Sunday, December 5, 2010

The barge to Darwin is looking attractive NOT!

Yep need I say more. Over the weekend we tried our best to find out as much as we could from any one who would listen as to how long we would likely be stuck it town for. One report that there was a Cyclone / tropical low building to the north of Western Australia. This wasn't exciting me at all. If this still isnt what the locals call the"WET" then what the hell is this place going to be like should a cyclone start bearing down on us. Unlikely but still possible. We are never getting the hell out of here!

 I called Geoff at Kunanurra as I knew he had his finger on the pulse having lived and worked in the area for the last 30 years. He advised us to camp out at the Carson & wait for the water level to subside. My objection was we had reliable comm's at Honeymoon be it only a pay phone that only used phone cards but not so on the Carson. Our other lifeline was the Net! We had no access to the Internet at honeymoon let alone on the banks of the carson. We managed to get on to the PC's at the community school & do a quick weather check on the Friday but that was 30 km away & I don't think it was going to start to be a regular invite. I could at least call work & the boys could do the surfing for me & be my eyes & ears.  Our only option for comms on the Carson was our sat phone that would cut out from time to time and cost a fortune to run & the battery only lasted a short time between charges. At Honeymoon I had easy access to call the cop shop, general store, council works depot, and most importantly family & friends and work. One more bonus at Honeymoon at least we could fish.

Frenchy told us a horror story of a group that got stuck in town back in May during the "DRY" season when the Gibb was closed care of unseasonal heavy rains. After 8 weeks some of the stranded chose to barge out to Wyndam at the cost of $12000 for the barge with the cost was split amongst 5 party's... A very expensive trip out of town. Turns out a week later the road reopened & the rest of the crew drove out.

One of the options that was brought to my attention should this be a worse case scenario was to catch the local supply barging to Darwin at the cost of $1800 per vehicle. Yep one fee for the car & one for the camper trailer.... $3600 to get out . To rub salt into the wounds the barge didn't take passengers so we would have to FLY out to Kununurra & THEN ON TO DARWIN.

We didn't have weeks to come to my decision as the barge would be in town Tuesday & then again in 3 weeks time so I would have to make a best guess decision ASAP. Not much change out of $5000 hhhhhmmmmmmm I say again ...... things that make you go hhmmmmmm

I love a thunder storm but .......

I spent the next few days at the phone box calling everyone & anyone trying to make a educated decision on our short term & then long term options to get out. The guys at work were very patient with my requests for info & by Monday we had enough information to indicate no more rain from Tuesday onwards. With the current forecast we would more than likely be out by the weekend.

You realise how isolated this place is when your only consistent reliable communication link to the outside world is a payhone that wont take coins & consistently rips you off when you use a phone card.

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