Driving 4WDs like a mad 'un
30.09.2014 26 °C
So if Whitsundays was "stunning scenery" then Fraser Island's summing up would be BANTER.
Met some of the most amazing people of the entire trip, (well, so far anyway) and saw some exceptionally nice lakes and creatures, in between sleeping in tents and rallying around the sand dunes in a 4WD (4x4 to my English friends).
After the Whitsundays, we drove down to Hervey Bay, still on the East Coast of Australia, ready for trip two of three.
Fraser Island was pure awesomeness and I loved every minute of it.
We traveled with a group of about 20 people and spent three whole days cruising around the beaches and swimming in the freshwater lakes.
The island is pretty remote and I'm fairly sure about 10 people live there. Despite popular belief, there are a few shops and signs and civilization, but not much. For the most part Fraser is woodland, beach, dingo, cliff and dirt track.
In fact, it's so untouched by human hands, you can only get there in a 4WD as there is less than one mile of tarmaced road.
On the first day we went to the island's highlight, Lake McKenzie, which is has the brightest blue water I have ever seen. It was absolutely stunning and a pleasure to swim in. Got lots of amazing pictures of the lake and surrounding woodland. Splashing around and generally being free and easy.
On day two we saw the wreck of the Maheno. It was actually placed there after being decommissioned, but still looks really spooky just laid there on the side of the beach. You'd almost think it was wrecked by accident, especially with the angle it is sat at.
One of the highlights of the tour for me was the driving itself. We took it in turns, but my stints mainly involved driving along the beach. No mean feat when you have sand dunes, sunken parts of sand, rocks and waves to contend with. Bear in mind it's been a while since I've driven properly (not including Felicity - our rental/roof tent baby of two weeks) and a VERY long time since I've driven a 4WD (Vancouver). But although it was scary at first, especially when you hear of tourists rolling them and killing themselves, it was a real thrill once you got used to it.
Now, this next bit is going to sound a bit weird, but Fraser Island was also when I saw a ghost. (I think).
I woke up in the middle of the night in our tent with Fay, Trine and Robyn and saw Robyn laid beside me. But then the face of a small girl, I'd guess about 7 years old, appeared over the top of her face, like it was in the same place but see-through.
She was holding her hands up in front of her like she was clawing at something and she looked really distressed. I had the overwhelming feeling that she was being buried alive in the sand and I had a huge wave of sadness come over me.
I couldn't and wouldn't wake the others, as I felt paralysed by both fear and sadness.
After a while, she disappeared, but the image will remain with me for the rest of my life. Even writing this about two weeks later I can still picture her face clearly like it just happened.
I decided to wait until we'd left Fraser to tell the girls, in case A- they thought I was mental and B- they got scared. When I did, Robyn said she'd seen a psychic who told her that ghosts follow her around and that she is someone who attracts those from the other side easily, although never sees them herself.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a sceptic like the rest of them. And a search on Google for dead girls on Fraser wasn't very successful. So I'm willing to say it was just a dream and I wasn't really awake. BUT, it certainly felt real. And was definitely something I won't forget.
Another first on Fraser was tightrope walking. Or, should I see, actually MANAGING to tightrope walk.
I'd tried a bit when the circus was in Hull for a feature once, but one of the German guys Marko, had a tightrope you can set up anywhere.
He strung it between the two cars when we were in camp on the first night and I got a bit addicted.
At first, it is really hard just to even get your balance (especially when you've been drinking goone!) so it is easy to get frustrated easily. But once I got going, I managed four steps. Which Marko said was way better than his first go!
I definitely want to try it again and perhaps even buy the rope myself when I'm back in the UK.
The lasting memory I'll take from Fraser is definitely the people. Met a kindred spirit in Tyler from Canada, who was like a brother to me the entire trip. (Not that I'm disowning my actual brother) He was the male version of me, except a LOT hotter. I suspect the ladies on the group fancied him a tad.
And me? Well, I don't see him that way at all. He is too young for starters. But loved his company. I really hope we can stay in touch.
Well, that's it for now. Next installments will be on Uluru and Perth (oooh, I'm such a tease).