A Travellerspoint blog

Wednesday 23rd April - Day 80

Back to Brisbane

Travelled back to Brisbane via Greyhound bus today. An early start and lots and lots of hours.

l sat next to a guy named Michael. He told me of his travels to many countries and adventures. In comparison to what he had done, I am on a weekend break. I would guess he was in his mid fifties, but this didn't stop him working just long enough to earn enough money to travel for a few months. If it's an addiction I think he may have it.

I have a short stroll around Brisbane and crash out at the hostel.

Posted by rajchopra 21:48 Comments (0)

Tuesday 22nd April - Day 79

Not quite dancing with wolves

It's the second and last day at Fraser island. Those who may have spotted a 'shark fin' in the background of a photo yesterday may be disappointed to learn that it was actually the head of a person who was swimming at the time. No, it hasn't been severed by a shark either. However, later in the day on Tuesday I did have an encounter with a wild animal.

All is well in the camp. Everyone slept okay and we're all ready to go again. There is a towel at the bottom of the door of the room where the the girls are sleeping. One of the girls' is so paranoid of spiders coming into the dormitory that she has put the towel there to stop them. I really wish I had a plastic spider to put under the towel !

We have a similar day to yesterday, sun, sea, beach, walk, etc. It's all good. We're asked if we would like to pay $70 to fly over the island. An eight-seater light aircraft takes off from the beach and takes us for a 15 minute flight over the island. The flight is over in a flash and we land back on the beach.

Amongst the stories Ranger Bob tells us about is one about the Dingo's. This is the largest predator in the island and they kill and eat anything smaller than them. Although they look as cuddly as a labrador, they behave like wolves. We're told about the exploits of Scarface, an Alpha male, who has to resist the challenge of other Dingo's in the pack. Every year three or four will challenge for the position of top dog. The fights are usually very short and violent with the winner tearing out the throat of the challenger. It's a life or death struggle in the true sense. We all hope to see a dingo during our drive but it doesn't happen.

Early in the evening about 5:30pm we return to our base. A dingo was spotted on the edge of the forest but then disappears. Later on, we are back at our accommodation and about to have an evening meal. A dingo comes up to our area probably having smelled the food. We later discovered he is the Alpha male. He lies down with his head on his two front paws on the grass just 10 metres or so away from our eating area. He doesn't seem too worried about the number of people taking his photograph. I thought I might have a really good photo if I walked around to his front and got a little closer. As I knelt down to take my photo he decided to stand up and walk towards me. He stood less than a metre away from me. We were face to face. I wasn't about to blind him with a camera flash unless it upset him, and I felt a little nervous. After a few seconds he turned and walked away. I got the poorest photo of him and I was the nearest to him. I don't think I was in danger but it didn't feel that way. Here's a picture of him,but not the encounter itself:

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Posted by rajchopra 07:49 Comments (0)

Monday 21st April - Day 78

United Nations

Russia, England, Germany, France, Singapore, Ireland, Israel, USA, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand. What do these places have in common ? The answer is that these are the places that people on my bus trip to Fraser Island are from. And amazingly, everyone get's on with everyone else really well. We will be on the island for two days.

One of the first things I learn is that this island has a beach that is 75 miles long. I assumed this was a small place. A boat takes us from Hervey bay to the island in about half an hour. Today we are taken to two of the lakes and given time to relax and swim. The most famous of the lakes is Lake Mackenzie. The water is very clean and clear.

We are then taken to a beach and again given time to relax and swim. The water is an amazing turquoise colour and very clean. Here's a picture of me about to dive in.

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Okay, I'm not about to dive in just at this moment, but you can see the water behind me and the fine sand. Fraser island had an Aboriginal name meaning 'paradise.' It's certianly pretty and much more.

Our guide (or Ranger as they call themselves) is a guy named Bob. He's originally from New Zealand but has settled in Australia with his Australian wife. He has many stories to tell us and some of them take a while to tell, as he does tend to carry on a bit, but you can't fault his enthusiasm. He's also our driver. Our vehicle is a cross between a big truck and a coach. Some of the tracks we drive along are very bumpy and sometimes steep too. As passengers we find ourselves being thrown up out of our seats from time to time. Another option on these to trips is to self-drive, i.e. to join a group of say ten others and have the freedom to drive anywhere around Fraser island in a 4x4 jeep type vehicle, where you wish to, within limits. You can camp out in the open and cook your own food. While on the trip I'm on, takes you to a dormitory to sleep, we have warm showers and nice warm food to eat in the evening. Both types of trip have their pros and cons.

In the evening we meet up at the main resort hut of Kingfisher bay to have our evening meal, drinks at the bar, play pool and socialise. I wish I was back home, it's really tough out here.

Posted by rajchopra 06:13 Comments (3)

Sunday 20th April - Day 77

Hervey Bay

A 6:30am start on the greyhound bus will get me to Hervey Bay at about 10:30am. It's a stop off point to get to Fraser Island. So many people have said, Fraser Island is a 'must see.'

I have something to complain about (don't remember the last time I had cause to complain about anything) my hostel room is unclean. I'm at 'The 'Palace' hostel. "Sorry sir, we haven't got around to cleaning it yet," says the Receptionist. Okay. I leave the hostel to check out my surroundings. Later in the day I return to find clean sheets on my bed but the floor isn't clean. I go down to complain. A new Receptionist asks, did I not notice it was unclean when I booked in ? After expaining that I had, she gives me a key to another room. This time the room has had it's floor cleaned, but the surfaces are dirty and the shower doesn't look too good. I go back to the first room.

The beach at Hervey bay is stunning. There aren't many people along this beach and it's easy just to stare at the sea and watch the waves and day dream. A thought crosses my mind: what were they thinking 200 years ago ? The politicians transported convicts to a place where there is plenty of land, natural resources, outstanding natural beauty, a round thing in the sky called the sun and much more. And everyone else stayed on a small island where the sun is hardly seen. Maybe the convicts should have been left in the U.K. and everyone else moved to Australia ? Who's laughing now ?

Inland from the beach there is a narrow strip of woodland and shrubs, etc, a pavement, a road, another pavement on the otherside and a line of shops, cafes and bars in spurts. It puzzles me why people are running along the pavement when there is a really nice beach to run along. Maybe the sun has gone to their heads.

Posted by rajchopra 06:05 Comments (0)

Saturday 19th April - Day 76

Chilled Out

I'm pretty chilled out here, it's easy just to lie down and relax because it's so warm, quiet and peaceful here. I decide to take the shuttle into town, do some laundry, have some lunch at a cafe and visit the beach - tough life, hey.

Maybe I can save some money by throwing in all my clothes into one wash instead of one for coloured clothes and one for whites. Maybe that was a mistake because now I have pink socks. Oh well, it's a source of amusement for others as I later discover.

I wonder around the shops a little and come across a noticeboard where locals can put up little cards, posters and adverts. As I'm reading it a lady with a piece of paper in her hand comes up to me and says, "you'll want to buy this one love, just let me put it up on the noticeboard." She struggles with something in her hand and then blurts out, "If can get this blasted durex off !"
Pardon ???
'Durex' is the name the Australians use for what we call sellotape in Engalnd. They also call flip-flops 'thongs' but I'm sure you would notice the difference if you tried to buy these items.

Posted by rajchopra 04:42 Comments (1)

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