Well, we're back and unscathed from our 4 by 4-ing adventure. There were a couple of nail biting moments in the jeep along with pee-ing in the dark surrounded by dingos...be dingo safe!
We were put in a group with 7 others, 4 swedes, 1 Texan, 1 Canadian and a northern lass. Group A by name, Group A by nature. We were by far the better of the two groups, even if we do say so ourselves.
We were issued with all our camping equipment, bought ourselves some food and off we went to the ferry to go over to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. It's home to the only pure breed of dingo left, i.e. untainted by breeding with domesticated dogs.
We headed straight for our first stop, some lake we can't remember the name of. It was absolutely stunning. Crystal clear blue water and white sand - straight in for a swim! We stayed in the water for a while and did some team A bonding. We realised by now we were in a group with a really good bunch of people.
Next stop was another lake. After we parked the jeep on the beach and set up camp it was a 45 minute hike up to the lake. Think we earned our swim this time...another stunning lake, but crystal clear green water this time along with some mofo catfish and tiny fish that kept nibbling our toes.
Back to camp for some dinner, cooked expertly on our gas burner. After dinner there was a lot more team A bonding, with plenty drunken singing keeping the dingos at bay. Good times. We also managed to make a dent in the horse fly population, they are absolutely massive but no match for a well-aimed flip flop.
Day 2 started with a trip to the store for some ice creams and coke (so we didn't quite rough it all the time...) We then stopped at an aboriginal camp to wash our dishes and eat some brekkie. The owners were really nice, we had a wee chat and then headed up 75 mile beach, being 75 miles long, to Indian Head and the Champagne pools.
At Indian head the water is clear enough to see the Tiger sharks that live and breed around the area. We also spotted some dolphins 'surfing'. The champange pools are so called because the massive waves break over the rocks in front of them causing the water to bubble like champagne. We camped back further down the beach. Once camp was set up most of us walked for an hour along the beach to Eli Creek. We had been told during our orientation that we could hike up the creek then let the current take you floating down to the sea. Obviously, we were very excited about it, despite the weather being a bit cold and cloudy. We started our "hike" up to the top of the creek. About three and a half minutes later we were there. It took us about 2 minutes to float down in the knee-deep water. Our initial disappointment gave way to child-like nonsense and we ended up going down twice, having a total laugh along the way.
We were much more tired that evening and embarrassingly went to bed at 9.30pm.
We made up for our early night by getting an early start in the morning. We were all up by 6am, cooking steaks for breakfast. We had to use up our meat supply somehow. There might have been a few leftover Smirnoff Ices and beers consumed at this stage, too. The Canadian substituted the milk in her cereal with beer..yuck!
Due to the tides we couldn't yet drive on the beach so we walked up the beach to a shipwreck. It was pretty much intact about 40 years ago. Check out the pictures of it to see the damage the elements can do!
When we were allowed to drive again we headed for a lake along inland tracks. This day's driver was the Texan girl (who went to school with Beyonce and Kelly from Destiny's Child!!!) who was more used to driving an automatic. Her clutch control left a lot to be desired. Every time we stopped there were shouts of "Clutch, clutch, clutch...oh". Stalled again! Very funny but a bit of a bumpy ride. Emma's ass will testify to that.
We made it to the lake. Major disappointment! We were supposed to be able to see loads of turtles but some German guy jumped in and scared them away as we reached the lake. Due to murky-looking water and being tight for time, we moved on from here straight away.
We managed another shop stop. Loaded up with Coke and ice-cream, we made our way to Lake McKenzie. This is the most famous lake on the island. It is a beautiful spot, if a little crowded. We had just about enough time for a swim before catching the ferry to the mainland.
It was sad to see Team A going their separate ways but the joy of a shower made up for it a bit.
Sophie and Emma