Fraser Island

Day 19, Saturday, 1/25/03
We had a bit of a sleep in today. We didnt have to be to the bus until 8:00 this morning. Breakfast was not included, so we had granola bars. (Were getting down to the end of our food stash.)

It was another long bus ride today, but before we got started, we went to the Aboriginal Dreamtime Cultural Center. It was odd, you could tell a huge difference in the cultural centers we saw in the Northern Territory and this one. This one seemed a lot more polished, almost less authentic. It probably sees quite a few more people on the East Coast, than in the Outback. Plus, we were told by the guy at the Bushtucker thing that Aboringinals in the Outback were still living largely as they had for millions of years without white interaction until as recently as fifty ninety years ago, while those on the coasts have had longer European Influences. Our guide and the four dancers had very light skin in comparison to the aboriginals we met in the outback.

First, we had boomerang throwing out back. It was better today than when we did it at Glen Helen because there wasnt a thunderstorm moving in. However, it was still a little windy, so the wind caught quite a few and picked them up. Cory got his to come almost back to him. Eric almost sliced off his own head.

Next we went to a theater and saw some dancing while our guide played the digeridoo. He was very good, as were the dancers. They were two men (probably in their 20s) and two boys (probably 10-12). They had paint and costumes on, but you could still see distinctly 21st century touches. One guy had a wedding ring and one boy had frosted blond tips in his hair. They asked for volunteers and Jessica, Nanique and Stacy went up and danced and posed. Then Tony, Steve and Eric went up. Eric had to be a kangaroo and all I could think of was Scotty and his Kangaroo dance. It was pretty funny.

We went through the gift shop, bought a bag for Sarah and a boomerang for Corys dad, then got on the bus. We were to drive and we were all pretty hungry because none of us ate a lot for breakfast if anything at all. Our lunch stop was at a BP service station. We were in the back of the bus, so that means the back of the line. Cory got a hamburger and fries and I got a ham sandwich and chips. I had pretty much eaten my chips by the time the order came, but they gave us two hamburgers. We sent it back and got my sandwich, but soon realized I should have kept the burger. My sandwich was two pieces of white bread, slathered in butter and pepper, with a thin slice of ham. It was disgusting. I took one bite and then just ate my chips and got an ice cream.

It was back on the bus for another three hours. Luckily this time I was able to fall asleep. We got to the port with the ferry. We walked around the gift shops for a little while, then boarded the ferry.

When we got on to Fraser Island, we took little trams to reception, stopped looked around, then continued for a LONG way to our Eco Lodges. They are definitely not five star, its kind of like being in the dorms again. There are five rooms to a lodge and we have one girls and one guys bathroom. We have a kitchen and some people wanted to make breakfast in the morning, but the gas to the stove had been shut off.

We heard the story of the naming of Fraser Island. Apparently, a boat got shipwrecked further North on the coast and they decided to row down to Brisbane. Eliza Fraser was there and gave birth in the boat, though the baby died three hours later. They ended up stopping on Fraser Island because Brisbane was too far.

Everyone except Eliza died. Some escaped convicts heard from Aboriginals that there was a white person on the island, so they came brought her back to Brisbane and were rewarded with their freedom. Eliza eventually went back to England.

After we settled in, we went down to the Wilderness bar and watched some of our guys play sand volleyball. It was a little unevenly matched, with Hans and Frans and associates on one side and Kenny, Grant, Scott and Jamie on the other. Guess which side we cheered for?

Dinner was included and it was incredible. Heaps of all different kinds of pasta and sauces. I got a huge plateful.

We had a few drinks and it looked like it wasnt really turning into anything that great. Cory had told Mel that he would be on a boat race team, but everyone had picked their teams already. Mel needed a team, so she, Cory, Jamie and Dennis entered. They were a last minute team, but they cleaned up. They made it through two rounds and won the final showdown. A lot of it had to do with Jamie and his amazing speed, but they won a $40 bar tab out of it and all the beer they drank during the contest. Later on, a girl asked Cory to watch her shoes because he looked the most sober of anyone in our group. He thought that was pretty funny after just winning a beer-drinking contest.

We danced for a long time after that. Nanique was ecstatic because her two favorite songs came on (Blow my whistle and something else). We were all jumping and dancing and having a great time, but wed been drinking and partying since dinner at 7:00, so I was pretty tired. The crowd started to die down and we left and went to bed around 12:30.

Dennis, Jaime, Mel and Cory when the chugging contest... who would have guessed

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