Miracle Drug

Trip Start Jun 15, 2004
Trip End Jun 15, 2005

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Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Wednesday 8th December 2004
Arrive in Torquay, Hervey Bay after long 13 hour overnight bus journey, where it was difficult to sleep, so just slept all morning, before booking my Fraser Island trip.

Fraser Island, if you didnt know, is the worlds largest sand Island, and has no sealed roads - its four wheel drive or nothing. There are a variety of trips you can do, from escorted, to doing it on your own, but I elected for the shared hire 4WD three days two nights.

This does mean you get thrust with 7 other people, and their driving skills, and we get put into our groups in the evening, with a briefing designed to terrify our wallets should we break any of the rules

Thursday 9th December 2004
5.45am start, where they again drum into us how much it will cost us if we put a foot wrong. We check the kit, and we're off - with me driving (for once, I do feel older than everybody else). Very bouncy drive, and takes some getting used to, but by the time we reach the ferry, can reverse in with ease! - 40 minutes across to Fraser Island, switch to 4WD mode, and through the dirt/sand tracks, which are very rough and very rutted - there is no way you normal car would get through this, and it takes some getting used to - though there was none of the fear seen in my normal car passengers!

Reach Central Station, where there is a bad omen when half the people dont want to do the rainforest walk (err, why are they here?). Whilst the island is made of sand, it is covered by a dense rainforest. Then onto Lake McKenzie, beautiful lake, surrounded by forest and sandy white beach - quite busy, with beautiful blue water, and peaceful, as no other amenities - no shops, hawkers etc, and very relaxing (hence fell asleep on the beach...luckily under my towel as the sun was burning)

Onto Seventy Five Mile beach, a beach on the eastern side of the island, which is, er, seventy five miles long! - and serves as the main highway for the Island. Beach driving is dictated by the tides, and is not as smooth as you might imagine - there are some big up and downs, (which is not ideal with all your kit and passengers in the back) and streams running to the sea dig deep holes - but driving along it is awesome - the speed demon in me has returned!

Reach Maheno wreck, a ship that was wrecked in 1935, and has just sat on the beach rusting ever since - quite an eery image, with the heavy surf pounding in the background. One of the rules is that you cannot swim in the sea - we are told because of the sharks, but I suspect because of the strong surf - which can nearly knock you over at knee height (well, I had to try!)

Camp overnight with another group, and play football on the beach (avoiding the traffic of course)

This is the time of night when the Dingo's are out - slinking past our tent, and getting really close on the beach - really interesting! - We have been warned not to be alone with them, and to back away, but apart from them being around a lot, they didnt really bother us.

Friday 10th December 2004
Woke up to poring rain pounding our tents, and drove to Indian Head, where we had to negotiate very deep sinking sand, where lots of 4WD's were getting stuck - the rain didnt help, but eventually made it around, and onto the Champagne Pools - pools surrounded by rocks on the beach, where the surf comes crashing over the rocks - looked very nice, but the weather didnt encourage you to swim there!

Do some more driving, and am getting better and faster at negotiating the beach and sandy track driving (the island is mountainous as well).

Drive to another lake for a swim, and then eventually find camp, thoughsome of the other people are beginning to mildy annoy me now - from just standing around whilst I unload the 4WD, or ripping branches off trees for a fire (your not even supposed to pick up deadwood as they are trying to preserve the environment perfectly), or littering occasionally.

Saturday 11th December 2004
Eventually load up the 4WD when they realise I'm not going to do it for them, and drive again to Lake McKenzie, after failing to find Lake Wabby, and then catch the 2.30 ferry.

Maybe I'm being harsh on the people on the trip - which I did really enjoy, but I have met more interesting people - and I really wasnt bothered getting a group photo or exchaning email addresses as on other trips!
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