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No Nuclear Weapons, please...Surfers Paradise to Fraser Island

October 28, 1998

Running Down the Road...

Getting up early, we said "goodbye" to Surfers Paradise and began our long trip up the coast to Fraser Island.  Before we hit the road, I took the time to do a quick errand: grab another Hard Rock pin from the Surfers Paradise store.  With my business trip to Nashville included, this made for three pins in two weeks!  Along the way, we stopped to pick up some additions to our trip (now we had a TOTALLY full bus). 

Lovely BrisbaneKoalas and all Manner of Wild Things...

Our next stop was the Forest Glen Sanctuary, where we had our first real close-up look of koalas and kangaroos!  we were even able to hold the koalas while our picture was taken: apparently that was the only place in Australia where you are allowed to do that!  They had a system to let you send an e-mail (Adobe Acrobat required) of your picture back to all your jealous friends, too.

We also went down to see a capybara (looking fat and happy), and also a few different species of kangaroos.  We fed them (bland stuff, I had a taste) and played with them a bit.  I was really intrigued by the shape of the kangaroos foot.

Then we piled back on the bus for the rest of our trip to Frasers Island.

New Friends

We stopped in Brisbane, Australia for a lunch break and to do a little window shopping.  I spoke to Ildi (one of our new friends) for a while up in the front of the bus: she was from Hungary and was out here for the tour up the coast.  She wrote a message in my book that I've still not translated: anyone from Hungary out there?? :-)

I think it was about this time that Nicci held a trivia contest: her theme, "T.V. Themes".  She divided the group into the left side and the right side of the bus, and had us come up with names for the group: I was lucky enough to have my name picked: "Left Hand of Darkness".  Our side won!  I think Nicci questioned my sanity, though, because she asked a bonus question after the "Superman" theme played:

"What year did Superman first appear?"

That I got RIGHT.  (Answer: 1938).  She looked at me as if I had a tree growing out of my head or something...

We also watched an Australian film "Muriel's Wedding".  It was suprisingly good, I thought!  Apparently it was responsible for a resurgence in "ABBA" music for a while.  We stopped in Noosa briefly to take a look at the beaches: there was a guy there making a really amazing sand castle, but unfortunately my picture did not come out! 

There's a full moon rising...Fraser Island

We had to pack only a small bag when we went to Fraser Island: it was a small boat and we couldn't take our main bags with us.  Unfortunately I didn't pay attention, so all I brought was my bathing suit and toiletries (oops!)  I had to make an emergency shirt purchase at Hervey Bay Marina so I would at least have at least *one* dry shirt...

The lodgings at Frasers were great!  Big multi-room cabins for both men & women, and a big screened-in porch area for us to sit & jam in.  Only one other roomate this time (Eric) but Simon was lodging in another room and Jacqueline and Nancy were just down the hall.  The only problems: it was a *long* walk from dinner to the cabins, so you don't want to get lost... and also we had an unexpected visitor that me & some of the guys had to remove from the premises.  I spoke to my lodge-mates for a while before we all took the shuttle down to dinner.

That evening we had buffet dinner at the main lodge, and then went to the bar for karaoke!  About this time, I had almost totally lost my voice, and no amount of Coca-Cola was helping.  So I looked for a song in a low octave with a short range, and found "Achy Breaky Heart".  My debut performance went over rather well, I thought!  I got lots of blackmail pics of the others, too...

Off to bed: see if I can get my voice back...


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1995-2002 William Geoffrey Shotts. Last update: Tuesday, March 09, 2004