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Published: February 24th 2016
Well the day December 19 has arrived and we’re off again – this time by plane not towing the van. The weather was clear with not a cloud in the sky.
Our flight left from Brisbane so all up from door to door it was maybe a 7 hour trip, that journey with the van would take generally 5 to 6 days. We scrambled out of bed at 0530 allowing us plenty of time to make our 0940 flight.
An uneventful trip Southbound along the Bruce Hwy at 160 kph was exactly what we had hoped for.
Actually we didn’t do 160 we stuck to the speed limit but I just wanted to startle my daughter and her fiancé (as they read this) who drove us down – I bet it worked!
Now I have no problems with airport security in fact I am all for it, when I travel by plane or any other form of transport for that matter I want to arrive safely at my destination. However they should work together as a team.
All your items need to pass through the scanner
and I did as I was instructed by the bloke in charge standing right in front of me at the start of the queue. But when it passes through, old mate at the other end of the queue who monitors everything advises me the computer needs to be removed from its bag.
No worries, so the woman working there opens the bag and removes the computer and the external hard drive and the mini speaker system along with its charger and scans all items again. No big deal but it resulted in a bit of a traffic blockage.
All I am saying is, if old mate who watched me put the bag and all its contents into the tray while I stood directly in front of him had advised me of the correct way it would have been all smooth sailing.
The weather was clear on the Sunshine Coast a few clouds had gathered in Brisbane however before departure. I’d say the plane was not more than 25% full, no surprise as Darwin at this time of the year (the Wet Season) is not Australia’s most popular destination.
As we taxied along the runway the young maybe 2 year old girl directly in front of us was possibly the most excited on the plane. She exclaimed with much enthusiasm “up up and away” much to the delight of those sitting nearby.
A nice little snack of mini quiche, yoghurt, coconut muffin and fruit juice were provided, it was very pleasant. We had our usual supply of lollies and as always when flying a pack of chewing gum to help keep the ears regulated.
I guesstimate about half way through the trip the cloud had thickened to the point where you could not see the ground but of course we were still bathed in magnificent sunlight.
Not long after our descent in to Darwin the clouds were breaking up, you could see the individual rain clouds dumping on the ground – interesting stuff.
We’ve worked at this time of year here before BUT it is still a surprise when you step out from the airport terminal, it’s pretty hot and steamy. On the way to Litchfield Tourist Park we passed through a number of those “scattered showers”,
it was belting down! No big surprise though.
Ben and Shelly had asked us earlier in the year if we could look after the place for 3 weeks so they could enjoy a special family reunion in New Zealand. Sure happy to help.
A couple of days of re familiarisation and they were jetting off on their merry way. Fortunately we had Lani on deck who had worked through the previous busy dry season there to help us though.
We all managed what can I say? The day Ben and Shelly left we did start getting some persistent rain. To the point where Christmas Eve we’d had 3 solid days of rain and things were going to get a tad nastier.
I got to bed late because I was trying to evaluate our position at that time, we had a number of guests in and the safety of everyone was paramount.
The winds blew and then blew a bit harder this was not expected but the rains had been well predicted. I couldn’t sleep and I’m not one to stress but at 2am I thought
well I better go check how the river was fairing. This runs through the park about two thirds of the way down the hill.
I jumped in the buggy and was hoping for the best, well I didn’t get the best but it was mmmm ok. It was nowhere near panic stations and I was thinking quite positively that she’d be right. When during my hourly inspections I noticed the water had started to recede a rather audible sigh of relief came from myself.
That was to be as bad as it got, we had thoroughly gone through flood/potential flood procedures but I was damn glad to see that river slither back within its banks.
The last rain we received while we were there was on December 30 under 2 mill I think. So of course it got hot and steamy and hot.
A few trees had been blown over or lost limbs so I had plenty to keep me busy in fact we all were kept busy. That time of year is impossible to predict but some days we got seriously smashed (with customers) and the next
could be amazingly quiet.
We had a fun Christmas and New Year with Dean up the road and Lani but Lani piked early New Years Eve. These bloody young folk - but seriously she’d been fairly crook for a while and sure was glad when Liz and I started.
Before we knew it our time was over and it was time to bid farewell ….. again. Thanks Ben and Shelly, until next time.
Take care travel safe and remember it’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.
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