Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tales of Fraser Island – Part 1

To start off, I have to mention that I met this smoker the other day. I nicknamed him Ash Tray. I noticed he wasn’t very good at telling the truth. Later that night, Ash told some stories that were questionably true. Hence, I am writing to you from the land of the “Ash Tray Lie, ya”?

Enough with the pleasantries… Fraser Island! Largest sand island in the world, it was the location I headed to last week for my spring break. Fairly remote and desolate, you absolutely need a 4x4 to get around on this island as there are no roads. I went with a few friends from exchange and did not have a great part in planning the trip and did not really know what to expect. I basically packed the morning of at 4 am, headed to the train station, unknowing of what lay ahead of me… Epicness my friends.

Having not planned the trip, I did not know how long it would take to get there… I figured I didn’t want to ask the others not to look like a fool who was just along for the ride… Besides… I figured it couldn’t be that far, right? RIGHT? *crickets*

Two hours of riding on the train later, we arrived at a station. AWESOME! We’re almost there. “So where is the 4x4 rental place?”, I asked naively… I was met with “Right off the main drag when we get to Noosa Heads” as an answer. Hmmm… Now I’m confused… Why did we get off the train? “Right-o.” was my response… “The bus gets here in 15 minutes guys”. Cool! We’re taking a bus. I can totally pull off looking like I know where were going. I get my ticket and get on the bus. About an hour later, we get to the final stop. “Everybody off!” I look around a bit and realise we’re in Noosa Heads! Awesome, we’re getting our 4x4 here and then we should be like 20 minutes away from the island! WRONG! We get our 4x4 and I overhear a phone conversation to people we are supposed to meet indicating we’ll be there in two hours. At this point, it’s about 11 in the morning. The fact that we left at 5:30am suddenly hits me. IT ALL MAKES SENSE! I’m in for a longer day than expected. We get to our meeting spot and try to fit everything in our car… Thank god I’m good at Tetris. Doo doo Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo(Count them… They are all there. If you don’t understand, FOR SHAME!). Still, we were packed to the brim. I was packed up in a little ball, had a guitar on my lap and well, just to make things sweeter and keeping with the Australian theme I was sweaty as hell. I mentioned in passing to the guy who brought his guitar that if he didn’t use it while we were there I would… How to put this… Dismember him.

I was obviously not prepared for this trip!
We finally got to the island about 20 minutes later and it became evident to me that this place was going to be an adventure and a half. As soon as we got off the barge and were officially off the coast of Australia, I knew we were in for something unique… We were driving on the beach, in the sand with the ocean as far as the eye could see to our right, forest to our left and endless beach in front of us! INSANE! I just tried to take it in… I swallowed a fly with my head out the window and told myself I probably shouldn’t try to take it in literally… After two hours of this, we came upon one of the main attractions of the island – the Maheno Shipwreck. I won’t bore you with the details of the ship, but it was caught in a cyclone in 1935 and washed up on the island. It was impressive to see this incredible structure defeated by time and weather.

We then continued on our journey up the side of the island to try to find a suitable camping spot behind the dunes to try to outwit the blanket of darkness that would eventually fall upon us. Nicol, a Scot, and I had gotten the cheapest tent possible (20$) and pitched it in about 3 minutes. While everyone else had trouble putting up their fancy tents, we had already cracked open our first beers. HA! It pays to be… Thrifty. I say it now, and shall repeat it many a times during this tale, I assure you.

By the time we started cooking diner, the sky was lit up with an unfathomable amount of stars. I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many stars in the sky… If only we could turn off our cities at night we would be able to witness this spectacle on a daily basis. This excitement was tamed by the fact that we, as a group, forgot to bring a knife and that cutting things would prove most difficult with our stubby, unsharpened fingers… Thankfully, I had brought my trusty Swiss army knife.

Sidebar – There’s a Swiss army? And there still fighting with knifes!?! No wonder they never participate in the wars! They would get smashed!

I now realize that this post is getting pretty lengthy and would you look at that… I have a class starting so I will leave it at that for now and I promise that part 2 is at least twice as good as part 1. That’s where all the funny happened. Check in soon.

Joey Jo Jo


  1. Best part, "Ash Tray, Lie ya?" loved it. Joel you are incredibly entertaining!

  2. Libby, you are incredible. 'Nuff said.