Dispersal Reversal

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Our final morning on Keppel, we got up (some of us still weaving a bit), cleaned up, and hung out on the beach until our ferry. We left Keppel behind and said goodbye to our leader, Katie, then got on the bus for a really long journey with Dave at the helm. We stopped for lunch at a grocery store and Brad and I shared a chicken and some olives. The journey from Keppel to Brisbane is not to be underestimated. It just kept going and going and going, even when Dustin took the wheel and was really pushing hard to make time. Somehwere after dark as we were still on the road, Dave discovered that our hostel had given away our rooms because of a big game in Brisbane, so we found a backpackers’ in Mooloolaba, had pizza, and hung around the hostel. As you can imagine, we were all less than impressed with this particular hostel, but our replacement was decent even if it all but closed down at 10. I managed to get some laundry done, which was welcome, and otherwise, really, we were all wiped and called it a night very early.

Amie and Meridith were catching a flight to Fiji early the following morning, so we hightailed it into Brisbane to drop them off and then set off for the Lone Pine koala park. It was a pretty decent park considering it was included, and I got to hold a koala. There were kangaroos, wallabies, deadly snakes, wombats, and so on. I talked with one of the park employees that was walking by with a hawk and she gave me some interesting information on local wildlife. Then, after a quick hotdog and fries with Anthony, we headed back to Brisbane and said goodbye to Dave, who had a flight to catch to meet up with his group. We drove into Brisvegas as the locals like to call it at 4:00 and, as it was St. Patty’s day, found an Irish pub right on the main mall and I bought a round of Guinness for the four of us (Anthony, Brad, Chris). Well, wouldn’t you know it, they gave me a Guinness t-shirt which was the envy of the rest of the group. So, needless to say, it was necessary for everyone to procure one. That’s a lot of Guinness by my books, but then I’m not a huge fan. It wasn’t bad, though.

We went for dinner which wasn’t anything worth writing a blog about, but here I am. It was here that Anthony and Chris became generals, fairly easily if I may say. Not quite tipsy enough after their four beers, I suppose. There was another experience that neither Chris nor Anthony had had, and though we tried on their behalf, we did not quite succeed due to dress codes. So, back to the motel that Dave found where I thought we’d all hang out together for our last night, but apparently not. We got up the next morning and dropped almost everyone off at the airport. Dustin, Lauren S, Lana, Amanda, Norm, Myra, Rachel, Chris, Alli, Kate, and myself were left to journey further down the coast. Then it was our turn to say goodbye as the latter three and myself started our journey at a friend of Alli’s just outside of Surfer’s Paradise.

The Pacific Challenge is over, and we have survived; the challenges were sometimes physical and sometimes mental but definitely also social. In the end, we’re left with 20 people who know more about each other than even their friends back home, for better or worse. The trip would not have been the same without any single one of them. So, to those of you out there that spent the last two months with me, thank-you for your part in shaping what will undeniably be a collection of stories I will be boring audiences young and old with for ages to come.

Finale Photos

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