Dave Steph Aussie Loop 2012 travel blog

Thursday Jan 29

Just a quick update to let all know that we have done a runner from Big Crystal Creek (free camp) which is 65 kms North of Townsville and in the direct possible path of the maybe cyclone. When we heard that it would be coming our way I said to Steph PACK UP, WE ARE OFFFF.

So we took off and headed towards Townsville to go inland to Charters Towers which is about 140kms away from Townsville.

Steph's been looking forward to another catch up with Ngaire and her little girl Rose and meeting Michael, but it looked like we were going to miss out and she was quite disappointed to ring and advise we were moving on due to the cyclone, as we had been hanging in the area waiting for Friday (Micheal's day off). But Ngaire managed to meet us at Domain and we had lunch and more cuddles with Rose. Steph was so delighted that Ngaire was able to do this.

While here we have also purchased some tie down straps, a 12v plug for the awning side of the van, new fuses for the Engel 12v cord and globes and a new aerial for the van which only in the last day or so has been damaged..no idea where. Gee Steph loves caravan and camping stores...got to keep her out of them...;-)

We eventually arrived at Charters Towers and it is full of Townsville Caravanners who moved on from C/van parks in Townsville for safety, so think we will stay here tomorrow and monitor which way the depression/cyclone heads and make a decision from there. Some people have said they will head south to Clermont if they have to in the morning.

We will log an update covering the last 10 or so days as soon as we get time, we have been in an area without internet or phones.

Friday 30th Jan

Well, we got up and noticed a couple of people setting off not sure which way they are heading. Others have decided to stick it out here. We had a look on BOM and it seems to me that Charters is still in the trajectory of the Cyclone so we decide to move on. As we go to leave though Bob and Gail, show us on their IPad that Charters is now no longer in the severe destruction zone...but we decide to go anyway.

We headed south to Clermont which is 370kms away. The first 200 kms is great, dry weather although a little overcast and windy sometimes, so we think we are doing the right thing. But the next weather warning now saying the Cyclone is heading further south and the Central Highlands should be on alert for high rainfall and possible flood and wind damage, this is where we are heading... at Belyando Crossing they say to keep going, should not be a problem and Clermont is a bigger town with a Caravan Park on High Ground.

It now starts to rain..been a bit more gusty wind wise, we have 166 kms to get to Clermont, and when we get there we speak to the Information Center people who advise us to move on to Emerald, as, if the bridge does get flooded then you are stuck in the town for three day before it will go down..OKAY...

We head off again, it is now 3pm and still drizzling all the way, hoping we are doing the right thing, we speak to Brad briefly and tell him we will just keep going if we have to. Finally we get to Emerald, book into the Caravan Park, we are assured that the dam is only 25% full and there is no way a little Low Rain Depression is going to cause a big flood here..GREAT...but we soon find out we have no TV or Radio in the van

It is now 11:00 PM and it has not stopped raining since we got here. So even though we have checked BOM again, and it is still going to hit the coast higher than we are, and the predicted path is north of us, it has been upgraded to Catagory 2 and we still don't know exactly what will happen in this town tomorrow.

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