On my first night in Noosa, I stayed in Noosa Nomads, my first Nomads experience (I wasn't very impressed to be honest) where I met the very hungover Charlie from the Watford area. The first person I have met on my travels so far who is also from Hertfordshire! We spent about an hour chatting about A Levels and what it's like to finish school and start travelling. We were later joined by his 3 friends, Harry, Guy and Buster or Alex.
That night there was another free "Sausage Sizzle" which I ate with another one of my room mates, Charlotte, and then we all headed into the hostels bar before heading to a club, which was so empty it was kind of embarrassing but I made the most of it anyway by dancing stupidly all night long.
The next morning, I was up early as I was going to the Noosa Everglades Canoe Tour. I got a shuttle bus back to Noosa Junction, and then got the Everglades shuttle bus to a shop, where we were told to make sure we had exactly $75 ($50 for National Park Camping Licence, $20 as a deposit and $5 to rent a sleeping bag) and to have enough food and alcohol for the three days of the tour.
We then all piled back onto our bus which drove for about another 30 minutes to get to the Gagaju camp site, which was directly next to the river. On the first night, we slept in dorm room style rooms with hammock style bunk beds (see picture below). I slept pretty well in them, though some of the other girls complained about how uncomfortable they were the next morning so maybe I was just super tired!
The first morning of the experience started at 7 am in the morning, a 5 minute walk up the track to a warm shower and flushing toilets facilities, and then back down to camp to eat breakfast and to make sandwiches for the afternoon. At 8 am we had to be ready at the side of the river, with life jackets and our belongings in a big blue water-proof tub.
"This is a self guided tour, so we wont be coming with you..."
We were given directions to a rope swing and a beach and then we were pushed into the river and let loose. The mornings weather was pretty crappy so none of our group was really in the mood to row for 16 km, but eventually we got to the beach and then the weather started to turn for the better.
|In a boat with English Leo and Harry.|
With the weather slowly improving, we ate our lunch and took a couple of group photos, including an attempt at making a huge pyramid but it kind of failed a bit, due to lack of strength and climbing ability! (In case you're wondering why I am placed where I am, it is because my camera has self timer, so I had to run to get where I am each time.)
By now it was starting to get really sunny, so we decided we would go to the rope swing. One of the German girls on another boat took a couple of photos of me jumping into the river, which she put onto my memory stick later but some how they didn't transfer properly so now I don't have a copy of them any more, sad face!
On the way back, Leo, Harry and I decided we'd take it real slow and basically let the current take us back while we lay back and enjoyed the sun. The sweet life ;) We were the last back and arrived when the kitchen was real full, but I still made enough Spaghetti Bolognaise for me, Harry, Leo and a German girl whose soup had been stollen!
That night we played 'Risk' on Mexican Santi's ipad. Dutch Mike won both times, while Santi was always occupied in taking Mexico and Harry came second both times with his "all or nothing" strategy. Rens and Dylan were also there, who I'd met earlier on my trip for one night in Surfers Paradise. It's really great bumping into all these people I already know!
The next day started a little later, at around 9 am we got into our boats and paddled in the opposite direction to the day before. (About half of our group had decided to leave early this morning as they hadn't enjoyed the first day or the nights sleep in a tent as much as they thought they would).
This time we had better luck and it was sunny right from the start. This made paddling a lot more fun and it felt like no time at all before we reached the lake that we had to cross to get to the beach.
|Harry enjoying the sun|
|Joining our boats together for a more sociable row|
|The best rowing team!|
Of the 4 English girls who were in my group, only Sam stayed longer (the others left on the second morning) and I am really glad she did as otherwise I'd have been the only girl on the second row day. (There were other girls too, like the German ones, but they were anti-social and Dutch Steph and Laura were in our group too but I didn't actually really speak to them until the last evening!)
Tommy and male Sam really enjoyed their practical jokes that day (including Sam and Harry capsizing both our boats on the way back to the camp site) and Harry continued his tradition of taking at least one bare-bum-photo per country...
|The whole group, without those that left.|
The day ended with us paddling back to camp a little later than we were told to do so, and after the previously mentioned capsizing, we were slowly running out of day light. Female Sam had climbed in with Leo and me, we left male Sam and Harry to deal with their own boats and peddled on. Unfortunately they caught up with us pretty quickly again, but after I asked "nicely" for them not to capsize us again, they didn't.
Instead they decided to start a race, to see who could get back the fastest, but that blew up in their own faces as Harry counted "1, 2, 3, swap" (on swap they would change sides peddling) but as both guys changed sides, their slightly filled-with-water-canoe tipped over and capsized them both again. It was pretty damn hilarious to watch! Especially because Harry had literally counted down for it to happen - "1, 2, 3 Swap" and exactly on "Swap" they capsized!
We all went to bed pretty early that night - after two days of paddling we were all a bit sore. In the morning, we realised that all of us except female Sam were on the same Greyhound bus to Rainbow Beach, plus Harry and Leo were going one stop further to Hervey Bay. So when we got off at Rainbow Beach, we said see you later to Harry and Leo, and all checked in to the same hostel. (Frasers on Rainbow). I was checked into the same room as Dutch Laura and Stephi (who by now I had started talking to and we were getting along great, so that was really lucky!) and Tommy and Sam were in the room next to us. We also saw Rens and Dylan again, and I found out that Marco from Surfers Paradise was in the hostel next to us! We were also all going to be in the same tour group...
Next stop - Fraser Island!