Soulja Boy Goes Global

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
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Trip End Apr 27, 2008


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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Before I came away, I would never have guessed that the song that would stay with me most from travelling would be Soulja Boy. Nevertheless, everywhere we go we're followed by the dance, cranking and super soaking all down the East Coast...

After taking in the Whitsundays, we got back onto the Oz Experience bus and headed to Kroombit, a cattle and goat station in Outback Australia. It was definitely remote - the driveway to the ranch took half and hour to drive down. When we got there we realised we had arrived in what looked like the set of horror film Wolf Creek. However, unlike the backpackers in that film (which was based on true events), we survived our trip into the wilderness.

Once dinner had been served, we turned our attention to learning essential ranch skills, including cracking a whip and riding on the mechanical bull named "nutcracker". There's a reason why guys seldom manage to stay on past the 5 second mark. Despite being the last on the bull, and having the opportunity to watch the best technique, I managed to stay on for just a measly 3 seconds, being trounced by Lotte's time in the process.

The next morning we tried our hand at lassooing and then took part in a goat rodeo - teams of three have to catch a goat, turn it over and then "brand" the goat (with a cool iron) in the quickest time possible. Again it wasn't really my sport - wearing flip flops I nearly went flying into the mud trying to corner the goat but just managed to save myself in time. I think my team came last - it's a good job I never wanted to be a farmer.

Later that day we continued driving down to Rainbow Beach and then the next morning finished off our journey to Noosa - the swankiest place we've visited on the East Coast. The high street was full of trendy clothes shops, bars and cafes but still we ended up having a Subway for lunch. We spent the rest of the day taking in the town and the following day Lotte went deep sea fishing while I travelled to Fraser Island.

Fraser Island is the World's largest sand island. A World Heritage Site, the 120km is made up of pure sand which extends to over 400m deep in places down to the ocean floor. It's a surreal site - rainforests still manage to grow on the island, and there are many crystal blue, freshwater lakes dotted around the island, such as Lake Mackenzie where we stopped for lunch. The 75mile long beach also acts as the highway and runway on the island, so our 4x4 vehicle was being hit by waves as we drove along around the island.

The following day we continue South along the coast and on the way stopped at Australia's only Zorbing centre. Zorbing is a sport that the Kiwis invented whereby riders sit inside a 3m inflatable PVC ball which is filled with 40 litres of water and then rolled down a hill. It was great fun and really surreal - the closest I'll ever want get to experiencing what it's like to sit inside a washing machine. Lotte's screams from inside the zorb could be heard by those waiting at the bottom of the hill.


After zorbing we continued onto our destination in Byron Bay, where we've been for the last two days. It's a really vibrant, exciting town and it's proximity to Nimbin (the hippy capital of Australia) has definitely rubbed off.

Yesterday morning I headed out to Julian Rocks to SCUBA dive. Apparently the rocks are one of Australia's best dive sites - but certainly not yesterday. Visibility was really poor (perhaps 5m), and it was impossible to see any marine life that wasn't right below you or infront of you. However, we saw a handful of wobbegong sharks which dwell on the bottom not doing much.

Then last night we headed to Cheeky Monkey's Bar in town where, once again, Soulja Boy was on the menu.

Today's our last day in Byron before we make our final push to Sydney, stopping for just one night along the way at Surf Camp to learn how to do one of Australia's favourite sports...
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