• Josh Garman

Noosa Everglades

In my last blog I got lost in Carnarvon Gorge with my friend Ruslan during a trip to the outback. With my return to Noosa I knew it was soon time to move onto my next location but first I wanted to squeeze in one last trip before I went. It was time to head to the Everglades!

Noosa Everglades
Noosa Everglades

We had discussed it for a long time in room 11. Lots of people talked about going but it was about time we really did. In the end it was 4 of us that took the trip to the everglades, 2 in each canoe. The first one had Thom and .Laura in. The second had Alex and me in. I think of all of this lot as great friends of mine and I hope you enjoy these moments I've captured on film. I always hoped to turn the footage into a vlog but editing got boring, I seem to enjoy writing more. So after all the takes and retakes I asked for I apologise but at least we have the footage to look back at now!

Setting off from our hostel we boarded a bus that would take us to the everglades. Joining us were a few others from different hostels and it wasn't long before we were there and unloading the canoes. Or kayaks I still get confused... Once all the gear was out we walked down to the edge of the lake and were given a map and some rough times to aim for. The lake was a perfect mirror reflecting our paddles as they swept through the water. It took a while to get used to our partners and match the strokes. Inevitably Alex and I started going round in circles while we got the hang of it laughing all the way through.

The Noosa Everglades connect to Noosa River, offering a 60-kilometre stretch of pristine waters. Bustling with life, the Everglades are home to approximately 44% of Australia’s bird species and 700 native animals - Noosa.com

I think the main thing to consider when going on a long canoe trip is who you choose to be with. I remember going on a trip with a friend years before and he sulked the whole time and I ended up paddling him to the end. In fact my heart was telling me to through him overboard. As we headed across the Noosa everglades I was glad to have Alex for company always up for a laugh and neither of us took it seriously. There was so many moments I can think back to and they all involve me and Alex in a comedy duo. Whether it be singing songs with made up words 'Ain't no everglades wide enough,' having conversations with pelicans while lost in the middle of a lake or crashing time and time again.

Thom and Laura made it even better with all of us bumping into each others canoes, drinking wine we brought with us or racing across the crystal clear waters. After the first lake we entered the narrow rivers that wound through trees with roots running into the water. Away from civilisation there was only the sound of us singing or the birds joining us. We paddled on through the rivers running far behind schedule and chatting to every boat that went past. We could wave as they went passed causing waves that almost knocked us into the water.

After a while it was hard not to play around and start saying 'help us' to speed boats as they shot past. We joined up with the others from our bus and had lunch on a small grassy island about halfway. We sat drinking, listening to music and eating the good stuff Australia had to offer. I still can't forget how big everything was, especially kiwis!

The others left earlier than the 4 of us. We decided to take some time out to explore the island and I couldn't help getting the drone out to get some photos and videos of the surroundings. Flying high into the air I could see the whole route we had taken through the trees. Together we waved one last time as it went up into the air. I had been filming Laura and Thom paddling round for a while and we suddenly realised how late it was. We had an hour left to get back to the start where the guy was waiting with the bus to pick us up.

Alex and me jumped into our canoe and quickly tried to catch up with the others. Before we knew it time was slipping away and we ended up pushing with all our might, pumping our arms through the paddles in a bid to get back in time. The wine we had been drinking definitely didn't help with motivation but we somehow made it. Huffing and puffing we got back into the bus exhausted. Through our trip we had marvelled at the reflective waters, spotted fish darting through the reeds beneath us or watched pelicans and water birds going about their business in the lake. It was a special trip that I hope to always look back to.

We headed back to the hostel to tell everyone of the journey. All of went to another staff room where we bundled onto a sofa or on the surrounding beds and watched a movie together. I knew I was leaving soon so made the most of every moment I had with my new found family here. Noosa had introduced me to some wonderful new people and I had taken many trips with them in National Parks, the beach, mountains, waterfalls and everglades. The only downside to Noosa is that although I was working for accommodation I could never find a real job and my funds forever lived on next to zero.

I had been eating pasta and pesto for a long time now, mainly living on the free food section at the hostel. Some nights I would do anything not to spend my last funds. I had meals I will never try again, like leftover pasta and tomato soup or bread and curry paste. It was getting a bit ridiculous now I had to find some work and get things back on track. Reaching out to a family friend Natalie I had kindly been offered a place to stay in Wakerley Brisbane where I hoped to find a proper job. But more on that in my next blog...

In my next blog I head to Brisbane where I stay for a number of months. I find a new job, get obsessed with walking and change once more during my time in Australia!

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