and to be fair the camp was a bit of a war-zone. Hangovers galore we finally managed to drag ourselves away by 9am, Zoe taking the first turn to drive that day. All was going well plugging it along the beach until we had to get inland and Zoe twice failed before finally getting up a slight incline of softer sand at the 3rd attempt. We spend the morning in the champagne pools, naturally created rock pools at the isolands edge, where the waves break roughly over the edge creating a mass of fizzing white foam in the pools, hence the name. From there it was a hike to Indian Head, the highest and most easternyl point of Fraser Island and stunning views of the Island, and a chance to see sea turtles swimming off the edge of the cliffs below. From there i drove us to a point inland for lunch and then it was on again to the wreck of the Maheno, a hospital ship washed ashore by a cyclone in the 1930s, and Eli creek, a natural rainwater creek that leads from the mountain tinto the sea. We walked up it, drank the water at its source and then floated back down to the sea. Then it was back to camp again, and I played Mum and cooked dinner for our group; steak, herby crushed potatoes and salad. More Goon and silly drinking ensued, and in the drunkenness I lost my sunglasses, drunkenly throwing them into 'our' tent (excpet it wasn't) as i stumbled off for the toilet. Oops. The next morning was a drive down the beach again and a 2.5km hike to Lake Wabby via an enourmous sandblow. After chilling by the lake it was the return 2.5km hike to the cars before we made our way back to Rainbow beach. The pictures from Fraser really speak for themselves, make sure you have a looksy at them! Last night in Rainbow we had a relatively quiet one, another night at the bar playing party games, this time me getting wrapped in bog roll in a 'Mummy Maker' game. We were clearly the best but after a 3way dance off (again I was clearly the best) i came 2nd to a Mexican guy backed by a huge group of Mexicans and won the loudest cheer, and therefore the free beer.
From Rainbow beach then it was off to Hervey Bay and the first bout of sickness of the trip. I was in a shocking state and couldn't keep anything solid down all day. spending most of the coach ride there heaving my guts up in the toilets. We got the tent up and stayed out of the sun, hiding in the TV lounge and having an early night. The next day we braved the sun again and had a lounge by the waters edge and caught upon the diary after Fraser. We chatted with another young couple from Brum and BBQd dinner. On our last full day in Hervey Bay it was pretty much more of the same with the added excitment of a free water education park next door. We killed a couple hours there and had a go on a wave simulation machine. Zoe magaed to work her way up to having a go at full on standing surfing but i got kicked off for diving over the waves and not dropping myself in slowly like i was 'supposed to'. My preotestations that 'everyone else had been doing the same' fell on the deaf ears of the jobsworth park supervisor who was having none of it.
On to Rockhampton then, a 7hour bus ride to the middle of nowhere. Literally. Sitting in the middled of a mountain range breeze was none existent and the temprature hitting 37! We arrived at our campsite just after 9pm, whacked the ten up and fell pretty much straight asleep. The next morning we were wolen rediculously early by a mixture of birdsong and the heat, despite pitching in the only part of the field with shade from the moring sun. On our walk back from the shops with supplies we noticed the campsite were promoting double air-con cabins for a little extra than what we'd paid to camp. It didn't take long to secure an upgrade and the tent came down twice as fast as it had gone up the night before and we moved into our cbin. Double bed, TV, kitchen, Air Con, amazing! We had a bottle of wine and a few beers and crashed out early, having a perfect nights sleep and were good to go again the next day! We checked out and killed time by the pool until 3am (despite the camps best intentions of kicking us out at 10am) and steadily walked down to the bus station (killing 2hours in Woolworths and 5 in Hungry Jack's along the way). With still 4hours until the bus we laid out on sleeping bags in the carpark and had been there a good 90minutes when a randow driver pointed out there was a service station with seats and a TV next door. Feeling more than a little bit stupid we relocated to there and passed the remaining time until the bus came. The driver turned out to be a total nutter, warning us to sit together with some bullsh*t story about a couple 2 nights ago who had sat apart, fell asleep and awoke to find their respective partners cuddled up the strangers! Not wanting to take the risk we sat together and spend the 7hours drifting in and out of sleep...
Understandably tired upon our 7am arrival in Airlie Beach we got a bus to our campsite, set up and hit the pool. I was asleep on a lilo in the pool within 5 minutes and had a reddened sunburnt back within 15! Realising the sun in the heatwave said to be approaching 39C we hid in the TV area and grabbed a couple hours sleep before hitting the pool again. Yesterday was a bit of a better day, a walk into town for Zoe's injection and another sunbathe, and a few drinks last night with 2 sisters from London. This morning it was up and out as we packed the tent after I had showered with it to wash all the bird s*** off it (the pitfalls of seeking shade under a mango tree) and ehere we are at Base hostel, Airlie beach.
That should bring you back up to date, please excuse the typo's etc., We're once again against the clock on the pay as you go internet!
Hope you are all well,
All our Love
Lee & Zoe xxx