Saturday, October 3, 2009

Brisbane, Fraser and a Happy New Year!

Hello Hello!

Due to a long absence of blogging, I have much to catch you up on!

Rosh Hoshanah was a few weeks ago and my first spent out of the country! Despite my lack of proximity to home, I was a good Jew and went to shul with Uncle Irving, Ronni, Miriam, Susie, Brian and of course, Ben Lee's mother. I knew I was right at home when I walked in and I was already the tallest one in the shul-some things just never change hey? Well, I had a great dinner with Uncle Irving and his family and friends on the Friday night and even bonded a bit with Miri. After shul on Saturday, the family congregated at Susie and Brian's for their traditional luncheon (I called it Linner because we didn't start eating until close to 4!). After the long weekend of praying and eating, I came home to work on a research essay...not my kind of fun!

After celebrating the Jewish New Year and having a week filled of school work and papers, I was looking forward to a much anticipated trip to Fraser Island. Before we were able to start our Fraser Island adventure, Christine and I were marooned in Brisbane for a day. Well, let me just tell you that one only needs about an hour in Brisbane- there is absolutely nothing to do! We walked around the city for about an hour and found ourselves bored. Now, we are both traveled individuals and enjoy exploring new cities however, Brisbane has nothing to explore. There is a river, some skyscrapers, a koala sanctuary and a man-made beach. I just saved all of you some time and money that should not be spent in Brisbane. Your Welcome!

Christine and I happily boarded a small bus the following day that would drive us to Hervey Bay. After a 4 hour bus drive from Brisbane to Hervey Bay, we boarded the Kingfisher Bay catameran and took the 45 minute journey to Fraser Island. When we arrived, it was just me and Christine, or so we thought. There was a middle-aged gentleman on the bus with us that had boarded the same boat as us as well. We didn't think much about it as there were many other tourists on the ship- mainly Germans. Well, when we arrived on the island, we realized that the 3 of us were the only ones for the Cool Dingo Tour. This put Christine and I off our trip just a little bit as we had been advertised a tour consisting of 18-35 year olds and this man was definitely not in that age group. After sharing a meal with him and some great and unbelievable stories (we only believed him because he had the scars to prove it), we decided that he was ok after all and adopted him for the rest of the trip. His name is Charles (Chuck, I call him Chuckles) and he is from a small farming town in Oregon. Despite having traveled to Mexico once or twice, this was his first traveling experience and he soaked everything up. Now, when I say he is from a small farming town in Oregon, I mean SMALL- he is the definition of a hick and was not afraid to admit it! Though Chuck had a few flaws, he meant well and was a joy to be around (the other members on our trip thought differently and I think its safe to say that they do not have a good image of America because of him).

Back to the trip! So, our first day on Fraser Island consisted of a hike to Basin Lake followed by another hike to Central Station and then a river hike through the rainforest. After all these hikes and lunch, we found ourselves sun bathing on the shore of Lake McKenzie! Needless to say, Fraser is like all the other beaches along Australia's coast- clear blue water and pearl white sands. Well, the lakes of Fraser are no different- Basin Lake and Lake McKenzie are the most gorgeous lakes I have ever seen! The colors of the water, the sand and the greens surrounding them make each body of water picturesque!

Day 2 of our Cool Dingo tour saw us traveling along Fraser's highway-the beach! We saw the Maheno Shipwreck, Coloured Sands, climbed Indian head (where we saw 3 whales, 2 mantarays, and schools of fish all from the top!) and ended sunbathing at Eli Creek. Again, our day consisted of blue waters and white sands- its a tough life I live!

Day 3 (and our last on tour) was more of a lazy day as we swam in Lake Wabby (after a grueling 45 minute hike in soft sand), lunched at the Eurong Beach Resorts and finished off with another swim at Lake Birrabeen.

The tour was one of the best I have been on- we made a few friends, had a great tour guide, and enjoyed everything Fraser has to offer. After our 3 full days of touring Fraser, Chirstine and I decided to have a lazy day at the resort pool and be somewhat productive with our school work. We left the island early the following morning and found ourselves stranded in Brisbane once more!

The day in Brisbane consisted of school work but at night, we found ourselves with an international crew! We met aScottish, a German, an English, a Canadian and 2 Americans (me and Christine). Needless to say, we had a great time conversing in English with different accents!

We flew out of Brisbane the following afternoon and landed in a wet and cold Sydney. Despite the bad weather, we were both happy to be back at home after our week long adventure. Now, its school work, school work, school work. I only have 3 more weeks of instruction followed by one study vacation (stuvac as M and D informed me) and 2 weeks of exams. Even though I have been here for 3 months now, I feel like the time has just flown by! I would be lying however, if I said I didn't miss home!

I love and miss you all!

Mom, I hope this is entertaining enough for you as my past few blogs have not been up to your standard!