Last week we took advantage of a free week (between bookings) at Paradise Beach for some R and R (Repairs and Relaxation), kayaking with the Bear and catching up with the neighbours. Nigel thought it would be funny to fire off a few text messages complete with photos of beaches, plates of prawns and the like, to ‘remind’ Jackson and Mia (permanent part-time officer) what they were missing out on.
Last night our trip home was rather less enjoyable, when after around 9 hours of driving, we encountered a rather scary storm front that wreaked havoc in Broken Hill, then made its way through Ivanhoe ripping up trees and roofs, then went on to destroy a section of the Hay Road (the only tarred road into Ivanhoe) before finding us between West Wyalong and Rankin Springs where it dumped torrential rain.
At first we tried to make our way through the rivers of mud – knowing that Nigel had to be back in Ivanhoe in time for work this morning (actually I think we were more motivated to get back for the seafood dinner, which Mia and Jason had organised for a police station Christmas party). With so many roads cut or closed, we backtracked hundreds of kilometres to ‘higher ground’ and, like rats in a maze, tried to find alternate routes.
Eventually we had to admit defeat when we discovered that the road to Ivanhoe had been closed and we’d have to spend the night in Hay. By the time we finally made it into Hay, it was close to midnight and we were exhausted. There were no shops or restaurants open and our anticipated seafood dinner turned into a couple of slices of bread and cheese from the esky. Jackson and Mia thought it might be funny to send an SMS showing a huge plate of seafood with the text: “Not so funny now, is it?”
This morning we drove the final 210 km leg from Hay to Ivanhoe and luckily, the damaged section of road wasn’t too bad and we made it through easily, if not 12 hours later than intended! The bush telegraph was apparently running hot because within minutes of getting home, we were fielding questions from the locals on the state of the road.
….. and a big thankyou to Lee, who rang around Hay on our behalf and managed to secure us a room at a motel that doesn’t normally allow dogs!