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Friday, January 1, 2010

It started with sand

One tiny sand particle started it all, and Fraser Island, a World Heritage is considered the largest sand island in the world.

My camping abilities have been in a dormant state for several years now. By ‘several years,’ I mean at least 7 or 8 years of suppressed hardcore overnight roughing it. However, somehow, some way, I was persuaded to resurrect my bathe-in-a-lake skills.
A 5:30am departure on Friday morning had 15 of us piled into three 4-wheel drive LandCruisers on our way to Fraser Island off the coast of Australia.

Fraser Island is one of 2 islands off the Northeastern coast of Australia, and is only accessible by 4wd vehicles ferried across the sea for a small price. The island is World Heritage listed, and is the largest sand island in the world. The place has a huge population – 360, 11 of which are Aboriginal. We’re talking major social events!

We traversed the ferry and landed on “The 75 mile beach,” which doubles as the main highway on the island, as well an airport landing strip. “All vehicles must yield to any landing aircraft.” Whoa! After a beach picnic everyone was in the Cruisers ready to roll, while I was standing at one driver door with map to help determine our route. I hear, “Dingo! Wow, there’s a dingo!” Huh? What? There’s a dingo??!! Mind you, I am the ONLY person NOT securely in a vehicle. I nearly jumped onto the hood in fright, and scampered into the truck, of course searching for my camera (first) and my safety (second). Let’s put it this way, dingoes are the equivalent of wolves… nice to look at from afar, but you don’t want to encounter a wild one face-to-face. They are ancestral of domestic dogs, but have reverted back to the wild.
The weekend passed through large freshwater perched lakes (i.e. lake sitting on top of compact sand and vegetable matter, above sea level), lots of bush-driving and a beached shipwreck exploration. Oh, and being waken up every morning by a kookaburra laughing loudly. Thanks to the lack of inhabitants and no light pollution, the night sky afforded visibility of every star, dot, poke, sattellite, constellation, and the entire Milky Way! Could have been the wine though too. I couldn’t have imagined a better back-to-camping expedition.

Pictures Fraser Island

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