Road trip day 5

If you thought yesterday was about rain, then you hadn’t seen today yet.

We woke to frequent showers of extremely heavy rain, with close to gale force winds. There was a break in the rain during which we went to get breakfast, but the rain returned and we got very wet just climbing back into the car to return to the hotel. After packing our bags and checking out, we had to return to the car, which again involved getting very wet. The inside of the car got very wet as we climbed in.

Our first stop was back near the brewery where we’d had lunch yesterday. Next door to the place where my wife got the free coffee was a place that made condiments, jams, preserves, and similar stuff. We’d planned to go have a look at the retail outlet and perhaps buy a few things, but exactly as we’d left the brewery to walk over, they’d closed up shop for the day. We arrived back there, and the rain was pelting down. We parked maybe 10 metres form the door, but again got very wet dashing over to look at the shop. It was worth it though, as they had a lot of really nice looking stuff. We bought six different jars of sauces, jams, and mustard.

From there we set out on the drive home. It was very wet. At times driving on the freeway visibility was reduced to maybe 50-100 metres due to the rain. It took more concentration than usual, so we had a welcome rest break about halfway home, stopping at the town of Bulahdelah. Leaving the freeway, we headed into the town… only to be stopped by floodwater across the road. Turning around, we saw another road cut by the floodwater as well, but were able to find another route to get into the centre of town.

We stopped at a cafe, but because of Scully we needed to sit outside, where all the tables were getting drenched by the rain. But the woman running the cafe offered to set us up at a table out the back, under an awning on the leeward side of the building, which was significantly drier. The cafe owner told us that part of the town was being evacuated because of the flooding.

After lunch, we continued the drive home, again through some ridiculously heavy rain, although as we got closer to Sydney it eased off and stopped. However, once we got home and caught up on news (we typically never see any news while travelling), we discovered just how bad this storm system is. Port Macquarie, our departure point this morning, is now under a flood evacuation warning for some areas.

And this rain system is moving south. It will hit Sydney tomorrow, and flood warnings have been issued. In fact, the State Emergency Service has issued a warning for all people in Sydney not to leave home tomorrow, if possible. Given the expected danger from the weather this weekend, I also received notification from the organisers of Sunday’s market that they were cancelling the market. So that’s another one where I was planning to sell my photography cancelled. It seems starting a market stall during COVID and leading into a la Nina event is not a great idea…

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