Australia

The Campervan Chronicles: Rain


S23° E150°

We awake this morning after our first full night in our tidy but, sleeping-wise, cramped campervan to,

wait…rain. I know it’s hard to believe. Our camper van island had been surrounded by water through the night and the drain unit that connects to our water and electricity hook up is completely covered with debris from the flood, trying to find somewhere to drain to.
We unhook and stow everything for the trip south. Despite a few rattles and rolls, things fit quite well in the space we have been given, and the trip is relatively hassle free.

However, the rain is not. It continues to pour. We have patches where we drive through perfectly dry but threatening skies, and then all of a sudden, a wall of water. You can see it coming.

The View From the Passenger Seat: Rain!

Today, we decide to do another big day of driving, by-passing famous Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands. It is so miserable we wouldn’t want to stop and enjoy those beaches anyway. The road is somewhat boring with only the occasional vista to catch our eye. Banana and sugar cane plantations continue to fill the wet view. We see lots of flooding and pass over many gushing, over-laden rivers and creeks.

Soon the landscape starts to change, and we are in low valleys, away from the sea, with bogs and marshes. While it is still tropical, it is less lush. John comments on how much it looks like Florida. Wildlife is scarce, but we do, however, see lots of big, exotic birds posing in the bogs. At one point, a wallaby bounds across the road in front of us. John wants to pull over and adopt him/her but we are in the middle of nowhere, and I suggest we keep going. We don’t have any room in the campervan for it anyway. The lack of a decent radio station in AU is somewhat frustrating as my finger continues to push the “seek” button, looking for the right song or beat to keep us going. More importantly, we are listening for every weather report we can hear.

Checking In After a Long Day of Driving in the Rain

I have picked a few Caravan sites for us, and we decide on “The Rambler Caravan Park” in North Rockhampton (or Rocky as the locals call it.). Rockhampton is known as the Beef Capital of Australia. (How’s that for a beef fact, Scooter? It ain’t Alberta.) We pull in and set up for the evening. The park backs onto the highway, and we are right across from a big mall, so we head over to Woolworths and pick up some supplies for supper. I stroll back to the camper to start dinner and John heads over to the internet store to confirm our flat rental for Sydney in 6 days.
The evening is warm, and the sun is setting making the sky a brilliant orange and red. “Red sun at night…” John is almost praying. We hope this bodes well for tomorrow.

We have a typical Canadian summer meal…vodka tonics to start in our camp chairs outside the van, corn on the cob, new potatoes, and grilled chicken breasts. For an Aussie touch, fresh avocado. We finish with some fresh strawberries over vanilla ice cream and wash it all down with a lovely Wolf Blass Chardonnay.

We have logged over 640 km today and driven a total of 1100 km in the last two days…all of which was to out-run the rain. Successfully, we hope.

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