Yes it is a peninsula. The road off the main highway is 185k in & out. I’d worked Xmas & New Year 300k Sth of Perth and was given 48 hrs to drive 1600 to Exmouth, so after stopping in Carnarvon o’night I bought a trailer & 2 kayaks for paddling fun in Exmouth. Sadly the Trailer had other ideas about its new owner,
With 120 k to go it threw a ‘wet’ and left a mudguard on the road. Being a thoughtful chappie I picked it up and as I walked back past the Trailer I see that one tyre is shredded. OK so with no spare I reduce my speed from 95kph down to 50kph and the expected 3.5 hr trip draws out to 5.5 hrs.
1st stop in Exmouth is purchase & fit two new tyres… “There, there nice Trailer, you’re new Daddy has given you spanking new rubber, love me?”
So there I am and there’s heavy rain falling inland from the developing Cyclone to the north and a bushfire starts along the only road south. The Peninsula and its two towns are sealed in from the outside world. Daily temperature hovers around 38C and the nights roughly 26C.
So as it gets closer to my departure date which includes another 1500k drive to the next job, I’m checking every 4 hours for the bushfire status and waiting for the roads to be opened.
Friday afternoon arrives and my plan to start driving south is shot down! Roads are still closed and it looks like I’m stuck here until Monday at least. I can’t drive North then inland and south as the tail end of the Cyclone is still bearing down with 80-100kph winds and the roads inland are now flooded in a serious way! Also this drive if it was open added about another 1000k to the trip.
But every cloud has a silver lining; a mate unseen for 6 years is in town so its plan #2 and have a beer and catch-up. Around about 5:30 pm we head off our separate ways and when I stop to buy a take-away meal I’m told the roads opened at 5:00 pm.
Well the two Guinness’s say that I’m not driving tonight and I leave at 4:00 am for southern climes.
I’m about 150km south of Carnarvon just driven over the Wooramel Bridge, when I realise that I don’t have a Trailer behind me! A quick U turn and I head back up the road… 85 km later and no sign of the Trailer. My thinking is that its run off the road and I’ll see it as I head back south in the scrub.
No such luck as I run back over the only bridge and there down on the left is an upside down trailer and two demolished kayaks! I’d lost the Trailer about 60 seconds before I’d noticed it gone. 2 hours up and back along the road and it was only 400 metres from where I’d turned around!
Now I didn’t take it personally when the Trailer threw the Mudguard, or when it shredded a tyre but to let go and take a thrashing rather than travel south I came to realise that the Trailer & Kayaks weren’t meant to be mine! So a quick call back to Carnarvon and they are donated to the Yacht Club.
9:00 pm that night I finally arrived back in Perth for the night and after a lazy day headed the 200k south to Collie for 2 weeks work and >$1000 poorer
Ergo alive, tired and a touch poorer…
A week to go here in Collie and then 3 weeks before any more work… it’ll be the first real days off since the end of September as I’ve either been in transit between postings or on-call.
Gotta love the life!