Australia

Monsoon: Driving into a Wall of Water


Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain!

Just when we thought the day might turn nice, yet more rain! Torrential, teaming, monsoon downpours of rain. This is not a complaint, simply an observation. It is warm, it is t-shirt and shorts weather. But it is wet. Very, very wet. We are 1/3 of the way through February, and Cairns is already over its normal February precipitation levels, well on the way to an all-time record.

We sleep late, work on the website, drive down the hill to town. After lunch and an hour at the internet café, we drive back up the hill for a lovely nap. After an hour, we drive back down the hill (the apartment we’ve rented in Sydney is, 1 week before arrival, no longer available and so we’re scrambling). The drive is relatively dry; then John shouts “Look!” and a literal wall of water appears and we drive into it. We push through torrential, cyclone-like weather for the next 20 minutes. We have “white out” conditions with the rain.

We check the most recent email from the rental agency, pick a 1st and 2nd choice and email them back. We get a text message from Lynne and Brian – everyone texts here, rather than actually calling on their mobiles – and grab a quick bite of supper with them. Then it is back up the hill, our last trip up before we head down the coast towards Sydney tomorrow, and the damage from the monsoon is everywhere in evidence, as John has to zig and zag around the downed branches and new rock slides. Over the last 10 days, as we’ve been driving this mountain, the road has been different every time – wet, dry, washouts, fog, rock slides, branches, frogs.

The frogs freeze in the car’s headlights and look right at you as you try to avoid running over them.

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