So… Where were you when the 2011 Japanese Earthquake hit? Me? I was on Fraser Island, camping right next to the beach, while Australia received an official tsunami warning……
In Noosa I hugged Holly goodbye, waved my new friends off and caught a bus up to Rainbow Beach right before the weekend. Because it was a bit delayed, I missed the briefing about the 4WD (four wheel drive) tour I was about to do, but all good. No worries in me watching the briefing DVD early in the morning before we left. It meant I didn’t have a pick in cars to be in…
I was in the special car. My fellow drivers were an older German lady that didn’t really talk and really couldn’t/shouldn’t drive, a crazy musicproducer Italian guy, a smooth (and mostly drunk) Italian-Swiss boy and an rudely outspoken dutch guy (the last two were travelling together for a while – a lethal combination). All in all, the other cars felt sorry for me being stuck in there. Lucky, in group activities they were very tolerable, and the rest of our Fraser group was amazing! We all had breakfast, lunch, dinner and lots – LOTS – of rain together.
Yes, on my trip to Fraser Island we did get a couple of rays of sun, but very few. Mostly it started pouring down as soon as we got out of the cars. It’s all about driving on the beach and inland in the forrest, through rugged paths and roads.
Before anything, we got a firm warning by the owner of the company, he was very cautious and patronizing to us simple backpackers. Apparently all backpackers are out to get him and destroy his cars! After that, our journey set off, with crazy Italian guy driving. On the ferry and away on Fraser. We went to a picknick area and Lake Mckenzie, that’s one of the two places in the world that have the highest amount of silica in their sand – the purest kind of sand there is! Although it wasn’t that sunny, we did manage to catch some rays and enjoy the beauty of this ridiculously stunning lake. After that I took over the steering wheel and away we went, driving to Central Station, where we did a walk through a rainforest, with a beautiful creek, hollow tree and everyone kind of started talking to one another. We got to our camping site, set up the tents and made a delicious stirfry meal. After that, some people started boozing, but I was really tired and it rained a lot. So I chatted with a couple of people (in the cars – very comfortable, jokes and Westlife songs) and then went to “bed”. After two hours or so I woke up to protesting noises and got out to see what was going on. Our first-time-on-his-own-camp-leader was trying to tell a group of drunk – very drunk – campers that an enormous earthquake hit Japan, and Australia received and official tsunami-warning. A couple of other people woke up and joined me in the conversation. We were almost headed landinward, to find higher ground just in case the tsunami did show up. It was quite scary, as we didn’t get any more information from the main land, and we felt like we were waiting for something to happen…
Lucky for us, we got a message that the warning got withdrawn and we tried to get some sleep. And we woke up to lots of hungover people and I got to drive almost the whole day, because of that! Yay for carcrazy me. I had lots of fun cruising on the beach and through the forrest, bumping around. We drove to Indian Head – about an hour away -, which made for a spectacular view along the coast line and on our way back we stopped at the shipwrecked Moheno, Eli Creek for a quick dip (also known as the Hangover Creek, it helped a lot of people I can tell you that!) and after lunch we went to lake Birrabeen. It wasn’t as impressive as – again – it started pouring down as soon as we walked to the lake. Back to the campsite, burgers for dinner! The night was very nice, everyone was talking and drinking, talking some more and taking silly pictures. Thanks Steve for taking all those groupshots!
The third, and final day, we went on a small drive and then a little hike that took us over a big sandblow, like a small desert, and like Wobbi, which was really nice. Very rustic and it had fish in it that weren’t scared of people. Final group pictures were taking and it was back to the mainland, and a big dinner with 14 of us enjoying some nice pasta.
What started of as a seemingly disastrous trip turned around to be lots of fun and meeting heaps of people I hope to stay in touch with. The nice thing is that I actually got to know them a little bit and now, with everyone just left or leaving tomorrow, it feels like I’m leaving new friends behind in my journey to Cairns. The good thing about it though, is that some already left for up north, and I might even meet up with them in several of the upcoming stops I’ll be making.
So. The next two weeks are going to be busy! Tomorrow, I’m off to 1770/Agnes Water, a tiny town where I’ll spend two nights before heading to a cattle station in Kroombit (maybe even learn how to throw a lasso!). After that, it’s onwards to Airlie Beach, from where I’ll go on my Whitsunday Islands trip and from there: straight to Cairns. All in all: lots of adventures to be had in the next fortnight, exciting times! ‘Til Next week!
|Fraser Island 2011|