Afternoon everyone, (typed over a couple of days..)
Slight change of plan since the last blog. We intended to go to The Strand but the weather was awful and the whole place was shut, the rain was so heavy that we ate our lunch in the campervan in a carpark. We decided to try and travel out of all the rain and travel 3 hours to Whitsundays, the nightmare began.
The weather clearly wanted us to stay as all the roads south were blocked due to flooding. And rather than wasting petrol travelling inland and round we have stopped at a petrol station overnight. At least 10 other campervans are here and we all look at each other with that shared sense of sympathy. We were told the road will be open tomorrow by 12 - so here's hoping!
Once we got in the petrol station we deliberated where to park, josh parked us right next to the road and an argument ensued. Chris wanted us to park next to other campervans to be more social so we moved, however after 10 minutes Josh noticed this continuous beeping coming from a box next to our plot. I even asked Chris if he wanted to chat to the people next to us and he said no. Josh shouted 'that's it we're moving I can't sleep next to that beeping!'. We have now parked on the opposite side of the station, partially blocking off vehicles who want to refuel oh well there is no way were moving again haha
As we have a spare 24 hours we thought we would play All Hail (favourite card game) and whoever lost had to drink and whoever won had to drink. Desperate times. We have 60 beers so we will see where the night takes us. We're also arguing about whether to put on the AC but Chris says it uses up petrol, we all laughed at the irony of the situation. Solution = boot is open, all bugs Welcome. We're all taking it in our stride and know this is a part of travelling - builds character I'm sure or if not stress at least ha ha
Although its a petrol station the facilities are fantastic, they have great toilets and shower rooms, entertainment room and laundrette. Maybe this predicament happens quite regularly so have just been kind and provided for us poor travellers.
It's now day 2 at the petrol station, we thought we could travel by midday but unfortunately the road won't be open until 6am tomorrow, so we have another 24 hours here. Some people are making the best of it and some campervans are just leaving to go anywhere else but here, although the road north is blocked as well. We've spoken to quite a few people who are stranded here, a Canadian couple who have hired the same campervan as us as well as a couple from ipswich who also want to go to Whitsundays. There is a lady with a dog who has already told us her family history and what she was like as a girl - a mixed bunch.
Despite our predicament we've had a great day, been up since 8 and read for hours. I have finished my book called The Man who broke into Auschwitz, its a true story and I would strongly recommend it. I hand washed the towels as they smelt like wet dog and the boys are watching a film in the tv room. Oh and how could I forget!!! Today is the first day since we've been in Aus and it hasn't rained, I may already be burnt but I will not complain as the sunshine is a welcomed relief. We did start to think that all those sunny pictures of Aus were just a ploy to get travellers to come here! We had a cinema evening with one of our neighbours and watched the Grand Torino, I then slept in the front so we could all have some space and try and stay cool.
Day 3 at the petrol station, woke up bright and early at 6am had a shower and just waited for news on the roads. There is a real sense of comrardery as a kind man made me a cup of tea as the boys were still asleep. Fantastic atmosphere with well over 20 campervans, 10 eighteen wheelers, several caravans and three dogs. Another sunny day, the only way to stay cool was for us all to have ice lollies and find shade behind people's trucks or our boot. We kept being told 'oh just a couple of hours and the road will be open', 8 hours later we were finally on the road! Chris was sitting in the tv room and a girl ran in saying all the cars are moving...everyone ran for their cars. We could only travel 70km down the road as there are floods further south so were now at a lovely caravan site in Ayr with a pool having veggie sausages :) here's hoping the roads will be better tomorrow! We've partly forgotten what our lives were like prior to the petrol station- but secretly it was a really fun experience!
hope everyone is happy and well at home,Love to all, Love Jess, Chris and Josh xxx Oh and Kate there is a road out here called....Kate Road! Tried to get a photo but missed it! Xxx
Chris land here, well at least that's what it says on my credit card.It's day two in the big brother petrol station (there's CCTV everywhere) and the place is now packed full with stranded truckers and trekkers. quite a good atmosphere has developed with people constantly coming up and chatting to us and one of the campervans is putting on a movie night. I can't Help but get the feeling that there will be a movie made about this one day with a bunch of people stuck at alligator creek who are slowly picked off one by one. We'll see what happens tonight. Update: we survived. That is all.
My first blog from down under. Let's see how it goes. Right at this moment I'm sat in a place called Alligator Creek, the sun is shining for the first time since we arrived, I've got my feet up with my Indiana Jones hat and my Jack Bauer sunglasses and am enjoying a cold beer. There's rainforest to the left, mountains to the right, and a petrol forecourt in the rear. This is how I roll.
It was difficult to foresee what Australia would be like. As it turns out, India is not the only country in the world that experiences an annual monsoon. It's the rainy season over here. This has put a damper on our holiday plans, but on the positive side the camper van is totally clean. I haven't felt the need to drive the short 150km to the nearest car wash at any time since we started driving it.
We've been soldiering on against the elements. Bad weather was never an excuse at sea... apparently; and neither will we allow it to be during our holiday. So we have aimed to do things that do not need sunshine. Swimming largely, if you're going to get wet then might as well get wet on a slide, that's what I say. Jess has given up trying to wear make up. Chris's pants keep dropping off him after losing weight in India, and I haven't changed out of my swimming shorts since departing Margate. We were always too cool for school.
My past episodes have included, being stranded in a Washington DC hotel for three days, being trapped in a loo for four hours; and now, I give you being stuck in an Queensland petrol station during the monsoon season for two days. We expect to be allowed to drive off tomorrow after 6am when the road reopens. Looking forward to seeing Calum in Byron Bay, it's a riot here Cal. Bring cash.
Love to everyone at home, Josh x