After quite a horrible night’s sleep, we woke early the next morning and had breakfast. Ten feet away from the kitchen tent we saw one of last night’s visitors sleeping the day away. Simon told us it was a female dingo judging by her side. Sure enough, a few minutes later her fella joined her. She seemed to know he was there, and she woke up and trotted off into the bush.
When breakfast, we headed off for today’s adventure. On the way, we had to drive through a pass with deep, soft sand. The truck in front of us didn’t it make it though and got stuck. Secretly, I was hoping this would happen to one of us because I wanted to see it live. In our safety video, they showed us that all you needed to do was take out your floor mats and put them behind the tires, reverse over them and use them as grip to get the truck going. It looked cool and I wanted to see it. In this case though, pushing was enough to get the truck out and floor mats weren’t needed.
We continued on to the Champagne Pools, which ended up being an area with large tidal pools on the beach. Rocks formed natural breakers and sheltered the thigh-to-waist-high pools from the waves. While it was pretty to look at, it wasn’t exactly unique for someone from Hawaii. The sand was nice though and the sun was out, so I lay down for a bit of a sun bake.
|Slide Album: Champagne Pools|
A few hours later, it was time to leave and have some lunch. We set up a picnic on the beach and ate more sandwiches and wraps filled with ham, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Then we hiked up Indian Head for an incredible view of the ocean and beach below. We even spotted some dolphins far out at sea. It struck me then that I was really in Australia, a thought that still left me speechless even after being here for more than a month. Amazing.
|Slide Album: Indian Head|
Next we stopped by the rusty, old shipwreck of the S.S. Maheno, which lay stranded on the beach. Simon didn’t give any kind of commentary or information along the way. The wreck was pretty crowded and was one of the must-see tourist attractions on the island.
The last stop for the day was Elly Creek, a somewhat lazy river that was only about waist deep. It was another major tourist stop, but I’m not clear on why. It could be because of its natural beauty, even though it was quite short. Or it could be the mandatory shower stop for all tours. The creek would be our only chance to “bathe” or rinse off the salt water from the Champagne Pools, so almost everyone took advantage of the opportunity and hopped in. The idea is that you walk on a boardwalk to the back and then walk/float/swim downstream toward the ocean. I don’t think the creek is too sanitary if people are using it as a shower, but at least the water was constantly moving and it was refreshing after a hot day in the sun.
Back at camp, it was our turn to cook but we ended up being on the clean-up crew. Tonight’s dinner was spaghetti bolognese, which didn’t have much taste to it. We ate it anyway because we were hungry. Together with cups of boxed riesling (at least it wasn’t goon, we were good to go. We were really roughing it now. Good thing it was dark and we couldn’t really see what we were eating. I didn’t want to know how dirty the bowls and utensils were at this stage of the tour.
|Slide Album: S.S. Maheno|
The nights came early on the island (and Oz in general, but especially the island since there’s nothing to do). Once the sun set, it seemed like ages and ages would pass, but it’d only be 6 pm. To kill some time so we could go to bed at a decent hour, like 10 pm, we played cards. A German guy introduced the game, which I know as “Bullshit,” and explained the rules. Slightly different from what I’m used it, the main concept was the same.
After many games, we looked around us to find that most of the others had already gone to bed. This was due somewhat to heavy drinking of goon the night before and lots of sun and activities today. But, shockingly, it was barely 8 pm! We wanted to stay up a bit longer though, because we were adults after all and had earned the privilege of staying up late over the years. But by 10 pm, we threw in the towel and got ready for bed. No dingoes visited us tonight but we heard them howling to the moon in the distance.