Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rocking Rockhampton and the Tropic of Capricorn

We are on the way to airlie beach after a stay over in rockhampton. David is driving so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to catch you up on yesterdays events.

We had an amazing second day at Fraser island! We woke up early and after a quick breakfast we were driving down the beach. We didn't even get ten minutes out before David was freaking out about a couple of whales breaching not far out in the water. We stopped to take some photos and watch them wave their fins at us.

After the whales we went on a short hike that ended with the path opening up to a massive desert with perfectly smooth white sand and a deep clear lake at the bottom of an eighty foot sand dune where we went for a swim. The lake was called lake wabby and we were told that the sand dunes are slowly swallowing it up and eventually there will be no lake.

After swimming we had lunch at an old center ranger station and drove to another lake called lake birrabean where the water was incredibly clear and shallow really far out. We all swam here for an hour and a half and got back onto the bus covered in the finest 100% silica sand.

On the ferry on the way back to the mainland we could see the red haze of the dust storm. We had heard that it would move up the coast and they were not kidding. David and I left as soon as we got back to the car knowing we still had to drive 400km to rockhampton in the dark with the haziness. It was a really scary drive because australias main highway is a single lane winding highway plagued by accidents caused by tired drivers and kangaroos. The haze was really thick and at times it was worse because we were driving through bush fires where we could smell smoke and see hot spots in the trees. That was the closest either of us has ever been to an active wildfire. At one point David almost hit a small animal walking accross the road that looked like a possum. After we almost hit the first one we saw them EVERYWHERE! They were in groups of three or four just hanging out in the ditch. We still don't know what they are.

After a long night we pulled into rockhampton at ten thirty and went right to bed. This morning we woke up early, went for breakfast and then did a walking tour through the capricorn caves which is a massive system of limestone caves. At one point we were using candlelight to squish through narrow passageways. It was so scary!

We are almost an hour outside of Mckay where we will stop for lunch. I have stopped counting the roadkill (three massive full grown kangaroos, three babies and a million god knows whats) and we both need a break.


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