East coast part 3
Updated 14 years, 6 months ago
Well, here we are again, another chance to rub it in to Mr Graeme Cameron what a great time I've been having- he so appreciated the last one. After my Whitsundays trip, I arrived back in Airlie to find that the girl in charge of the booking office where my backpack was stored had thought "Fuck it, I deserve a day off" and closed the office without notice. Bugger. I
commend her laissez faire attitude to work, this reminds me of happy times
in the loafer's lounge in days of yore(aka my previous employment), however her timing was awry as I had to get a greyhound bus to get my next connection to go to Fraser Island. (Sorry, horrendous long sentence there, but can't be arsed to caress it in to shape). I had to run around Airlie's backpacker strip, asking frantically if anyone knew this benighted female and could possibly avail of her to open up her office. All this in pouring rain with DJ Otzi (Yes, him again, he's becoming something of an unwanted motif for these updates) and his attrocious track ringing in my ears from surrounding bars. Finally, by fluke, another girl came back to the office from a weekend away and let me in and I got the bag. Never has an Australian girl appeared more saint-like or angelic (that should stir them up) and I gratefully grabbed my bag and legged it for the bus after a miserable MacDonalds experience for dinner (Yes, it's shit here too).
After all this trauma, wet through and going down rapidly with flu I did not
board the bus in a great frame of mind. This was not improved by the
following uncomfortable, sleepless, fourteen hours of MacAfferty's Greyhound travel experience.
Arrived in Gympie. Yes, such a place exists. Of course it had to be
Queensland. It was like someone had said "bring out the gimp" and the world heard and a convention of them descended on the town. I mean these made bogans look civilized; receding chins, deep set eyes, mullets and a wanton, violent look. A well named place. My stay there was not memorable as I waited impatiently for hours for my bus to Rainbow Beach. Thank the Lord, it came. I swear I had heard one of the locals saying I had a "pretty mouth" and someone seemed to have started up with those first few chords on the Banjo from "Deliverance". Not wanting to see if I could "squeal like a piggy", I boarded with alacrity.
Rainbow Beach was a great spot. Beautiful, unspoilt beach for miles and a sleepy little town. We were sorted out into groups at the hostel and we had a short time to say "How do you do?" then went off shopping for our three days of food for Fraser Island. Knocking back plaintive feminine calls for kilo's of chocolate, we did not get too much and kept to a reasonable budget. The day of our departure dawned grey, windy and rainy, so I felt quite at home, and so it stayed for the most part for the next three days. Not really the perfect weather for such a glorious place but I found it incredible. The island is home to stupendous beaches that you can't swim in due to hungry sharks, so desperate that they come right in to the surf and millions of stinger jellyfish. But who needs 'em! Lake Mackenzie has got to be one of the most beautiful swimming spots on earth. Long white sandy beach and crystal clear, blue, fresh water- stunning. You could get in the sea at the Champagne pools, shielded from the open sea by huge rocks and fed by the large waves that crash over said rocks like violently shaken champagne- hence the name. Superb, they had to drag me away. Sure, putting up tents in gale force winds, cooking on barbies in torrential rain and sleeping damp was not ideal, but having been a cub scout in England this was meat and drink. Even digging out the four wheel drive in soft sand I found challengingly fun, compensated by being able to drive the thing myself in the first place- great fun that; on the rough tracks inland and often tricky sand on the beach. My group were great on the whole; we enjoyed sing-songs round the fire, all be it in the rain, sipping our wine and the five Irish girls took turns playing folk tunes on a tin whistle, which was superb (or maybe it was the wine). This made up in some measure to their appalling topics of conversation as we drove around the island, crammed in our 4x4. For example: "Girls, what are your priorities for when you get back to Oireland; Husband, car then house, or different?", What!! Or another: "Girls, what will you call your first born choild? I'm having Finian and then what about your second?" When it came to discussing their eighth and ninth choices, I just pitied their potential spouses. All round though, it
was fantastic, a really beautiful island. Lakes, rainforest, beaches, etc,
etc. Back at Rainbow beach, I bumped into a couple I'd met from the Whitsundays and had a few beers on my last night, then it was off to Noosa..........
Continued soon(Can you bear the wait?)
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