Pink 4WD Madness

Trip Start Jan 06, 2006
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Trip End Feb 27, 2007


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Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, July 3, 2006

These days, travelers have the unique opportunity to experience Earth's greatest sporting event from a slightly different regional perspective. For some, that may be simply depressing (as shown in the eyes of every German traveler Ive met), and for others, such as Americans (me), it is an advantage. Lets face it, Mongolia probably follows the World Cup more than we do. With the US quickly losing any hopes of Cup glory, I attached to its ultimate underdog: Australia. After barely squeezing into the tournament, the "Socceroos" got farther than they ever had, to the 2nd round. Now Australia isn't crazy or especially known for its soccer talent, but this team really showed some tenacity, and I was fortunate enough to be there for the ride. The entire nation clung tightly to its team all the way to their controversial loss to Italy. Nonetheless, OZ still proves to be a fantastic arena to experience this tournament, due to the huge eclectic traveler population found chanting their home team for every game in every pub. Any sporting event that makes me set my alarm for 3:45am to watch is something special. God bless soccer...

FIVE OFFICIAL MONTHS ON THE ROAD!

Court's flight situation was an absolute terror so I bought an impulsive ticket back to Sydney to help her through it all. After a few days, flights were figured out and she was on her way. Always fun to have to say goodbye twice!

After a day with my favorite Aussies Lauren, Marty, Darren and Christine, I flew right back up to Queensland for some sandy adventures at Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. Located a bit north of Brisbane, this sandy paradise is famous for its miles of empty beaches, lush untouched forest and its freshwater inland lakes. Primary transpo mode on this wonderland (if I may): 4WD. Though not the most environmentally friendly option, off-road vehicle usage here is highly regulated to minimize impact in this world-heritage area.

Oh! Ultra Random sidenote: Finally found a ping-pong table at my hostel the night before Fraser and held my own...gotta keep the Triolo tradition alive, right?

After getting teamed with an all-star group (2 Germans, 4 Canadians, 2 Irish) we were given a 4WD painted in bright pink. Nothing shouts masculinity more than camping and off-roading in a jeep resembling BubbleYum. After making all necessary preparations, we crammed in the back and tore off on our 3 day exploration of the island.

First stop: Wabby Lake. Dune Heaven. Idyllic freshwater lake surrounded by sheer golden dunes. With a bodyboard we attempted any and every way to get ourselves into that lake. Surf, Ski, tandem luge, naked handstand (you wish)...it all resulted in some great belly laughs (not to mention sand in very inappropriate places). Felt like I was a kid again, playing in a big sandbox.

Camping beachside both nights, the sunsets always meant a beach soccer match with the boys. Surreal. Come night, I led some giant food campaigns, including a chicken fajita feed. Meals were large enough to feed armies and the camping element always added to the taste. The other group we were paired with were primarily Irish and could party with the best of 'em. Late nights and, consequently, late mornings.

The rest of the trip included miles of beach driving, unsurpassed views of wildlife, including dingoes, the wild dogs of Fraser. The highlight was the Indian Heads lookout, where we were able to see tiger sharks, manta rays, dolphins, turtles, and the cherry on top....migrating whales! This was a bit of sensory overload. It was as if they all congregated and said, "lets give these guys a show!" Left me speechless.

The rest of the island adventure included rusty shipwrecks, freshwater river floating, and an all-too-short visit to Lake MacKenzie, a most picturesque water paradise (Ill let the pictures do the talking). All in all, Fraser is a must-do and I was fortunate to be together with a great group and fantastic weather.

Following the three epic days at Fraser, I hitched a ride with my hilarious Irish buddies south 4 hours to Noosa, bubbly surf town. A bit posh, yet still smallish with plenty of nature eyecandy (beaches, natl park, etc) Here, I connected with another WWoofing host and am currently staying at her very nice home preparing to put it up for sale. She is VERY connected to the environment and all things spiritual. Very good people with great ideas and intriguing conversation.

Future? Gonna hopefully buy a surfboard and work my way down the coast to Byron Bay and for the next few weeks and then fly out of Brisbane to Darwin for a few more weeks in the Northern Territory.

This turned out to be a long one......my regards to the reading challenged (thats why I include pictures, duh!) Hope everyone is doing great...keep in touch. Always great to hear from all of you! Cheers, catch you on the flip-flop!
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Comments

courtneyp
courtneyp on

come on now
I've caught on to you Mr. you are definitely stealing those fotos from a magazine. Seriously are you kidding me with those?! Sharks, turtles, manta rays, and breaching whales...no big deal...
stay safe

elcigaro34
elcigaro34 on

Are you kidding me
Who the hell see's a freaking whale just like right there? I love you bra, but I hate you just a little bit right now.hahaha

jtriolo
jtriolo on

beach nymph
so where are the snow capped peaks, pine trees, and snow melt trout streams? just when you thought you had it all! you don't have stinking everything......
unreal pics, and too much fun stories, keep em coming!
we had a lively 4th at the cabin with g-ma, g-pa, beth, susie, and rob.we all stayed over.the only things we didn't have were sand castles, dingos, whales, and last but not least you and ryan.
love to you, POPS

tutthill
tutthill on

Happy July 4
Hi Nickman;
Loving your photos and adventures. Playing tennis with Amy Pinnell, hearing about your adventures, lots of fun. Amy working at El Jardin, doing great, busy all the time.

I'm looking at your itinerary for January and one of the Tutthill's hopes to be visiting Merritt in China, maybe meeting in Thailand!! or Vietnam. Maybe we could all meet up!!??

I read your mom's note about teaching tennis and will give her a call my next trip to the Bay for a lesson. I'm playing tennis 4 days a week and loving it.

Enjoying summer with CT, Sara, Bradey and Makenna right around the corner. Spent July 4 fireworks at Ironstone with our neighborhood group, lots of fun. Bradey covered his eyes the whole time, 'too bright' he says of fireworks.

Loving your photos! and words.

Love, Suki, Tommy and Grandma Ethel (we share your travel pod with her whenever she comes over, along with Merritt's good stuff

bogray
bogray on

Nick in Noosa, (Nice)
Howdy Gypsy! Damn, the story and pics are wonderful. keep it up. You are reviving my inner travel bug. I look forward to the next episode. Things in S. Ca., shiny. I'm taking a train to New Mexico soon. Happy trails, Bo

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